Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Talking to the Dead (Fiona Griffiths, #1)” as Want to Read:
Talking to the Dead (Fiona Griffiths, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Talking to the Dead (Fiona Griffiths #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  2,938 Ratings  ·  522 Reviews
The first novel in a powerfully original new crime series featuring a young policewoman haunted by her own dark past.

It's DC Fiona Griffiths' first murder case - and she's in at the deep end. A woman and her six-year-old daughter killed with chilling brutality in a dingy flat. The only clue: the platinum bank card of a long-dead tycoon, found amidst the squalor.

DC Griffith
Paperback, U.K., 384 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Orion (first published 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Talking to the Dead, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Leslie THIS WAS A TV SERIES?? I assume it was a British TV series. I think I need to investigate further because I just adore Fiona Griffiths!
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
switterbug (Betsey)
Fiona Griffiths, known as Fi, is a young woman in a Wales police department, a detective with good intuition and analytical skills. She is also harboring a dark past, which periodically clouds her sleep, emotional clarity, and her thoughts. Told in the first person, she states that her social skills are a bit off (but I don’t see that, only that she tells us), and that she struggles mightily with a challenging mental illness, which is revealed in gradual doses.

Fi is currently investigating a ca
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Fiona Griffiths is bored of the case she’s working on, going over the financial records of an ex-cop turned thief, when another case comes up, and it’s about much more than theft. A prostitute and her young daughter are found in a squalid house, and the manner of murder of the little girl is horrendous. Something about the case captures Fi’s attention, and she begins to insert herself into the investigation any way she can
I loved this book. As I closed the cover, I was sure I'd give it my first five, but after thinking about it, I realized there was one thing that didn't quite work for me. It didn't make sense that the clearly loving parents of troubled Welsh police detective Fiona Griffith didn't tell her a family secret until she guessed it in her mid-20s. They thought she hadn't been ready for it, and she agreed, but I can't believe that during the two teenage years when Fiona suffered a dramatic puzzling brea ...more
Mar 16, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it
I heard about this series last year and was rather intrigued about Fiona. Essentially the book is very reliant on the rather strange and fascinating DC Fiona Griffiths. Fiona is a Cambridge educated detective constable in the police force in Cardiff. She is a maverick and has her own peculiar way of viewing the world. Quickly you start to understand that Fiona will go out of her way to solve a crime. She puts herself in danger, yet she is incredibly vulnerable at the same time.

From the start, Fi
Dec 24, 2012 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
What an astonishing book. I absolutely loved it. Fiona Griffiths is a complex, amazing character. Her voice, characterized by her dry, and irreverent humor, is also removed. I guess what I mean by that is that the author tells us this story through Fi's voice, but although it is told in first person, and there is still a distinct feeling of separation. Bingham has done an utterly brilliant job of immersing the reader into a character almost impossible for average people to immerse in. What feels ...more
Rich Stoehr
Sep 30, 2012 Rich Stoehr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
Let's keep it simple - I think Fi Griffiths would appreciate that.

Fiona Griffiths is one of the most compelling investigators in recent memory, right up there with John Rebus. What makes Detective Constable Griffiths so interesting is something best left discovered, like most of what makes Talking to the Dead such a worthy novel. Suffice it to say that she's a multilayered, occasionally frustrating, often surprising, and fully realized character, and I loved reading her voice, crafted to perfect
Sep 22, 2013 Zoeytron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Oh, I like this Fiona Griffiths character. The most junior on the investigative team of a Welsh detective unit, she became a copper because she wanted to make sense of things. Fiona is blitzkrieg fast on a keyboard, 'a one-woman work monster', and she thinks a civil question deserves a civil answer.

The murder mystery is okay, but far more intriguing is learning what it is that makes Fiona tick. She becomes numb at times, she cannot cry, her habitual default attitude is prickly - she refers to i
Linda Strong
Jan 20, 2015 Linda Strong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Another new author for me ... another author I know I will keep reading.

