13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Burning Girl,
This review is from: The Burning Girl (Tom Thorne Novels) (Paperback)“The Burning Girl” is the forth book from Mark Billingham to feature the exploits of DI Tom Thorne as he must yet again wrestle against the foes of the London underworld. This time is a departure from the formula of the first three books DI Thorne must start to pick his way into the goings on of organised crime and the money making schemes that these ruthless gangs undertake.
A turf war seems to be developing between a traditional London based gang run by the merciless Billy Ryan and the new kids on the block, a group of Turkish immigrants run by the sinister Zarif brothers. Each side seems to be knocking off their opponents one by one and as the stakes get higher DI Thorne and the other members of SO7 are dragged into the fray. For Tom Thorne the interest in the case is made all the more relevant as he’s been contacted by former DCI Carol Chamberlain who’s now working on old cold cases. Carol has been threatened by a man claiming to have carried out a crime years ago, that of setting an innocent schoolgirl on fire. The things that connects it all is that for the last 20 years or so a man called Gordon Rooker has been locked away for having been convicted of the crime and he was a former “colleague” of Ryan’s.
I felt with the first three of Mark Billingham’s DI Thorne books that the standard of writing and plot had steadily increased with each instalment, I somewhat disappointed therefore to report that I felt this one hadn’t really upped the stakes any further.
It’s a solidly written and enjoyable book, make no mistakes about that, but I just felt that leaving the actual case besides there wasn’t any good character sub-plots going on. The reappearance of Carol Chamberlain was something I was looking forward to after he introduction in “Lazybones” and yet he character never really got going. Similarly the meeting up again of one of Thorne’s old police rivals, now DCI Tughan should have spelt the start of some cracking fireworks, instead it all sort of fizzled out. The best bits were about Thorne’s dad who is still able to make a standard scene into something sadly humorous.
I certainly won’t be giving up on Thorne for the moment as, as I say, this is still a good book, but hopefully the next one will raise the ante somewhat.