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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Police Procedural at its Best
Mark Billingham is a first class writer of police procedurals and this latest does not disappoint. With DI Tom Thorne receiving text messages showing pictures of dead bodies or videos of those about to be killed, the race is on to catch the protagonist. We know who dunnit fairly early on, and the story revolves around how he is caught. There are enough twists and turns to...
Published on 30 Jun. 2008 by Wendy Jones

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad. Not The Best In The Series.
In Death Message, DI Tom Thorne receives a photo message, on his mobile phone. It is a picture of a person's head, and Thorne quickly figures out, that this person is dead. Soon, more messages are being sent, and as the bodies start to pile up, Thorne and his colleagues are desperately trying to find a link between the killings.

I found this book a pretty good...
Published on 31 July 2008 by J.Flood


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Police Procedural at its Best, 30 Jun. 2008
By 
Wendy Jones "wjones7423" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels) (Paperback)
Mark Billingham is a first class writer of police procedurals and this latest does not disappoint. With DI Tom Thorne receiving text messages showing pictures of dead bodies or videos of those about to be killed, the race is on to catch the protagonist. We know who dunnit fairly early on, and the story revolves around how he is caught. There are enough twists and turns to make the plot interesting, and the private lives of the key players keep the book even more interesting. I found this to be an excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys UK crime books. This demonstrates it at its best.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad. Not The Best In The Series., 31 July 2008
By 
J.Flood (Dublin,Ireland) - See all my reviews
In Death Message, DI Tom Thorne receives a photo message, on his mobile phone. It is a picture of a person's head, and Thorne quickly figures out, that this person is dead. Soon, more messages are being sent, and as the bodies start to pile up, Thorne and his colleagues are desperately trying to find a link between the killings.

I found this book a pretty good read. As always, the characters of Tom Thorne, and his colleagues come across as quite realistic, and believable. The plot is interesting, if not quite page turning, as we learn who the killer is quite early on. However, there is still 'whodunnit' elements to other parts of the story, so this is not a problem.

Overall, I find the the DI Tom Thorne series of books quite enjoyable, my only gripe being that there is a bit of 'sameness' about them. I would rank this book 'middle of the pack' in comparison with other books in the series.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet?, 7 Oct. 2008
By 
Jeff "roadrunner" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels) (Paperback)
I have to disagree with many of these reviews. I've read all Billingham's books [in the right order, which is important] and this is quite possibly the best yet. Not in the least bit slow, nor are the others - I really cannot believe that! He is one of the very few current crime writers whose form hasn't taken a nosedive. This one is highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death Message - A welcome return, 31 Jan. 2008
By 
Martin Barnard "Barn13" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A welcome return to the Tom Thorne series (who surely ranks up there with Rebus).
I was really looking forward to this book as I have read all of the previous books and on the whole enjoyed them all (apart from The Burning Girl which I felt is the weakest of the series).
And to be honmest I wasn't disappointed.
This book was a real page turner and I couldn't put it down. Thorne is a great character, very likeable but also prone to the same mistakes as are we all. The story moved at a good pace with a well thought out plot.
A good book indeed. It was good to see Thorne's relationship with Porter and Hendricks examined in more depth and the characters seemed to have taken a natural progression.
The actions taken by the killer is also thought provoking which leaves you showing empathy towards him and resentment towards some of those trying to catch him.
The book is also full of the standard twists and turns, leaving you guessing who is crooked and who is not.
However, I have been disappointed in the reduction in character development for Dave Holland in recent books and the trend followed here. Though to be fair it was commented on in the story of the deterioration in relationship between Thorne and Holland. I always found Holland quite an interesting character (the tug of war between his girlfiend and Thorne over his salvation, the way his character had grown through the books, how he has been influenced by Thorne) one who I thought could maybe carry the torch in the series when Thorne would eventually have to retire.
I was also a little disappointed in the ending as I do not believe that Thorne would have let things lie like he does in this book. I thought he would have shown more vengeance.
But apart from the two above points a good book, and one where Thorne appears to have found success in his love life (it's about time!!). Can't wait for the next book because Mark Billingham is a talented author and I believe there is still a lot of scope in this series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorne's back!, 20 Aug. 2007
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Thorne is back and so is Billingham - both back on form and continuing the upswing shown in `Buried' after the rather grim and downbeat 'The Burning Girl'. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne still does some incredibly stupid things for a police officer of his rank in 'Death Message', having to strike a difficult balance between his personal life and the investigation of a series of brutal murders - but since a killer has involved him personally this time, he doesn't have much choice.

