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Rush of Blood [Hardcover]

Mark Billingham
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 14.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Aug 2012

Perfect strangers.

A perfect holiday.

The perfect murder...

Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, their perfect holiday takes a tragic twist: the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves.

When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don't always like what they find: buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices...

Then, a second girl goes missing.

Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody can imagine?

A brilliantly plotted, utterly gripping thriller about the danger of making friends on holiday, Rush of Blood is Mark Billingham's most ambitious and accomplished work to date.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (2 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847444210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847444219
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 15.4 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Billingham is one of the UK's most acclaimed and popular crime writers. A former actor, television writer and stand-up comedian, his series of novels featuring D.I. Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year Award as well as the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective and been nominated for seven CWA Daggers. His standalone thriller IN THE DARK was chosen as one of the twelve best books of the year by the Times and his debut novel, SLEEPYHEAD was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade. Each of his novels has been a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.

A television series based on the Thorne novels was screened in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and series based on the standalone thrillers IN THE DARK and RUSH OF BLOOD are currently in development with the BBC.

Product Description


Hugely effective and entertaining . . . many twists and shocks (The Times)

The suspense is expertly built...the perfect ending to an extremely gripping book (Daily Express)

Very effective...excellent stuff (Daily Mail)

Billingham ratchets up the tension, with a twist-filled climax that shows exactly why he's one of the UK's leading crime writers (Shortlist)

A superbly plotted book (Reader's Digest)

Dialogue is perfectly pitched...It is a credit to Billingham's skill as a writer that his characters reveal so much to the reader when blethering around the dinner table while revealing so little to one another (Scotland on Sunday)

Page-turning...assertive crime writing (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

The new standalone from the No.1 bestselling author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tricky one this... 2 Aug 2012
From the outset I will say that I am a steadfast fan of Mr Billingham, having read all the books, having watched the excellent TV adaptations and yes I probably would buy the T-shirt, but overall I found this a curious and unsettling departure of style for him.

The story opens in Florida as three British couples find themselves implicated in the disappearance of a teenage girl, Amber-Marie Wilson from their holiday resort. She is later discovered murdered. On their return to the UK the couples resume contact with one another over a series of meetings and meals which exposes the quirks and frailties of their personal relationships heightened by the fact that another young girl goes missing in similar circumstances to the Florida case. Jenny Quinlan, a young trainee detective is tasked with investigating them as the Trans-Atlantic connection becomes evident and puts them under scrutiny in a bid to expose their darkest secrets and to catch a killer or killers...

For my part, I did enjoy the Florida-based sections of the book more with the beautifully drawn account of Patti Wilson's heartache and sense of loss over the murder of her daughter and the depiction of Detective Jeffrey Gardner in charge of the US investigation, a focused and likeable character who liaises with his British counterpart the equally focused and ambitious Quinlan. I appreciate that having set the premise that by default all of the couples are under suspicion and that they should appear to a certain degree to be unlikeable, but I feel that Billingham pushes this too far and that as a reader you begin not to care `whodunnit' or indeed why, such is the harshness of the characterisation and it felt at times more caricature than characterisation. With the grand reveal (which I guessed- humph!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr B .. you little tinker .... 18 Jan 2013
Oh Mr Billingham .. you tempting little tinker, throwing your Thorne morsels around & then leaving us wondering & wanting more ... Well, read this and you'll understand that !! What a great story and the set-up of the book itself is superb .. short, sharp chapters all interspersed with e-mail's succeed in keeping the story moving & the blood flowing .. all the characters compliment each other nicely and the dangling back stories are a compliment to the intelligence of the reader .... the premise of bonding on holiday, the dreaded " let's keep in touch " actually becoming a reality, only to reveal true personalities & dark flaw's instead of the sun-soaked & sangria'd up one's presented abroad.... very good & a great build up to a fantastically realised end with a little sniff of Thorne to boot ... the boy done good ...
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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come Die With Me 23 July 2012
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Are you allowed to keep saying that an author's latest book is his best yet? Every time? Well, it's true in the case of Mark Billingham. Since he's spread out beyond the Tom Thorne series, his writing seems to continually get better and better. Rush of Blood is another standalone that refers to DI Thorne only in passing and as a matter of form (for those wondering what might have happened to him after his actions at the end of Good as Dead), the author instead delving into new directions on a case that relates to the kidnapping of a child in Florida. Even more impressive is Billingham's take on the whodunit crime sub-genre, delivering a book that meets every requirement for an unputdownable page-turning thriller, while at the same time providing the author with a new angle from which he can approach certain familiar themes.

The disappearance of a young child from a holiday resort will have a recognisable familiarity and topicality, but Billingham ties it brilliantly into a tradition that is just as well-recognised which allows him to play to his real strengths of delving into those particularly British attitudes and behaviours in relation to crime. Three British couples, at the Florida holiday resort at the time of the disappearance, actually follow up those promises to meet up again and take it in turns to invite each other over for dinner when they get back home. Obviously they have the case to discuss in common, but just as predictably the differences between them lead to tensions over the course of the meetings, particularly when a trainee detective constable conducts some follow-up interviews with them for the Florida police investigation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finished 17 Jun 2013
By Pamela
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read it straight away as I heard good reviews on the BBC breakfast programme when Mark Billingham was a guest, it is now on loan to a family member, good read, perfect for the the holiday time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, but doesn't quite work 30 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have said in detail more or less what I felt about this book. I can see what Mark Billingham was trying to achieve, but I don't think he quite made it. I found that I really did want to know the `truth', so I persevered to the end, but found it rather hard going at times. The three couples involved are just too ghastly and grotesque, the dialogue too tedious (I assume the inclusion of every banal and inconsequential exchange of words was designed to lay yet more red herrings on the trail, but oh dear...), the switches of tense too forced. I agree that, from a new author without an established reputation, this would have struggled for publication, without radical editing at least.

I am greatly looking forward to the next Tom Thorne novel, with Mark Billingham back in the genre at which he excels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly good entertainment
I found this book to be engrossing and I read it in two sittings. The central characters - three couples who meet on holiday in Florida are unsympathetic with complex... Read more
Published 3 days ago by C. Coote
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I love Mark Billingham books & this was no exception gripping read from beginning to end, couldn't put it down.
Published 9 days ago by GeeBee
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read
Great book, couldn't put it down from half way through. Excellent character building, each person seemed real.
Published 13 days ago by Ruth
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent read, good twist at the end. Nice to see something other than your typical police/detective type novel.

Great writing from the author as always
Published 14 days ago by Mr Nice Guy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Different from the previous books of his that I have read but still enjoyable. Did not expect the twist at the end.
Published 25 days ago by A M Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
I could not put this book down! Many twists and turns, expressed in tight and descriptive prose. Very, VERY recommended.
Published 29 days ago by TIM JONES
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Hooked from beginning to the end -a great twist even though you think you know who did it but did they?
Published 1 month ago by bren
5.0 out of 5 stars Rush of blood.
An excellent read. It kept me griped until the last page. Would really recommend it. It's book to keep to read again.
Published 1 month ago by Gloria Aitchison
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written good read
I thought the book well written and was compelling to read although found part of the ending was not unexpected.
Published 1 month ago by Trish
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