Sunday, March 19, 2017

Harry Bingham

I wonder why I didn't discover Harry Bingham and his creation, Fiona Griffiths, earlier. In 2010 he was quoted in The Guardian making clear his opinion about self-publishing.

"What on earth is it that publishers do? They don't write books, nor print them. And if they do edit them, then sometimes you'd be forgiven for missing their input. They are, you might think, functionally useless. "Why don't publishers," asks Harry Bingham in this purportedly timely eulogy to capitalism, "just tiptoe silently from their office, leaving a list of useful phone numbers taped to the front door?" Bingham is a good person to answer this question. He's a reformed banker who now runs the Writers' Workshop, a consultancy for first-time authors."

Then in 2014 The New York Times reviewer seemed impresssed by Bingham's own fictional creation, his unusual young Detective Constable.

"When she surfaced in Harry Bingham’s Talking to the Dead, Fiona Griffiths was a rookie on the South Wales police force who had more psychological quirks than most of the head cases she met in the line of duty. But the intensity she brought to the job made her a most intriguing, if peculiar, detective. Although his volatile protagonist certainly dominates the first-person narrative, Bingham doesn’t stint on plot (very complicated), procedures (very detailed) or action (very brutal). There’s also a satisfying dimension to secondary characters like Fiona’s father, a strip-club owner who was once 'Wales’s most successful criminal'. And while Fiona’s clean-cut boyfriend is a bit of a dope, a universally feared superior officer, known as the Ice Queen, is... well, cool."

Fi Griffiths has also made it to the cinema screen, it seems. But my belated discovery was thanks to BookBub, the site which suggests titles available free or costing not more than EUR 0.99. The consequence has been that (in spite of my determination to be punishingly frugal this year) I have bought a second and third book from the series at the normal listed price.

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