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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week.

Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday, is currently ‘on tour’ and being hosted by a different blogger each month.

Your host for December 2013, is Gilion over at ‘Rose City Reader’

So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for Gilion, after all, we all like to receive them!

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

This week, I am featuring another great find, recommended by the folks over at NetGalley.

Although this story sounds right up my street, I so hope that I am not going to be too disappointed that I haven’t read this series of books in sequence. The lead character, DC Fiona Griffiths, sounds as though she has a complex and intriguing  personality, suffering with the rare psychiatric disorder, Cotard’s Syndrome, which I am guessing would have been explained to the reader in the opening book of the series.

Also, interestingly, the books are written by a male author, writing in the first person, as a woman.

There is enough intrigue and allure there, without even opening the cover of this book, so I can’t wait to dive into the story!

‘LOVE STORY, WITH MURDERS’  

The second novel featuring recovering psychotic DC Fiona Griffiths opens with as intriguing a pair of murders as you could imagine. Firstly, part of a human leg is discovered in a woman’s freezer, bagged up like a joint of pork. Other similarly gruesome discoveries follow throughout a cosy Cardiff suburb, with body parts turning up in kitchens, garages and potting sheds. And while the police are still literally putting the pieces together, concluding that they all belong to a teenage girl killed some ten years earlier, parts of another body suddenly start appearing, but this time discarded carelessly around the countryside clearly very shortly after the victim – a man – was killed.

Mysteries don’t come much more macabre or puzzling than this. Who were the two victims, and what connection could they have shared that would result in this bizarre double-discovery?

But that’s only half the story. The most gruesome moments are much more about Fiona and her curious mental state. There is a complex and very clever double mystery here, and what makes the story unique is the parallel unraveling of Fiona’s own mystery, and it’s her voice, established precisely in the first book but given even freer rein here, that makes it so compelling.

HARRY BINGHAM

Image Of Author Harry BinghamHarry Bingham is a forty-something British author, married and living in Oxfordshire.

He started out as an investment banker, then turned to writing full time when he was 30, so now finds time to enjoy his hobbies of rock-climbing, walking and swimming.

Harry also runs ‘The Writers’ Workshop’, which offers practical help and advice to budding writers.

He has written in a few different genres, both fiction and non-fiction, but these days feels most at home writing in the genre of crime.

I like the structure of the crime story, but most of all I like the ecosystem in which the genre flourishes: the festivals, the websites, the fans, the fact that you have your own special section of the bookshop. And crime is cool, too. It’s dark and edgy and funny and intelligent. I love it.

It took Harry some time to develop the character of  DC Fiona Griffiths, but the thing that locked everything in place was her Cotard’s Syndrome, an illness where sufferers believe themselves to be dead. It seemed to him that the condition was perfect for a crime story. It’s a mystery in itself. It walks a dark edge between life and dark. And it places the detective herself as the ultimate outsider.

I came to the idea from two directions. One, I was reading a lot of material about confabulation in mental illness – occasions when the brain simply makes up wild stories to get over some specific type of injury. Cotard’s is obviously one of the more colourful examples of this. And two, my wife, who works with the mentally ill, had a patient who suffered with the condition. When I hit the idea, I knew I’d arrived.

I can’t wait to discover all your own great new finds this week … so please stop by and share your link, so that I can visit your post.

 …

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Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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Written by Yvonne

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