I read lots of books and they range from the unputdownable to the unpickupable. On the fiction side, it is rare that I find a book that I can’t bring myself to finish; I am more interested though in the times when I find a new entry at the other end of the scale, an author or series that makes a visceral connection. What makes the difference? It is hard to pin down and, I suspect, highly subjective: apples and oranges.
Some of the seams I have mined in the past have come to an end – for example, there will be no more Wexford books from Ruth Rendell. However, I think I have discovered a new one in the form of the DC Fi Griffiths books from Harry Bingham. I started off a few weeks ago with the third in the series, The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths, and picked up the first one, Talking to the Dead, from Witney library this weekend (started yesterday; finished this morning!).
They are written in the first person and the present tense, an unusual combination but one that works very well for the protagonist. Frankly, she is somewhat odd and I think it would be a struggle to get inside her head if the author didn’t place you there directly. As a character, she reminds me a bit of Steig Larson’s Lisabeth Salander: brilliant, driven and quirky. However, unlike Salander, there is also plenty of room for fragility, uncertainty and mistakes. Griffiths is really quite human, which I think she’d love to hear!
I hope it doesn’t give too much away to note that she survives the “strange death” and I am looking forward to filling in the gap and moving forward in the series.