I’ve just downloaded a ‘freebie’ story by Harry Bingham and he suggests that a bit of quid pro quo about his books would be welcome. That’s something I am very happy to do. So far I have read only one of his Fiona Griffith series, the fifth - The Dead House. Found it absorbing, compelling, intelligent, humane and all in all deeply satisfying. And I reread it immediately on finishing. I’ve just got my hands on the first of the series and - well, that’s going to be me happily occupied for the evening, shall we say.
It’s first person narrative, which I don’t have a problem with. Mostly present-tense, which I very often do. But it works.
I am not a 'tec fan, but you can safely say that someone has gone and had a look…
Two people, at least - and it looks very interesting.
ETA - having just read the preface, I think I’ll hold off until I’ve read the first two novels.
Oh, definitely do that, joe. Sorry, didn’t make self entirely clear. As and when, I’d be really interested to know what you - and any others - think.
Fanta, understood, but there is something in The Dead House that I think would be right up your street.
Oh, and I should probably have said at the outset too that I haven’t come across any gratuitous grimness or gore so far. Not how these work. Not that I am assuming that is why the genre isn’t your bag.
A question forra Gus: the blurb mentions Tana French, off whose first Dublin Murder Squad I bounced hard. Is this actually an honest detective story as well as all the personal stuff?
Imo, yes - or at least honest polis procedural, rather than classic ‘detective’. Am not familiar with Tana French, so can’t really gauge whether an aversion to one is likely to apply to the other. A lot of both books I have now read takes the form internal narrative, but it really works and Griffiths is - to me - entirely convincing. If you see any blurb mentioning resemblances to Lisbeth Salander, ignore them. Far better than that.
That’s fair enough; I’ll give it a try. Ta.
Currently reading The Rules of the Game, which is vastly more than a history of the Battle of Jutland.
Gus, my objection to the 'tec genre (or whodunnit, I suppose) has usually been that either I suss it out in chapter three, or it is incomprehensible because it cheats about giving information. I wasn’t ever much of a Christie fan… I like Dorothy Sayers because she always plays fair, unlike Conan Doyle, and on the one occasion on which the clue being looked for would give away whodunnit, she puts a bracket and says “Here Lord Peter explained what they were to look for, but since the observant reader will already know this I shall not say” or words to that effect.
I do like Hazel Holt, too, because I like her people, and I don’t mean just her sleuth. Ditto Josephine Tey. Georgette Heyer is fun enough even though I actively dislike at least some of her heroes and heroines, and in at least one book she cheats horribly.
I read the Harry Bingham book at a sitting - or a lying-down in bed to be totally accurate. Really enjoyed it and have bought the two previous and three later books on the Kindle.
Hard to believe the author is just a banker. The police procedure side, is quite accurate, allowing for the needs of fiction.
Oh goodness, I am so pleased, Useders. So you started with The Dead House, I take it? It would be kind to avoid spoilers on here, I feel, which is a pity…
‘Just’ a banker is a little unkind to Bingham, and indeed to some (not saying a majority or anything) bankers. There are fleeting comments in what I have read so far which suggest that Bingham isn’t overly enamoured of tax-evading shitbags, on the whole.
I have finished 1 & 2 and have a horrible feeling I might indulge in a purchase of 3 before the night is out.
I meant “just a banker” as a compliment, Gus. It’s hard to believe he’s not ex SWP or similar All six books for £10.94 in Kindle format (5 @ £1.99 and 1 @ .99p)
I certainly won’t be posting spoilers, no matter how much you beg.
Fanta, replying a bit late to you here. Sorry. But procedurals are not whodunnits (although who dunnit getting done tends to form a part of them, admittedly). I too cannot abide authorial cheating in that format; but the two things are very different - and you aren’t going to take that as a tacit admission that Bingham cheats, are you, there’s a good Fish?
I still think that you might very much enjoy The Dead House. And if you were to read it and then confess to me at what point you realised exactly what was going on, you would probably win the game
I quite like 'tec and Whodonnits. Partly because I have a remarkable ability to completely forget that I have read, or seen, something previously. Like a mind-wash affect. I have re-read books not realising I’ve already read it, other than a warm familiarity as it progresses. Similar with TV shows.
It amazes/infuriates Mrs. S. The kids think it’s early onset … well, not THAT early really, now. I think it’s because it rarely actually matters, so I don’t bother to even try to take it in.
My favourite serious story novelist has a new book out and due to arrive at Shank’s Netty today and with my favourite character … John le Carre’s ‘A Legacy of Spies’ as the story revives the classic George Smiley times, in review.
I have read, re-read (with awareness), listened to various dramas, watched the tv, watched the films of Smiley and there is no end to how often I can.
Oh, & this week I re-read Bill Bryson’s autobiography up to age 20 “The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” and STILL actually laughed out loud in places. It’s remarkable to me how the upbringing of a boy from Iowa in the early 50’s so matched my own in Lancashire a decade later. Highly recommended if that’s your thing at all.
Now, I must watch for the arrival of the Postie and begin to reaquaint myself with George.
Oddly, whilst I can remember most book, fiction or non-fiction, very well, I never can remember whodunnit, except in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Not that I like Agatha Christie, because there’s no character development.