Talking to the Deadis all about introducing Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths who is a mystery herself. Fiona is known for her spurts of genius ... and for her need at times to not follow the rules. She is definitely a young woman of contrasts.

She is working her first case ... a prostitute and her young daughter are murdered. Found under the bodies is a credit card belonging to a man who died a year ago.

The book is full o
DNF @ 21%

This is definitely a case of it's me not you. It's okay, but I'm soooo bored. I just can't bear to read the rest. And Fiona creeps me out since she is very comfortable around dead bodies.
Merve Özcan
Bu sendrom. Bu kız. Kıvrak aklı. Güzel kitaptı doğrusu. Asıl gelecekte neler olacak onu merak ediyorum. Çok sonra. Okuyup göreceğiz sanırım. İngiltere'deki silah kanunu garip geldi. Sen niye polisin elinden silahı alıyorsun ki? Doğruysa valla ben şok ben iptal.
Oct 07, 2014 Janebbooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Water. Duck's Back. Paddle On.

Paddle on. And that's what Bingham's quirky female detective does.

We meet Bingham's new rookie copper at her job interview with the Cardiff, Wales police department. Fiona Griffiths, age 26, recent Cambridge graduate with a degree in philosophy, gets the job. Her boss thinks she's bright enough and may be "a couple of cases away from being a phenomenal officer or a right pain in the arse." D. C. Griffiths is different: she "works like a bluebottle" and she's probabl
Bill Kupersmith
Jan 26, 2013 Bill Kupersmith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My five stars are a little generous but I liked this book much better than any of my four star choices. I have been trying to find a book featuring a police detective as fascinating as Tana French's Cassie Maddox and S. J. Bolton's Lacey Flint, and Fiona Griffiths in Talking to the Dead belongs in their league. She has a most unusual back story, though I wish the author had not waited to the end to unload most of it, and a rare mental condition which enables her to communicate with dead crime vi ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Hallie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With Detective Constable Fiona “Fi” Grffiths, Harry Bingham, author of “Talking to the Dead,” finds a sweet spot in crime fiction — a female protagonist with stunted emotions, a passion for protecting women (think Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander), outsider status (think Denise Mina’s “Paddy” Meehan), sheer guts, and an unstoppable drive to follow her own instincts even when it means breaking every rule in the book (think Lee Childs’s Jack Reacher).

Fi has no idea what it feels like to cry, and w
May 28, 2013 Pat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I just could not get into this book. I would find myself reading a part and not understanding at all how I got there so I would go back and re-read sections to see if I missed something. I almost stopped reading because it seemed to be so disjointed and the main character, Fiona Griffiths, seemed to be so erratic. At the very end, the author presents the why's and what-for's that help to better understand Fiona but by then it was too late. I did not care and was glad to have the book done.
Nov 26, 2012 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mystery, thrillers and suspense
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon Vine
Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of mystery/suspense/thrillers novels with great characters.

Disclosure: I received an ARC galley paperback from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: 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 piec
Cathy Cole
Sep 24, 2012 Cathy Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First Line: Beyond the window, I can see three kites hanging in the air over Bute Park.

The crime scene is a sad one: a woman killed after a short life ruined by drugs and prostitution... and her small six-year-old daughter lying dead beside her. The only thing that marks this crime scene as unusual is one small piece of evidence. Why would a drug addicted prostitute have the debit card of a very wealthy man who's been dead for months?

Police headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, has more important case
Sep 24, 2016 Ingrid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read, but not quite 5 stars
Maureen DeLuca
This is a very hard book for me to rate. Sometimes I think it is a 4 , going on 5 - other times a 3 going down to 2. Odd.... just like the main character in this book, Fiona Griffiths. "odd" is only one word to describe Fiona.

