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bleeding heart yard : a gripping, compulsive page turner

Can you forget committing a murder?

This is a gripping, compulsive page turner of a book with unexpected twists. It is the third in the Detective Harbinder Kaur series, divided into forty seven chapters and a prologue and epilogue.

In this engrossing book Elly Griffiths fluidly interweaves the narrative told from the perspectives of Harbinder, Cassie and Anna ,scattering possible red herrings throughout – or are they  ? What is the significance of The Bleeding Heart and how does it link in with the investigation? (It is a crucial part of the plot in various ways actually).There is an intricately woven web of forgetfulness, duplicity and dishonesty about both the current murder(s- there turns out to be more than one ) and the murder of David Moore years ago.

The book centres around a well kept secret -how when Cassie Fitzgerald was at school in the late ’90s, she and her friends,‘ The Group’  plotted, somewhat jokingly at first, to kill a fellow student – David- who had raped Cassie and others.Tragedy follows. But the event is blanked from her memory.Cassie is now a police officer , married with children and a dog , and loves her job.

Thirty years later Cassie’s husband Pete persuades her to reluctantly attend a school reunion.Cassie catches up with her old friends from the Manor Park School – they are high achieving and have become a famous actress (Isabelle Ishtar) , a rock star ( Kris/Chris Foster) and two of them have become prominent politicians (Henry Steep and Garfield (aka Gary)Rice . EFL teacher Anna Vance, who teaches English in Florence, back visiting her terminally ill mother, is somewhat the odd one out – is she hiding something? We see how tensions, pressures , resentments and old flames surface.

One of them, the high profile and perhaps dubious MP Garfield ‘ Gary’ Rice is discovered dead in the school bathroom, allegedly from a drug overdose.The investigation is headed by Cassie’s new boss DI Harbinder Kaur, who has just been promoted and transferred to  London.The trouble is, Cassie can’t shake the feeling that one of them has killed again.Is she correct ? Or was it a politically motivated murder? It is in Cassie’s interest to slant the investigation so that it appears that way, but then there are more murders …

Police and medical examiner work is excellently described and we meet Harbinder’s team and the dynamics and undercurrents with in it.

The book is gloriously written and we learn about some of the main character’s home lives and background ,for example how Harbinder deals with moving to London ,being head of the team and fitting in, sharing a flat with two other women, Mette, a rather striking blonde Danish architect, and Jeanne a primary teacher.We also learn about Anna and her worryingly terminally ill mother and her past/present relationship with Chris – will they get back together? .

A ‘ reconstruction of the crime’ of David’s murder is suggested – this leads to a breathless nail biting confrontation and more twists in the plot. When interviewed by police the characters produce false excuses and memories…

Until all is revealed ….

I anxiously await more in the series.

https://www.hachette.com.au/elly-griffiths/bleeding-heartyard#:~:text=A%20propulsive%20new%20thriller%20set,she’s%20deleted%20from%20her%20memory.

 

 

 

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