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Publisher's Summary

A mesmerizing and thrilling novel - perfect for fans of Tana French and Stieg Larsson - that introduces a modern, unforgettable rookie cop whose past is as fascinating and as deadly as the crimes she investigates.

She knows what it's like....

At first, the murder scene appears sad, but not unusual: a young woman undone by drugs and prostitution, her six-year-old daughter dead alongside her. But then detectives find a strange piece of evidence in the squalid house: the platinum credit card of a very wealthy - and long dead - steel tycoon. What is a heroin-addicted hooker doing with the credit card of a well-known and powerful man who died months ago? This is the question that the most junior member of the investigative team, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, is assigned to answer.

But D.C. Griffiths is no ordinary cop. She’s earned a reputation at police headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, for being odd, for not picking up on social cues, for being a little overintense. And there’s that gap in her past, the two-year hiatus that everyone assumes was a breakdown. But Fiona is a crack investigator, quick and intuitive. She is immediately drawn to the crime scene, and to the tragic face of the six-year-old girl, who she is certain has something to tell her...something that will break the case wide open.

Ignoring orders and protocol, Fiona begins to explore far beyond the rich man’s credit card and into the secrets of her seaside city. And when she uncovers another dead prostitute, Fiona knows that she’s only begun to scratch the surface of a dark world of crime and murder. But the deeper she digs, the more danger she risks - not just from criminals and killers but from her own past...and the abyss that threatens to pull her back at any time.

©2012 Harry Bingham (P)2012 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story

Not the best thing I've ever read, but...

....Harry Bingham's thriller *is* evocative and will keep your interest if you're a fan of police procedurals. Some of it seems trite (the main character is always in trouble with her boss ala Dirty Harry) but it really pokes and prods at how a lot of us feel like like 'the outsider in society.' Siriol Jenkins' lilting narration is astonishing, truly, and the voice Bingham gives to protagonist Fiona Griffiths is haunting, lonely and finely spun. Fiona is forever wrestling with her instincts and the rules of society, often coming out the loser. And, of course, there are two grisly murders to contend with.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Buy this book

It is very difficult to write a review of a book, like this. I almost don't know who to credit more, the author or the narrator. Frankly, if it were allowed, I'd give many more than 5 stars.

Trying not to provide a spoiler (very difficult), in what should be a pretty straightforward procedural, I suddenly find myself looking at this more as a character study, or a series of such that comes to a not unexpected and logical conclusion...just not the one I was expecting.

Ms. Jenkins provides the absolute right voice for a young heroine trying to find herself and her voice in a situation for which she was not brought up or, for that matter, educated.

At this point, I can only hope that this is the start of a series. It is certainly valid as a stand-alone, but I want to know more about our detective, who has the potential to out Morse Morse.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Original

I must admit after reading so many negative reviews on my book site, I had to read it and see why women were trashing the protagonist.

I am no writer, scholar, well versed critic, but I only found one comment that was questionable, and it was only questionable if taken literally.

I really enjoyed the storyline, pace, character development and overall cohesiveness. The only flaw in my limited opinion was the character development didn't extend to some of the characters I would have liked to know more about... I think that speaks almost as a positive. Bingham created scenes and people I wanted to know more about without making them seem one dimensional. Sorry I'm sure that makes no sense to anyone but me hahaha.

I felt it was well worth the credit but don't expect gripping thrills or car chases, this is more of a story and less of a mystery. Similar to Tana French, but only slightly.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Hurst, TX, United States
  • 10-10-12

Excellent Book and Narrator

Any additional comments?

This is a very good mystery novel and the narrator is excellent. For some unexplained reason, there is a shortage of good female narrators, but Siriol Jenkins is outstanding.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good Detective Novel With a Unique Lead Character

"Talking to the Dead" is a very interesting detective novel about a young policewoman (Fiona Griffiths) who is dealing with a debilitating, mental illness while still having to perform her investigative duties.

I enjoyed this book. I found the lead character to be someone who I wanted to learn more about... a person that I wanted to know. The story revolves around the killing of a prostitute and her daughter, and the sex trafficking in Europe. Throughout the story, I was fascinated by Fiona's 'unique' reaction to events unfolding around her. Fiona has her own methods of detection, and they do not always conform to standard police procedure and protocol (which does nothing to endear her to her colleagues). That said, Fiona's quirks actually help her to be an excellent detective, adding a level of intrigue to the plot.

This novel has been compared to the books by Stieg Larsson, and not without justification. Although I found Bingham's writing not quite up to the very high bar set by Larsson, this book is still quite well-written. The ending of "Talking to the Dead" was very suspenseful and powerful. Siriol Jenkins does a superb job with the narration, covering a wide range of voices extremely well. Harry Bingham has created a character that I hope to see again, very soon. Don't miss this one!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Don't miss this

Any additional comments?

Fabulous book with wonderfully complex and unusual characters, beautifully read. What more could you ask for?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sires
  • Chesapeake, OH, United States
  • 03-24-13

Interesting Procedural with a Few Problems

This is a new-to-me author and narrator. I had this on my Wish List for about six months before I decided to pull the trigger. The narrator was good enough with a competent style and nothing in her delivery that really annoyed me. The book, for at least the first two thirds was a solid four stars. Then it took a weird turn that left me scratching my head.

Fiona Griffith is a young Detective Constable. She has a degree in philosophy, a mystery in her past, and a family background which makes her choice of working for the police an interesting one.

One day as she is trying cope with the audit of a bent, embezzling copper's accounts that she is readying for the Crown Prosecution Service, she is handed a credit card that had been found at a horrific crime scene. The card belonged to a very rich man who had gone down in a plane wreck. However the crime scene where the card was found was a squalid squat where a sometime prostitute and her six year old daughter have been found dead in circumstances that the police find appalling.

Intrigued, Fiona wants to become involved with the investigation of the murders. Her obsessive interest in the murder victims is both interesting and a bit cringe inducing.

Fast paced and interesting, the vague hints about Fiona's past as well as the events of the story kept me intrigued up to the point that the martial arts expert showed up. Uh, what? It lost some steam about then and I ended up finishing it but not with the same pleasure that I had read the earlier part. This is supposed to be the first Fiona Griffiths book so I did wonder if he was sequel bait. I would be more likely a read a sequel if the author promised me the martial artist wasn't going to be part of the plot.

Anyway, after thinking about it I decided that this was for the majority of the book a 3.75 star read which I rounded up to 4. I'm not sorry I read it and I would more likely than not give the author and narrator another shot.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

Talking to the Dead was a fantastic surprise. Made all the better by a fantastic narrator. I hope Audible wastes no time acquiring the sequel for American audiences. (available in the U.K., but that doesn't help me)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Clever.

Not so much for the plot (which is good but not excellent) but the writing and prose is excellent and nicely ironic. Anxiously awaiting the rest of the series on audible in the us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Charming and funny, always surprising

Any additional comments?

Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths is someone that you might not want to work with, but you'll love being in her head. She's difficult, funny, too smart, and always surprising. She's obsessed with the murder of a former "prozzy" and her six year old daughter, a case that connects with a dead millionaire and a bent cop. Fiona's extraordinary and hilarious observations keep the plot humming along. If you like Denise Mina's working class heroines you'll love Fiona. Siriol Jenkins' narration brings her to vivid life, excellent job!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful