Book review: The Murder Book by Mark Billingham

Saturday, August 13, 2022 Permalink

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.

Book review: The Murder Book by Mark BillinghamThe Murder Book
by Mark Billingham
Series: Tom Thorne #18
Published by Atlantic Monthly Press
on 05/07/2022
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 0802159680
Pages: 416

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.

Here Thorne and Tanner are on the tail of a killer who’s taking the ‘See / Hear / Speak No Evil’ thing kinda literally and removing the respective body part of their victim. It seems as if they solve this case fairly quickly as their killer – originally very careful – suddenly starts leaving evidence in their wake. And of course Billingham hasn’t finished as Thorne learns that a former nemesis in pulling strings behind the scene.

I enjoyed this and we again spend time with coroner Phil Hendricks and Thorne’s new partner, Melita, a psychologist who often assists the police.

The only thing I struggled with here was a lack of context, so I do wonder how others: newcomers to the series; those who dip in and out; or those with poor memories like moi, will cope.

There’s reference to a secret Hendricks, Tanner and Thorne share which seemed quite important here but I struggled to remember. And the returning killer with an agenda wasn’t familiar to me though it could be highly possible I’ve met them in a previous outing.

That aside, this is an enjoyable read and again includes quite a few twists I didn’t see coming.

The Murder Book was published by Grove Atlantic and is now available.

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 


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