Elly Griffiths

Bleeding Heart Yard

""The plot is twisty and twisted..." "


Detective Sergeant Cassie Fitzgerald has a secret – but it's one she's deleted from her memory. In the 1990s when she was at school, she and her friends killed a fellow pupil. Thirty years later, Cassie is happily married and loves her job as a police officer.

One day her husband persuades her to go to a school reunion and another ex-pupil, Garfield Rice, is found dead, supposedly from a drug overdose. As Garfield was an eminent MP and the investigation is high profile, it is headed by Cassie's new boss, DI Harbinder Kaur. The trouble is, Cassie can't shake the feeling that one of her old friends has killed again.

Is Cassie right, or was Garfield murdered by one of his political cronies? It's in Cassie's interests to skew the investigation so that it looks like the latter, and she seems to be succeeding. Until someone else is killed.

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Only three books in yet it feels like Kaur has been around for so long. She is an established, fully rounded character, a likeable and relatable person we can all sympathise with, and that's what makes this series so popular. Kaur is an everywoman. She's not a maverick. She doesn't have a dark secret past or a hidden alcohol dependency, she's just a regular, everyday working woman. Kaur has moved to London and is living in a shared house and has a new team of officers to learn to get to know. It's through these new characters that we discover more of Kaur's intricacies and self-doubts and palpable tension as she's away from her family for the first time in her life. This normalcy gives her the human touch we can all get on board with. 'Bleeding Heart Yard' is an intricate novel, and each chapter is told from the point of view of the main players in the murder investigation. And, even though this is the Harbinder Kaur series, she doesn't feature heavily as we get a view of her from the other players and how she is interpreted by them. It's a wonderful writing style Griffiths has adopted for this series as a slight look from one character can be interpreted in different ways from another, and we get several insights into the same scene. It puts the reader in the centre of the action. Can we trust each of the narrators or are we (and they) reading too much into things? The plot is twisty and twisted and the reveal of the killer, although slightly rushed, was unexpected. When the motive is revealed and you think back to what you've read, you wonder why you didn't spot the killer a couple of hundred pages ago. That's the secret to Griffiths's success. You often have to think of the words you haven't read rather than the ones you have. Her breadcrumbs of clues are so subtle they're easy to miss. 'Bleeding Heart Yard' is a fast-paced read and perfect for the autumnal evenings to curl up on the sofa with a mug of tea and a packet of biscuits. You could easily read this in one sitting as you're hooked into Kaur's life and her investigation. With the Galloway series ending in 2023, I truly hope we get more books featuring DI Harbinder Kaur. This series has great potential to be a lengthy one, and I can see her being a Jane Tennison in the making.

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