When he starts receiving personal text and video messages from a serial killer who is targeting a Biker gang and a couple of bent coppers, Thorne attempts to establish personal contact with the murderer. It's a big risk, not only compromising the integrity of the investigation, but with the police authorities very interested in the case, his actions draw unwelcome attention from his superiors. More than that, his decisions could put people close to him in grave danger.

Thorne's motives aren't rational and rather reckless, governed more by instinct than sense, with a human interest element behind his actions. There is however a thin line between being human and being just plain stupid. Thorne (and Billingham) got it badly wrong in 'The Burning Girl', where the DI's actions were not only unjustifiable for a police officer, they were also dubious on a personal level, and Thorne paid a heavy price for his mistakes. In 'Death Message' the balance and credibility in the character are restored, Billingham showing his usual accuracy and good ear for natural (and often banal and sexist) banter in the workplace, keeping Thorne's personal life interesting and bringing back a few old faces to add to the already high stakes that Thorne has gambled on this time around.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tension and laughs, 3 Aug. 2008
By 
D. E. Jager "Mutts fan" (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels) (Paperback)
This book is about horrible murders happening and the killer sending DI Thorne the pictures of it on his mobile. The motives behind the murders are so much different and you can almost feel sympathy for the murderer. I also had to laugh a good couple of times, due to the witty dialoge between Thorne and Hendricks, and Porter.
Written in a spell-binding way, this book I could not put down.
I do recommend you read this book in the right order with the other Tom Thorne books by Billiingham, as some re-knowledge will enhance your reading pleasure and understanding of plot unfolding.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy the other 6 first!, 25 Oct. 2007
Mark Billingham is the only author whose new books i look forward to as much as i used to anticipate a new Clash or Jam album! He's that good.

I suggest buying the other 6 featuring Tom Thorne together with this and working your way through them before reading Death Message, it will help fill in the time before the next installment and you won't be dissapointed.

I'd like to think that Thorne will have branched out slightly in his musical tastes by the next book and is giving the wonderful Josh Ritter and Band Of Horses a listen, otherwise more of the same please!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom is back - better than ever!, 3 Oct. 2007
Tom Thorne is back and so are a few ghosts from his past. I am a huge fans of the series and this one is up there with the best. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it kept me gripped to the last page. Mark Billingham is such a skilled writer and his characters are well drawn and believable. The dialogue is always razor-sharp. Read this as a standalone novel but I would urge you to start at the beginning and get to know Tom Thorne and company thoroughly. You won't be disappointed. He's a wonderful creation - I hope the forthcoming TV series does him justice!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Tom Thorne story to date, 5 Feb. 2009
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels) (Paperback)
Mark Billingham has really developed his style as a crime writer since beginning the Tom Thorne series. I've read all of them, and this is perhaps the best so far. Why? Because he's not trying as hard, that's why.

Death Message almost sees Billingham stepping off the gas and allowing his characters room to breathe and become more credible. There's still plenty of action and suspense, and the story moves along well and with pace, but the characters and dialogue are sharper and more intense this time around, without the impression of it all being a little too over-egged in places. Not easy to achieve - but Billingham's pulled it off.

As a fan of John Harvey, perhaps Billingham's been adopting some of the sense of space that he brings so powerfully to his crime novels - but whatever the reason - Death Message is well done, and sets things up nicely for this interesting and absorbing series featuring Tom Thorne to continue. Recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to true form, 16 Sept. 2007
I've been a big fan of Billingham since the very start but I definitely found he and Thorne took a bit of a wobble somewhere around The Burning Girl and stumbled a bit...but they're back and better than ever with Death Message!

It draws heavily on the events of The Burning Girl and helps smooth out some of the problems it caused for Thorne (and Billingham!) and kind of made me make my peace with ti as the weakest of the series. Its brave to go back to it and neaten it up a bit...

Death Message is sharp and extremely funny in places. Thorne is back on top form, the plot moves along well (Billingham really excels at a serial killer!) and some of the other supporting characters get a bit more of a look in which moves things along nicely and stops staleness.

Thorne is becoming so good he isn't just a replacement for Rebus, he's a serious rival...
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Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels)
Death Message (Tom Thorne Novels) by Mark Billingham (Paperback - 29 May 2008)
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