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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Case for DI Thorne
Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001.

Though still occasionally working as a stand-up comic, Mark now concentrates on writing the series of crime novels featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne. Mark...
Published on 19 Jun 2007 by J. Chippindale

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow
I found this a slog and contemplated giving it up but persevered purely because I already have the next book in the series and didn't want to miss any links that might trace back to this book.
The kidnapping at the beginning had promise but Thorne plods about asking questions at the school etc. picking up on a possible suspect for a previously unsolved crime which...
Published on 29 Sep 2008 by Helen Simpson


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Case for DI Thorne, 19 Jun 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001.

Though still occasionally working as a stand-up comic, Mark now concentrates on writing the series of crime novels featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.

For any new readers who have not read any of the DI Thorne books, you are missing a real treat. Start reading them now, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

Buried is the sixth book in the Tom Thorne series and they have all been equally good. It is not always easy for an author to maintain the high standard they have set themselves with previous books and even the best of them have the odd bad novel, but Mark Billingham seems to have been able to maintain a high standard with all of his offerings and long may that continue.

A sixteen-year-old boy has disappeared and the obvious conclusion must be that he has been kidnapped. Luke Mullen, to make matters worse is the son of a former high-ranking police officer. While no one is prepared to take the final step and say outright that the boy must be dead. Detective Inspector Thorne is brought on to the squad of officers dedicated to locating Luke.

The first and most obvious thing to do is identify and locate anyone who may have had a grudge against his father, a man who incarcerated a lot of villains in his years as a police officer. This case is going to be complicated and it is going to take time to sift through the suspects. Unfortunately time is the one commodity they have not got . . .
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BURIED : TREASURE, 25 July 2006
By 
OEJ & SKY - See all my reviews
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A teenage boy goes missing - the son of a former police officer who might have had some enemies with scores to settle.

This is Mark Billingham's sixth and latest novel featuring London-based DI Tom Thorne, and in my considered opinion, it's also the best yet.

You may have heard the saying that it's better to see an average film with a great script than a great film with a bad script. In a way, BURIED is an example of why it's better to read a well-written book with a so-so story line than an interesting story that's been poorly written. I have a feeling that some of the criticism that this novel has received has been a result of its less than sensational plot and story-line; some people possibly expected another serial killer tale (which this is not) with dead bodies discovered every other chapter. No, BURIED is a more intelligent story, a more realistic one if anything, and as someone who has read all of the author’s five previous novels I would suggest that he has put the greatest amount of thought and research into this latest story even if it lacks some of the bells and whistles that some of Mark's fans might have expected. A great deal of care and planning has gone into the structure of every single page, and with regard to the bigger picture of the entire book, it is a considerably more multi-layered piece of work than Lifeless, for example, which only had me thinking in one direction throughout.

The only weakness of BURIED was its ending, which of course I cannot really describe here but in this regard it bears comparison with several books I have read this year which had endings that failed to live up to the promises created earlier. With less than 100 pages to go I was enjoying this book enormously and eagerly looking forward to giving it the highest of accolades here on Amazon, but to my (slight) frustration it didn't quite deliver the knockout punch that I felt it could have. I have still given it the full 5 stars though, because the first 300+ pages deserved it on their own. Perhaps the key message for me is that Mark Billingham is back at his best after something of a dip in his performance, he's definitely a better writer than he ever has been and if he can come up with a smash-hit story-line for the next in the Thorne series, then he will have a major success on his hands. He has now proved that he has genuine depth of ability in his writing structure, and we know he has great imagination thanks to his debut novel Sleepyhead; if he can combine those two rare skills in one book next time round then we are all in for a real treat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow, 29 Sep 2008
By 
Helen Simpson (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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I found this a slog and contemplated giving it up but persevered purely because I already have the next book in the series and didn't want to miss any links that might trace back to this book.
The kidnapping at the beginning had promise but Thorne plods about asking questions at the school etc. picking up on a possible suspect for a previously unsolved crime which was an interesting storyline, but I never felt that there was any sense of urgency to find Luke.
I really feel that it could have been less drawn out and maybe 100 or so pages less would have made all the difference. About two thirds through the story picks up pace but as most people would have put the book in the charity shop pile by then, it's a bit late.

In Billingham's previous books (Scaredy Cat, Lazybones, Sleepyhead and even Lifeless) Tom Thorne was far more interesting than in this book. I just couldn't relate to him in this one...and I'm really finding the constant references to his fathers death in both this book and 'Lifeless' tedious now. Yes we get the message he misses his dad, he feels guilty and traumatised but enough already!

I like my hero's to be flawed but not boring.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buried.., 17 Aug 2006
By 
RD - See all my reviews
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This book sees Mark Billingham return to the winning ways of his first few novels after the poorer performance of `burning girl' and `lifeless' in the `thrilling' department. Buried still doesn't have him at his best but he's certainly heading in right direction for another winner.

This book has a reasonable amount of twists and turns to keep you guessing especially since there is more than one case and several threads to even the main one allowing for them to all come together in the final climax. It isn't the most thrilling book I've ever read and if I'm honest my heart rate never increased by much at any particular point in the book. It's still a good read though and like I said its Mr Billingham returning to his prime.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Lifeless !, 17 May 2006
By 
M. Peters "Michelle Peters" (Liverpool/ London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought 'Buried' as soon as it hit the bookshelves. Read it within the day. The story is great, and I still like Tom Thorne and am pleased for him (you'll find out why in the book). I was also quite pleasantly surprised at the first and second twist in the book, I did not see either coming.

