Readers who have assiduously followed the upwards trajectory of Mark Billingham’s career -- and consider him their personal property -- are perhaps a touch resentful of the fact that he’s now one of the UK’s bestselling male crime writers. But it was only a matter of time before the mass of readers cottoned on to how on-the-nail such Billingham books as Lifeless
are. Of course, his creation, the implacable DI Tom Thorne, is one of the most distinctive coppers in the genre, and has a legion of followers. After the much-acclaimed standalone In the Dark
(in which Thorne took a back seat), Billingham's beleaguered copper is back in Bloodline
, and it’s a welcome return.
Tom Thorne and his partner Louise have been trying to become parents, but then Louise suffers a miscarriage, which she finds devastating. Thorne tries his hardest to console her, but neither his words nor his actions seem to do the trick. At work, Thorne and his fellow detective Hendricks spend their time trading barbed one-liners, but they have a grim problem on their hands. There appears to be a disturbing parallel between several murders in the present and the gruesome career of serial killer, Raymond Garvey – but Garvey is dead, killed by a brain tumour. Thorne and Hendricks realise that a lethal individual is murdering the children of Garvey’s victims. It’s up to them to find out why – and quickly, before more innocent victims die.
The steady, understated accretion of tension is Billingham's strategy in Bloodline – as an author, he’s no believer in artificially manufactured climaxes every few chapters (as are some bestselling authors); Billingham, thankfully, is prepared to trust the reader’s patience and attention. And we’re in very capable hands. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An efficient and fast-paced police procedural, technically superb from its gripping opening to its climax. Billingham, who knows exactly what he's doing with his material, has the recipe just right (Guardian
Another fine addition to Billingham's formidably assured body of work (Daily Mail
The revelations about the killer are totally unexpected - and proof that Mark Billingham is still top of the tree (Express
I found my heart racing as I read the last few chapters. I cannot remember the last time that happened to me while reading crime fiction...Tom Thorne is now definitely one of my favourite modern fictional detectives (The Bookbag.co.uk