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4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 30 June 2008
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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on 31 July 2008
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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VINE VOICEon 7 October 2008
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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on 16 September 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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on 29 August 2007
Another cracking thriller from Billingham, those who have already been inducted into DI Tom Thorne's world will love this. Thorne is on top form again, chucking the rule book out of the window and taking calculated, but often needless, risks. Thorne is as imperfect as ever, and Death Message arguably develops him more even than The Burning Girl did, but unlike that book this has much more action and no less intensity.

Despite being part of a series of seven (so far) this works brilliantly as a standalone, so don't be put off by that. But if you have by chance read some of the others (for example: Scaredy Cat and Burning Girl) you will enjoy it even more.

It's classic Billingham and classic Thorne, and up there with the best of the series (Sleepy Head, Lazybones and The Burning Girl).

I can't believe after waiting a year and four months for this, I was done with it in two evenings! Arrrgh, now the agonising wait begins for the next instalment. There's almost 2 years to wait until the eighth Thorne book so you have the time to read the rest if you haven't already.
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on 31 August 2007
Having discovered the "crime" genre within the last couple of years, and as a vociferous reader, I quickly grew bored with predictable thrillers and 2D characters and then I discovered Thorne.

From Sleepyhead, and realising that there were still authors who could surprise, I was hooked. Seven books later and there seems to be no let up in the quality and consistency of these books. Each works as a stand-alone crime thriller, but as part of a series, like the previous reviewer, I'm left wanting more and can only expect you will be too!

Can't wait for the next Billingham novel even if Tom Thorne is only a cameo.
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on 20 June 2015
Seems over laboured in the plot. I've enjoyed all the previous books in this series but have to confess to finding this one tough going, and feeling somewhat bored by what's apparently unfolding. I'm only half way through so maybe it will pick up.
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on 7 January 2016
Great story and very well written. It took me a couple of days to read this through as I found the storyline flowed so well that I had to read on.The story follows DI Thorne in unmasking and catching the violent menace that is picking off members of the local populace
The main villian is believable and it is easy to feel the victims pain and DI Tom Thorne's frustration in his search at tracking them down.
The way the story moves between the past and the "now" shows the talent of Mr Bellingham.
So far, so good.
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on 28 September 2015
Bloody brilliant book, I love DI Thorne because he's a character that winds everybody up but you can't help but like and admire him (he bends all the rules) - who doesn't like a rebel?

The story was gritty and the characters were brilliant and believable. Mark is a very talented writer and always manages to maintain a strong plot that keeps you hooked from page 1.

I especially liked the ending, I thought it was cleverly done.

Well done Mark 💗
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on 3 August 2008
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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