Tom Thorne finally has it all.

In Nicola Tanner and Phil Hendricks, Thorne has good friends by his side. His love life is newly reformed by a promising relationship and he is happy in the job he has devoted his life to.

As he sets off hunting the woman responsible for a series of grisly murders, Thorne has no way of knowing that he will be plunged into a nightmare from which he may never wake. A nightmare that has a name. Thorne’s past threatens to catch up with him and a ruinous secret is about to be revealed. If he wants to save himself and his friends, he will have to do the unthinkable.

Tom Thorne finally has a lot to lose.

@MarkBillingham #TomThorne #TheMurderBook

My Review

I have read one of Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne novels before – Cry Baby – but this one was even better. Mark is an experienced, clever writer who combines excitement, gory murder, dark humour, comradeship, serial killers and hilarious police banter and wraps them all up seamlessly with no loose ends. No mean feat.

Reading this with my fellow Pigeons was a great way to enjoy the book, as we could discuss our theories, try and work out who might be untrustworthy, and even hand out a death sentence when we thought it was justified. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is a complex character, with a great deal of history, which can sometimes cloud his judgment. He is prone to losing his temper at times. Sidekick DI Nicola Tanner is also complex, something she did a while ago coming back to haunt her.

My favourite though is still Phil Hendricks, a wonderfully drawn character, with a wicked and often inappropriate sense of humour. More tattoos than Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, plus piercings in places we probably prefer not to know about, Phil is the pathologist who examines the murder victims.

Thorne has a new girlfriend – forensic psychiatrist Dr Melita Perera – Hendricks tells him she’s out of his league, but I disagree, I didn’t warm to her. She has clients with certain predilections (one of them gets aroused by giving and receiving enemas) and/or a history of violence, but she resents Thorne’s warnings to be careful. It’s her job.

I can’t say much more because of spoilers, but Thorne will meet his nemesis, which will drag up the past for him and his colleagues and put a number of people’s lives in danger.

A thrilling read by a master of his genre, I look forward to more of the same very soon.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.

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