THE STRANGE DEATH OF FIONA GRIFFITHS

Written by Harry Bingham

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/


THE STRANGE DEATH OF FIONA GRIFFITHS
Orion
RRP: £12.99
Released: 13th March 2014
Trade Pbk

Welsh Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths is not your usual copper. 

Recovering from a psychological breakdown and physically small enough to be able to fit into children’s size clothes, Fiona is intent on moving back to ‘Planet Normal’ like everyone else.  A course on undercover policing to open doors on new career challenges and a steady boyfriend in the form of her colleague Buzz seem to Fiona to be positive steps towards this goal.  Fiona finds she takes very well to undercover work.  She likes being able to escape from herself with an alias.  When she is offered the opportunity to go undercover to investigate payroll fraud, she eagerly takes it.

And so Fiona Griffiths becomes Fiona Grey, timid payroll clerk forced to resort to homeless shelters and minimum-wage cleaning jobs whilst escaping an abusive relationship, and waiting to come to the notice of the payroll fraudsters.  When she is recruited by the criminals to take part in their fraud, Fiona learns that the plot goes much further than she and her police colleagues realise.  The deeper Fiona is pulled into this complex plot, the more she starts to become Fiona Grey, until she’s in danger of losing sight of Fiona Griffiths completely.

This is a thoroughly engrossing book that is as much the story as one woman’s search for an identity as it is crime thriller.  Fiona’s battle to re-discover a sense of self is as gripping as the crime plot.  In her first person narrative she refers to herself as ‘we’, to refer to Fionas Grey and Griffiths, as if the two personalities are separate entities sharing the same body.  It is also very telling when she admits she’s happier as Fiona Grey than as Fiona Griffiths.

And then there is the fraud plot, which is gradually revealed to be devastating to the whole of the UK if it is allowed to be carried out – and yet you can’t help but admire the ingenuity of the criminals who masterminded it when the full plan is finally revealed.

 

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