Fiona is hired as a detective constable which is the lowest rank in the Wales police department. She is working on one case, where a 'cop' or 'copper' as they say is being charged with embezzlement- then another case pops up where a woman dies of a drug overdose and her you
I purchased a copy of Love Story, With Murders for the Library, based partially on the novel's excellent title, only to discover that it was the second in a series starring Cardiff Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths. Our lovely former adult services librarian had purchased Talking to the Dead, the first in the series, so I took it off the shelf and brought it home.

Talking to the Dead is perfect for anyone waiting for the next Lacey Flint installment from S.J. Bolton. Both series feature a femal
Sharon Kennedy
I really wasn't sure what to think about this book. The main character, Fi, is a young DS, and right from the word go you realise there is something a bit unusual about her. She almost has to keep reminding herself that she is normal, and how she is supposed to act, during the investigation into the horrific deaths of a mother and daughter.
At one point, I found myself getting distracted from the story because of the focus on the apparent breakdown that Fi was suffering...but on reaching the end
Mar 14, 2014 Laurielib rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
USA Today compares author Harry Bingham to Steig Larsson and DC Fiona Griffiths to Lisabeth Salander which was enough to steer me into picking up a copy of Talking to the Dead. Well they got it half right, Bingham is an outstanding new voice in the thriller genre however Cambridge educated Fiona Griffiths is a much more multi-faceted, engaging character than Lisabeth Salander. We first meet Fiona as she applies for the detective constable position and get hints that something in her background k ...more
Dec 23, 2015 Wanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The basic story was good but got a bit tired of Fiona always examining her feelings and how to react. I know that is an integral part of who she is but it was a bit repetitious. The fact that she is constantly going against what her bosses tell her also was irritating. Was hard to understand why she wanted to spend time with the dead bodies and whether they were actually talking to her or not. It would have been better if the explanation for her "illness" had been in the beginning of the book. S ...more
Jul 21, 2013 Durdles rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
A police procedural given an unusual twist by being set in Cardiff, but not the Cardiff with which I am familiar (except the university hospital where I once worked and can confirm it is hard to escape, although I never had to hitch up my skirt and clamber through a window onto the roof of the canteen). Quite how a middle aged male author manages to convey the narrative from the point of view of a psychologically damaged and nervous female detective constable in her early twenties is beyond me b ...more
Chris Swann
Nov 01, 2012 Chris Swann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

3.5 stars. Good crime novel with another "unique" detective narrator. The detective, Fiona, plays a fair amount of cat-and-mouse with the reader, withholding information about herself that seems important (she clearly has a problem, but what is it? autism? psychosis?), yet after awhile this becomes less bothersome as you get into the plot and wrapped up in Fiona's voice. She's damaged goods, but that makes,you root for her all the more. I'll read the next one in this series.
Nov 24, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-suspense
Oh, WOW. Fiona Griffiths, I think I love you.

I was at the library picking up a hold (Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham--which would make about 5 Robotham books I've read in the last 6 months, goodness) and I was scanning the new book shelf for no good reason (I have so many half-read books and required to-read books on my shelves that there is NO excuse for picking up something I've never heard of before) and the cover and title of this book just caught my eye. So I did what is now my defaul
Apr 29, 2013 Affodil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Begin maart kregen een aantal forumleden van Ezzulia de kans om een preview publicatie te lezen en te bespreken. Ik stelde me ook kandidaat en viel in de prijzen. Een nog niet gepubliceerd boek lezen en bespreken zorgt er sowieso voor dat je het op een andere, bewustere manier leest. Zo ook bij Fiona, dat voor auteur Harry Bingham zijn thrillerdebuut moet zijn.

