For rookie detective constable Fiona Griffiths, her first major investigation promises to be a tough initiation. A young woman and her six-year-old daughter have been found brutally murdered in a squalid flat, the single clue a platinum credit card belonging to a millionaire businessman who died in a plane crash six months before. Fiona, however, has secrets of her own. She is still recovering from a crushing psychological breakdown, and the feelings that haunt her are constantly threatening to undermine the mask of normality she has learned to wear.
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The second novel featuring recovering psychotic DC Fiona Griffiths opens with as intriguing a pair of murders as you could imagine. Firstly, part of a human leg is discovered in a woman's freezer, bagged up like a joint of pork. Other similarly gruesome discoveries follow throughout a cosy Cardiff suburb, with body parts turning up in kitchens, garages and potting sheds. And while the police are still literally putting the pieces together, concluding that they all belong to a teenage girl killed some ten years earlier, parts of another body suddenly start appearing.
When DC Fiona Griffiths says 'yes' to her policeman boyfriend, it's an affirmation that she wants finally to put her psychological breakdown behind her, and become a resident of 'Planet Normal' like everybody else. But she still can't resist the challenge of an undercover policing course, and finding it remarkably easy to assume a new identity, she comes top of the class. So when an ingenious payroll fraud starts to look like the tip of a huge criminal iceberg, Fiona is selected to infiltrate the fraudsters' operation.
A marine engineer who tumbles off a cliff path on a windy night. A burglary where everything taken was returned by the thief. The suicide of a man in love with life. An accident, a mystery, an unexplained tragedy. And nothing at all to connect them. Until, that is, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, searching for something - anything - to take her mind off the tedious job of evidence cataloguing she's been assigned to, starts to wonder if all three incidents are not quite what they seem.
When the body of a young woman is found in an old 'dead house' - the annexe where the dead were stored before burial in medieval times - of a tiny Welsh church, it seems that past and present have come together in a bizarre and horrifying way. For DC Fiona Griffiths, the girl - a murder victim whose corpse was laid out with obvious tenderness - represents an irresistibly intriguing puzzle, given Fiona's unusual empathy with the dead.