I was a latecomer to the DI Tom Thorne (and more recently Nicola Tanner) series but mentioned in earlier reviews that I disliked Tom’s previous love interest so was glad when they split. I’d forgotten he had a new partner here… and think it’s because Billingham took a break from the series last year to write the (very brilliant) Rabbit Hole.
I’m a fan of Mark Billingham and Detective Tom Thorne. I read the sixteenth in the series (Their Little Secret) last year and assumed this would pick up where it left off. In fact, I didn’t read the backcover blurb at all before I started the book and found it a little strange that the series was set in the past and I didn’t remember that being the case.
I knew I disliked his partner or girlfriend and was relieved she seemed to be moving on; and here Tom’s separated from his wife. So it made sense but it didn’t. And, as it happens, there’s nothing in the book until the very end that references that this is a flashback of sorts*. It meant that I read the book amidst some puzzlement worrying that my memory was even worse than it is and that I’d just not remembered the books were set in the 1990s.
I think this is officially Tom Thorne number 16 but I only joined the Detective Inspector’s exploits four books ago and since then author Mark Billingham has introduced DI Nicola Tanner into the mix and though this mostly unfolds from Tom’s point of view, both feature strongly.
I commented in my last review that I was happy that Tom’s relationship was in trouble as I wasn’t a fan of his partner (and fellow cop) Helen and here they’ve recently separated.
I stumbled across Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne series at number 13. Amazingly it wasn’t a problem at all that I’d missed the first dozen and the two (Time of Death and Love Like Blood) I’ve read since could easily be read as stand-alone novels for those who haven’t previously met the English homicide detective. (Bringing me to the 15th book in the series and my third!)
Last year I read Mark Billingham’s standalone novel, Die of Shame and very much enjoyed it. I commented in that review that I’d previously read Time of Death, the 13th in a series by Billingham about DI Tom Thorne, though it wasn’t until I read this book that I discovered Thorne appeared (perhaps briefly as I didn’t mention him in my review) in Die of Shame.
We’re back in Thorne’s world either way this time around, but we’re reunited with our lead DI from the standalone, the dogged Nicola Tanner.
Goodreads calls this book Tom Thorne #13, which my finely-tuned skills of deduction lead me to believe is the 13th in this series. Which subsequently stops me in my tracks to wonder if I live under a bloody rock?! I ‘think’ I’ve heard of Billingham, indeed I readily requested this book for review; but how I have wandered this earth, reading endless police procedurals, crime fiction, suspense novels and thrillers without reading a previous book featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne?!