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Bloodline (Tom Thorne Novels Book 8) by [Billingham, Mark]
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Bloodline (Tom Thorne Novels Book 8) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Length: 353 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

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 and Buried 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


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)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1048 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TZ3D9E
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,251 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been counting down the days to the release of the next Tom Thorne novel. In Blood Line, Thorne is searching for a killer linked to a previous case - that of serial killer Raymond Garvey who murdered 7 women 15 years ago.

I think this is a 5-star read:

* Characterisation - If you have read all of the Thorne novels you will have shared his professional and personal ups and downs. Now we see a more sensitive side to him, particularly given through his inner most thoughts when on the train or listening to a CD.

Alongside Thorne are the credible and rich characters of Phil Hendricks, Louise Taylor and Carol Chamberlain - all of whom bring out a different dimension to Thorne's personality.

*Dialogue -- This is so natural. The humour makes you smile and in general is not linked to the crimes themselves. It reminded me a little of RD Wingfield in the respect of the realism put across through dialogue.

* The strength of the plot. You may work out some clues as you go along but this will not detract from the plot or spoil the twists.

* The pace - There are times when the pace slows down to match when the investigation is not moving as fast as Thorne would like. Then in the last few chapters I found that I was racing through them to keep up with Thorne's necessity for speed.

* The writing is quality. I thought the opening chapter and how this links in later gave great impact and the plot's realism enhanced by giving us different first-hand perspectives from various characters.

I only had one slight criticism and that is the murderer's motive did not seem to come strongly across to me as in previous Billingham novels. Overall this is well-written and visual - when's the TV series coming out?
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Format: Paperback
DI Tom Thorne is becoming one of the great characters in modern detective fiction. Over the course of the series that began with Sleepyhead, we've watched him evolve through various personal challenges, never losing his slightly world-weary, cynical approach to his life and career.

In Bloodline, Thorne is on the trail of a killer who is targeting the children of the victims of serial killer Raymond Garvey several years earlier. Garvey is now serving a sentence for his crimes but someone seems to be following in his footsteps. It's this intriguing premise which forms the core of the plot. Thorne is aided and abetted by a now familiar cast of colleagues: Brigstocke, Kitson, Holland, Hendricks and semi-retired Carol Chamberlain.

What makes this series so good is that the characters feel so much more real than in many regular police procedurals. The dialogue is realistic and the characters don't speak in cliches. Medical examiner Hendricks, Thorne's closest friend, is a perfect example, always adding a good deal of humour. Billingham's skills as a stand-up comedian lend themselves to his writing and balance the darker moments of his work. And perhaps because the characters do seem so much like real people, as a reader it's easy to grow to care for them.

Bloodline is another fine story with enough suspects, twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the very end. Whether read as a starting point to the series or in sequence with the rest, it's another highly enjoyable tale which should satisfy any lover of British crime fiction. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Once again, Billingham has served up an excellently plotted and finely crafted crime thriller.
The ongoing "subplot" with Debbie and Jason added an extra depth to the ongoing storyline, but also didn't patronise Jason as an intellectually-challenged child. Debbie's fragility and determination, and total involvement with her son drew a totally convincing (minor) character for us.

Tom Thorne is -- as always -- painted with very deft strokes. Billingham manages to portray him as a man not without personal doubts and insecurities, but at the same time, avoids the cliché of the "troubled hero".

The action is well paced, and the suspense is also fine-tuned such that we almost have our "ah ha" moments simultaneously with Thorne. Whilst hinted at, none of the plot devices is really telegraphed ahead too obviously.

All in all, a thoroughly well-recommended book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and as always my favourite detective in the world the great Tom Thorne was as brilliant as ever (I know he's fictional, but damn he's a great character).

I'm working my way through this series and I have not been disappointed once. Excellent storyline and the characters are superb and the ongoing cast just grow bigger and better - and yeah I said cast cast because Mark's books could easily become movies.

Great work Mark and please keep Tom Thorne alive (thanks).

Karrie 💞
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Format: Paperback
Billingham's Tom Thorne books continue to impress. They are fast-paced, quick reads that skilfully combine realistic characters, gruesome crime scenes and a sense of down to earth story telling that is often lacking from the more whimsical detective fiction. Now that he's not trying quite so hard, and letting the characters have a sense of space, the books work all the better for that.

However, "Blood Line" indicates that the Thorne series needs some new direction, some shake up amongst the main characters, to move the series into another dimension after a handful of novels that have seen the characters and situations become a little formulaic. This one is well-done, and you certainly won't want to be away from reading it for too long, but there was something about it that made me think there's now one eye on a TV series, because the end of the book felt like something you'd get in a dramatisation on screen.

Here's hoping that the Thorne series continues to develop and delight. "Blood Line" is okay, but something of a treading water addition to the series, from a writer who treats his audience with respect - whether it be on the printed page or when he's touring the book circles and library events.
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