DS 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 Labour 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.
Until someone else is killed…
Another great release from Elly Griffiths, this time from her Harbinder Kaur series, and this is my favourite from the series yet!
In Bleeding Heart Yard we are back with Harbinder, but in this book she has moved to London and has joined the Met Police. The ‘suspicious death’ (which happened at a reunion) that they’re investigating is Garfield Rice, a very wealthy Conservative MP – someone that one of her colleagues, DS Cassie Fitzgerald, used to know from school, and was at the reunion with! This adds a different twist on the novel as she – one of the Harbinder’s own team – comes under suspicion.
I really like Harbinder as a character – she feels like a breath of fresh air amongst other detectives: she’s a gay, Asian DI who doesn’t automatically think she’s right about everything, isn’t a ‘maverick’ that has to go against the rules all the time, and she’s not constantly on the verge of alcoholism like so many other characters I could name! She feels much less stereotypical than some other detectives in this genre – in fact, all of Elly Griffith’s protagonists tend to avoid these common cliches.
However, despite being a big fan of Harbinder, I really liked that the novel moved between multiple characters’ viewpoints as well as just hers. We follow Cassie for multiple chapters and we also see a lot of Anna, back from Italy to look after her ill mother. Anna was also at the same reunion where Garfield died. We’re never sure who is concealing information, and who is genuinely helping the investigation (other than Harbinder, of course).
Though this book is part of a series, I think it could very easily be read as a standalone as Harbinder is sort of ‘starting afresh’ in a new city and with a new team (and I always enjoy reading books set in the place I’m living at the time).
I found the case quite easy to keep track of and really entertaining, and though some of the characters were pretty horrible, it’s quite fun to dislike them!
Bleeding Heart Yard is a great read and makes me excited for future books in this series.