The Dead House – Harry Bingham


Time to mourn. I have now finished book five in the Fiona Griffiths series, and there are no more available to read. Damn! That should tell you all you need to know about the series and the book: they are highly recommended.

This time around, Fiona discovers a body lying in the ‘dead’ house of the title. It’s a young girl, respectfully laid out, and very dead. But she died naturally. So who is she, and who put her in that place? Soon Fiona is off on the hunt, while juggling her other police duties and investigations, to get to the truth. It’s a challenging journey involving real danger and plodding paperwork, but our heroine comes through with flying colors.

As usual, the central character is so powerful, so enthralling, and so captivating, that you can (and should) readily excuse the lack of other characters of substance. there are a few contenders whose rapid portraits hint at more to come, but we will all need to be patient. Again as usual, the book displays the thorough research and eye for accuracy that this author brings to the fore in his work. While the environments that Griffiths goes to are unknown to me, they seemed realistic and believable. There is one extended scene with Griffiths and a colleague in danger of dying that was superb. I felt I was there and experiencing the situation through her. Great writing.

If I have any criticism it is that I couldn’t completely buy in to the rationale for the main evildoers behaving as they did. That may be because I missed something, or it may be because the characterization there was lacking. The difficulty may be a personal bias, but I do not want to say any more for fear of spoiling your enjoyment. And that’s the main thing: this is a thoroughly enjoyable book. My nit picking concerns are precisely that, and in no way detract from a thumping good read. I loved the character, the setting, the interactions of the various policemen and their investigations, and so on. I loved it all.

If you haven’t already done so, get started on reading this amazing series of books.