cover image Love Story, with Murders

Love Story, with Murders

Harry Bingham. Delacorte, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-345-53376-0

Bingham’s superb second police procedural featuring Det. Constable Fiona Griffiths delivers an even more intense plot and richer character study than his first, 2012’s Talking to the Dead. Mary Langton, a university student who briefly worked as an exotic dancer, has been missing for years when her leg is found in a freezer at the home of a recently deceased elderly widow. Soon, more of the young woman’s body parts are discovered throughout a neighborhood in Cardiff, Wales. The case becomes even odder when the police find parts belonging to the recently murdered Ali el-Khalifi, a North African metallurgist and college lecturer. Fiona also tries to learn why as a toddler she was left in the car belonging to the couple who eventually adopted her. Back in the day, her adoptive father, now a legitimate businessman, had the reputation as Cardiff’s most talented—but unconvicted—criminal. Fiona’s past mental problems and her unconventional personality make her a distinctive lead. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Feb.)