What the blurb says: “When DC Fiona Griffiths says ‘yes’ to her policeman boyfriend, it’s an affirmation that she wants to finally 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. Posing as a cleaner, Fiona Griffiths becomes Fiona Grey, hoping the criminals will try and recruit her – knowing that if they discover her real identity, she’s dead meat. But as Fiona penetrates deeper into their operation, coming closer to identifying the mastermind behind it, she faces another, even more frightening danger – that her always fragile grip on her sense of self has now been lost and she may never find her way back.”
The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths is published this week. It’s the third novel in the series featuring Harry Bingham’s quirky, unpredictable protagonist Fiona Griffiths.
This novel picks up where the second book – Love Story with Murders – ended, and sees Cardiff based DC Fiona Griffiths train as an undercover detective. She passes with flying colours, and is soon offered an assignment that requires her to assume the identity of Fiona Grey. She assimilates into the role easily, becoming first a cleaner and then a payroll clerk in order to infiltrate the criminal gang. She’s the perfect undercover officer – where her unpredictable nature and lack of regard for orders is usually a problem, while undercover her quick thinking and improvisation are the things that keep her alive.
But as she gets deeper undercover, the boundaries between her true self and her undercover ‘legend’ begin to blur. She finds herself taking bigger and bigger risks, both with the operation and with her personal relationships as she gets closer to her criminal colleagues. As the criminal ring get closer to pulling off the largest payroll fraud in history, only Fiona has the access and the knowledge to bring them down. Question is, will she?
This is a police procedural with a twist. Quirky, gripping and, rather like its lead character, utterly unconventional. That’s what makes it such a delight to read.
[many thanks to Orion Books for my copy of The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths]