Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

Source: Review copy
Publication: 29 September 2022 from Quercus
PP: 352
ISBN-13: 978-1529409956

My thanks to Quercus for an advance copy for review

DS Cassie Fitzherbert 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’s 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 interest to skew the investigation so that it looks like the latter and she seems to be succeeding.

This is the 3rd book in the Harbinder Kaur series, but you can easily read it as a stand-alone. In this book our intrepid DS has moved up in the world and away. Now a D.I. with a new team, Harbinder has left Sussex for a new job in the Met’s Homicide and Serious Crimes Unit. She’s based in West Kensington and is sharing a house with two other women. She’s a little bit out of her comfort zone, but at the same time, relishing the challenge.

It’s not long before her first big challenge lands. A prominent climate change sceptic, Conservative MP Garfield Rice dies while attending his school reunion. The well-known Manor Park boasts quite a few famous alumni from within its ranks generally, and from Garfield Rice’s years specifically. Not only that, but Cassie Fitzgerald, one of Harbinder’s team, was part of the group that Garfield Rice hung around with at school.

It’s quickly established that Rice’s death was murder and Harbinder orders Fitzgerald to stand back from the enquiry.

Elly Griffiths gives us narration from three of the central characters in this murder enquiry. Harbinder herself, whose thoughts we are privy to and who has a lovely line in wry humour when she’s contemplating her decisions; Cassie, who is harbouring a terrible secret and who knows all of the key players in this drama very well, thus providing insight into their past activities and finally, we hear from Anna. Anna Vance has recently come back from Italy to visit her dying mother and so was also at the reunion along with her former school boyfriend, now rock music star Kris Foster, the famous and beautiful actress, Isabelle Istar and yet another MP, Henry Steep.

Cassie can’t help but think that the forces that have brought this group back together again and which have led to Gareth Rice’s death are connected to those school days 21 years ago. When another member of the group is found dead in the wonderfully named Bleeding Heart Yard, it is clear that it is this group of school friends that is being targeted. But why?

Elly Griffiths allow us to get to know her new team, parcelling out different jobs according to the strengths she perceives in them from the off. DS Kim Manning is down to earth and great with people. DS Jake Barker is all alpha male but peculiarly star struck by the famous alumni from Manor Park School. Cassie is the unknown quantity – seemingly competent but not telling Harbinder the whole story from the outset.

Verdict: Elly Griffiths has written a terrifically engaging and entertaining police procedural that I thoroughly enjoyed. It really feels as if Harbinder Kaur is now coming into her own both professionally and personally and owns her rank with distinction. She directs her team really well and her judgement is usually spot on.  The use of London settings is beautifully employed and adds an extra layer of atmosphere to evocative and historical locations used to their best effect in this gripping murder mystery.

Bookshop.org                                  Waterstones                      Hive Stores

Elly Griffiths is the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries and the Brighton Mysteries. She has won the CWA Dagger in the Library, has been shortlisted five times for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for The Lantern Men. Her new series featuring Detective Harbinder Kaur began with The Stranger Diaries, which was a Richard and Judy book club pick and won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in the USA. The Postscript Murders followed and was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. Elly lives near Brighton with her archaeologist husband.

Photo c. Sara Reeve

Published by marypicken

Passionate book reader. Love all kind of books from 19th century novels to crime thrillers. My blog is predominantly crime, psychological thrillers and police procedurals with a good helping of literary fiction thrown in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bookliterati Book Reviews

'I declare there is no enjoyment like reading!" Jane Austen

EmmabBooks.com

Book Reviews by Emma b Books

The Curious Ginger Cat

Books, travel etc.

The Reading Closet

Books, adventure and cups of tea!

STAGE LEFT

Love, theatre and ideas

findingtimetowrite

Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...

mybookishblogspot

Just books, more books and some other stuff too

Mrs. Peabody Investigates

International crime fiction, TV and film

Book Bound

For the love of words…

Always Need More Books

Books...need I say more?

Fantastic Reads

Lover of all things bookish 🖤

Curled Up With A Good Book

Honest Book Reviews, Meet the Author, Blog Tours, Cover Reveals & More!

%d bloggers like this: