Love Story, With Murders – Harry Bingham

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The second of the series (my review of the first is here) featuring policewoman detective Fiona Griffiths, this continues the high quality, and develops the lead character in an enthralling fashion.

This time around, the story starts with the discovery of a body part of a young girl, killed several years ago. Then other body parts turn up, male, and freshly slaughtered. Who were the deceased, what’s the connection – if there is one – and who is or who are the killers?

Alongside a well constructed and well paced plot, reading this book gives you the continuing adventures of Fiona Griffiths as she makes her way in the world, all seen from her singular, quirky, fresh, and sparky perspective. The character truly is top notch, with ample care taken by the author to avoid familiarity breeding contempt, by managing to put in change just when required. Ms Griffiths is the kind of person you would love to meet in real life, but she would drive you to distraction, and you would never want to rely on her. She’s good, and very much on the side of justice, but her vision of the world is unusual.

The excitement and the action ramp up at times for a frightening brush or two with danger. The only weak spot of the book is the character Lev, who seems to operate as a sort of ‘Get Out of Jail free’ card for our heroine. That being said, that character’s abilities mean we avoid having to read an extra wad of narrative that may not add much to the enjoyment of the book. So, maybe the author’s approach is the best one. After all, if Fiona solved everything on her own, that would hardly make her credible, would it?

In short, a cracking read. True, apart from the heroine, there’s not much in the way of in depth characterization, but it is not missed. And it leaves room for future enhancements; perhaps we will see and hear more from her patient, sympathetic, and understanding boyfriend? But, regardless, I am pretty certain there are surprises ahead.

If you like crime novels, do not miss this series.

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