De discussie rond de keuze van de cover is in mijn ogen minder relevant, omdat een cover voor mij toch nooit een doorslaggevend element i
Dec 18, 2013 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(won in Goodreads give to follow)

Harry Bingham, where have you been all my mystery-reading life? Ach, no matter, you are here now and I can't wait to take the next journey with you. In a world of mystery/thrillers, what can possibly be different about "Talking to the Dead" you ask? How about a suspense story with an actual, beating human heart of compassion underlying it? Bingham's wonderfully complex new heroine, Detective Fiona(Fi) Griffiths,is tiny(5'2), intelligent and intuitiv
Susan Johnson
Aug 04, 2012 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Fiona Griffiths is not your usual run of the mill policewoman. She lives in Wales, is quite short and is "not good with feelings." She doesn't get the clues people give when speaking and doesn't really know boundaries. She interviews the wife of a drowning victim and asks her if they were into "rough sex". She's just a half step off from everyone else. She reminds me of Barbara Havers in Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series. They are always watching others to try and figure out ho
Karen Eades
I was looking forward to reading this book set in Wales after it was recommended by a major US newspaper. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed. I've read many police procedurals and crime novels set in that part of the world, most of which manage to transport the reader to that location. For example, read a few Bartholomew Gill books and you feel like you've practically visited Dublin. Colin Dexter takes you to Oxford. Ian Rankin takes you to parts of Edinburgh you never want to visit. I d ...more
Sep 12, 2016 Lizet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, goodbye, 2016

Nunca antes había escuchado hablar de este libro hasta que una amiga me dijo que lo tenía, que le había gustado la historia y que si yo quería me lo podía prestar. Por supuesto que yo acepté porque ¿cómo me voy a negar a leer un libro de misterio?

Para ser sincera, pensé que no me iba a gustar mucho, pero Hablando con los muertos terminó siendo una grata sorpresa para mí.

El libro empieza un poco lento y aburrido, lo cual me hizo pensar que iba a continuar así hasta el final, pero me equivoq
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Dark Winter (Aector McAvoy, #1)
  • The Reckoning (Maeve Kerrigan, #2)
  • Dead Scared (Lacey Flint, #2)
  • The Cold Cold Ground (Detective Sean Duffy, #1)
  • Ice Moon
  • Like This, For Ever (Lacey Flint, #3)
  • Good People
  • Hour of the Wolf (Inspector Van Veeteren #7)
  • Frozen Assets (Officer Gunnhilder, #1)
  • Disappeared (Inspector Celcius Daly Mystery, #1)
  • Wer Wind sät (Bodenstein & Kirchhoff, #5)
  • Cambridge Blue (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #1)
  • Where the Devil Can't Go (Kiszka and Kershaw, #1)
  • The Murder Wall (DCI Kate Daniels, #1)
  • A June of Ordinary Murders (Joe Swallow, #1)
  • The Red Road (Alex Morrow #4)
  • Fear the Darkness (Brigid Quinn, #2)
  • You Will Never Find Me (Charles Boxer #2)
Harry Bingham writes novels and non-fiction. His latest fiction project is the FIONA GRIFFITHS crime series - mystery novels, where the detective is almost as much of a mystery as the crimes themselves.

Harry's latest novel (and, in his opinion, the best) is THE STRANGE DEATH OF FIONA GRIFFITHS, available in the US from Jan 29 (and available on pre-order now.)

Also, don't miss Harry's blog series on
More about Harry Bingham...

Other Books in the Series

Fiona Griffiths (5 books)
  • Love Story, With Murders (Fiona Griffiths, #2)
  • The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths (Fiona Griffiths, #3)
  • This Thing of Darkness (Fiona Griffiths, #4)
  • The Dead House (Fiona Griffiths, #5)

Share This Book

“...if it's cool you're after, then you're knock-knock-knocking on the wrong door. My maximum ambition is to make it to normal.” 5 likes
“These are tears and I am crying.
It is not a painful sensation, as I always thought it must be. It feels like the purest expression of feeling that it is possible to have. And the feeling mixes everything up together. Happiness. Sadness. Relief. Sorrow. Love. A mixture if things no psychiatrist ever felt. It is the most wonderful mixture in the world.”
More quotes…