Tag Archives: Mark Billingham

The Killing Habit

23 Jul

In “The Killing Habit” by Mark Billingham there is someone killing cats in London. DI Tom Thorne from homicide is handed the case, because his superiors fear that what they are dealing with is a serial killer in training.

Meanwhile, DI Nicole Tanner, now with homicide and recovering from the traumas of the previous book, is dealing with the killing of a Syrian refugee.

Slowly, the strands of both cases weave together.

This is a superb book from Mark Billingham. Shot through, as are all his books, with the dark sense of humour that police officers the world over need as a survival mechanism.

The book is well plotted, well written, and has a bloody great twist in the tail at the end of the book. One that left me shocked.

Highly recommended.

Bloodline

21 Jun

Raymond Garvey was a serial killer, now deceased.  Someone, however, has started killing the children of Garvey’s victims.  Tom Thorne is racing against the clock to find all of the offspring and get them into safe custody before the killer can reach them.  But will he succeed?

“Bloodline” is one of Mark Billingham’s best works.  Well plotted, well written, and a massively enjoyable read.

The shocks keep coming.  You barely have time to draw breath before you’re broadsided again!  And the twist towards the end is a doozy.

Mark Billingham is one of the best crime/thriller writers around today, and “Bloodline” is one of his best books.

Cannot recommend highly enough.

Die of Shame

5 Jun

“Die of Shame” is an excellent stand alone novel from Mark Billingham.

When a member of a counseling group for addicts is murdered, DI Nicola Tanner has to work against time, an unhelpful therapist, and the rest of the group, to find out why the person was murdered, and who did it, before someone else dies of shame.

Well plotted, well written, and a deeply absorbing read.  The book swaps view points between past and present, but the changes are well delineated, so as not to cause confusion to the reader.

I’d worked out who the killer must be, but couldn’t get the motive, not until close to the end, but the massive plot twist right at the very end came out of nowhere and broadsided me.

DI Nicola Tanner is a bit different from Mark Billingham’s other characters.  I found her unsympathetic, and a bit of a pain in the arse, to be honest.  So a cameo appearance by pathologist Phil Hendricks was a more than welcome interlude.

Fantastic book.  Highly recommended.

In the Dark

26 Apr

“In the Dark” is a stand alone thriller by Mark Billingham.  Except it really isn’t.  The main character is DC Helen Weeks, who becomes a major character in the Tom Thorne series later on.  I love the fact Mr Billingham created a character he felt was too good to only use once.

Helen is heavily pregnant when her partner goes out on a night out to farewell a retiring fellow police officer and is killed by a car at a bus stop, when the car is shot at by gang members.

But is everything what is seems?  Confused and grieving, Helen’s cop sensors still pick up that something is wrong.  She sets out to find out the truth.

Meanwhile, a young man, who happened to fire the shots into the car, finds his world collapsing around him.

Eventually their paths cross as “In the Dark” twists its way towards it’s finale.

I admit to feeling a little let down by the penultimate chapter, but it did not detract from making the book a powerful and absorbing read.

Like the majority of Mark Billingham’s books, “In the Dark” is set in London, giving added pleasure for Londonphiles like myself.

Highly recommended.

From The Dead

17 Apr

“From the Dead” by Mark Billingham is an excellent British crime novel.

In DI Tom Thorne, Mark Billingham has created a detective as interesting and as readable as Ian Rankin’s Rebus, or Peter Robinson’s Banks.

The Tom Thorne books are mostly set in London, for those who like their reading in familiar locales.

In “From the Dead” a woman who has served ten years for conspiring to murder her husband is released from prison.  Then someone starts sending her photos of her husband… her still very much alive, husband.

From that point onwards the book becomes a roller-coaster ride of action and murder.

This book has, quite frankly, more twists than a corkscrew!

Fantastic read.  Highly recommended.

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