On the other hand, the final twist can be seen almost as soon as you finish around three quarters of the book. I am still having mixed feelings about the ending, I think it relied too heavily on co-incidences and I thought it just ended up being too melodramatic... the book could have been tautened and concluded about 20 pages before it actually does.

My conclusion, 'Buried' does not have the same 'zing' as 'Lifeless' or 'The Burning Girl' did. On the other hand, Tom Thorne is beginning to be really likeable (from an Arsenal fan, this is high praise indeed). I would have liked to have seen more of Phil Hendricks in this book, though, I find him a fascinating character (and not because he's an Arsenal fan)

Overall, not brilliant, but a good book for the beach/ mountains !
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms Billingham's status as one of the best, 13 July 2007
By 
Ray Blake (Hemel Hempstead, UK) - See all my reviews
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In a crowded marketplace for grumpy police detective series, Mark Billingham's books about DI Thorne sweep aside most of the competition and stand alongside Ian Rankin's Rebus books easily.

As usual, Billingham finds a very different angle from the usual straightforward murder. This time, it is a kidnap which requires his involvement.

Billingham again gets everything right. Thorne is a recognisably real character, but usually a few steps ahead of the reader when it counts. The odd mix of rivalry and genuine co-operation between different parts of the force is again convincing. And his descriptions - of London, of houses and workplaces - are thoroughly evocative.

The book ends with a certain amount of ambiguity, which I always see to be the sign of a mature writer willing to take a risk and make the reader think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Series has hit its stride, 24 Jan 2013
Billingham has struck on a winning formula with his popular detective series: something or someone from the past re-emerges or is discovered in the present day and it is down to world-weary DI Tom Thorne to solve things.

Billingham does manage again to infuse the plot with plenty of unexpected and dramatic developments despite the tried and tested formula. This story on the surface seems like a routine kidnapping, but it is soon apparent that it is anything but that.

I enjoyed revisiting stalwart characters like Hendricks and Holland. It is vital for the `human' element that we feel we know these characters and care about them. If not for them, it would be just another crime novel. The way Thorne interacts with his colleagues and friends gives the novel its meat and its soul. Thorne's main strength is his ordinariness; he is not a super-cop, but a rough-around-the-edges, seasoned veteran.

This thriller is taut, suspenseful, shocking and disturbing. As well as the kidnapping it deals with hate crimes and racist attacks, sex assaults and bullying. Light reading it is not. This is all designed to push the reader's emotional buttons and to prompt righteous indignation. I can only speak from my own experience and say that it works. I was totally hooked and hoping that the wrong-doers were brought swiftly to justice.

This is no wish-fulfilment fantasy, Billingham is again at pains to illustrate police procedure and the work and policies of the various specialist crime units involved. Thorne operates very much in the real contemporary world.

Buried is a solid addition to the series and for my money, one of the best. He has really hit his stride and I am certain that the series can continue to provide exciting storylines and problems for Thorne to tackle for many years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars His Worst So Far., 7 May 2008
By 
J.Flood (Dublin,Ireland) - See all my reviews
I have enjoyed the Tom Thorne series of books, but, I found Buried a bit of a struggle to read. After the initial kidnapping, the characters seem to plod along, and there is no real sense of urgency or panic. A number of characters and plotlines are introduced, that don't seem particularly relevant, to the main case, and at times they take up more of the story, than the main kidnap storyline. It all comes together a bit clumisly towards the end, as the reader is hit with a series of twists.

I would have like to have given this book a higher rating, as I like the regular characters, Thorne, Holland, Brigstocke, Hendricks etc., but I feel this book is a bit dull, and two stars is about right.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good mysery, weak character development, 6 Aug 2008
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Buried (Hardcover)
First Sentence: You think about the kids.

DI Tom Thorne and his team are searching for the son of a retired, formerly-high-ranking police official. The boy has been kidnapped, and the father has been asked for a list of those who may have a grudge against him, but he leaves one name off the list. Thorne leads the team on an increasingly trying case while still dealing with his back injuries.

Billingham is great at creating a tight, twisty plot that, starts slow but, once you get into it, keeps you involved all the way through. He switches points of view in a way that is easy to follow and which heightens the suspense of the story. His sense of place is good and the dialogue crisp. It did have an ending I did not see coming, which was great.

What is lacking, to me, and has been through the series, is character development. I don't feel I have a real sense of Thorne, at least not enough to care about him or have the same sense of involvement I have for other similar characters.

I still have a couple more books of the series on my shelves and I shall read them, but I don't see myself going forward with this series beyond that.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 23 May 2006
By 
A. Baker (UAE) - See all my reviews
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I think Mark Billingham is the best fiction writer in Britain at the moment and the character of Tom Thorne is superb: funny, clever and messed up all at once. This book was very good in the series, but there have been better stories, such as Sleepyhead and Lazy Bones....it must be difficult to keep writing new and original storylines. Overall though it is well paced, with plenty of guess work as to who is the villian. Well worth the read
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Buried (Tom Thorne Novels)
Buried (Tom Thorne Novels) by Mark Billingham
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