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on 12 January 2017
I have now been captivated by 13 Tom Thorne books, and can honestly say I have never been more engrossed in a novel than I have by the excellence of Mark Billingham.
I recommend Mark's profound insight to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers.
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on 7 July 2017
I couldn't find a theme through this collection. The individual stories were good and easy to follow. However Tom Thorne should reside in the complete novel not in short story form, in my opinion. It was a good holiday read.
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on 5 December 2014
It was ok. Actually I was disapointed as it wss mediocre. I personally did not feel it had the depth of thr usual Thorne books. It was ok but I've had better!
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on 19 January 2014
Very disappointing. I'm a Billingham fan but this was far from his usual standards. Can't wait for the next Thorne instalment so I can forget this book!
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on 5 January 2014
Have enjoyed every on of Mark Billingham's books, but the short stories were really not up to scratch for me,.
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on 4 June 2015
Not up to the usual standard. Sadly disappointed.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 December 2013
I have no idea why it took me so long to discover Mark Billingham, but, this year, I finally got around to reading some of the Tom Thorne books and I love them. If you have, as I am sure you must have, discovered Thorne earlier than me, then you will have some idea of what is in this ebook, containing two short stories. Obviously, this will not be full of jolly seasonal spirit, but there is some light among the darkness. We have unrequited love, gangsters, some suspicious suicides and, oh yes, Santa found dead under the tree...

Billingham captures perfectly the way that the Christmas season makes everything more extreme. People who go to work that day rather than stay at home to have their personal failures magnified, the feeling of loss and lonliness that many experience. Of course, Thorne is his usual, slightly grumpy, argumentative self. Personally, I wouldn't have him any other way. Just be aware that this is a short read - it probably took me about twenty minutes from start to finish. As Mark Billingham has become one of my favourite crime authors, I really enjoyed this, and I am sure that I will read it again.
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on 24 September 2014
Two very short stories, which took less than half an hour to read. Only the first features Thorne and it is the most insubstantial short story I think I've ever read. The plot twist is actually just a gentle curve, the end of which is obvious from the start. The second is a longer and slightly more engaging tale about an aging ex boxer which was a reasonable read.

I am a big fan of Mark Billingham's novels, but even at just 99p I would have got better value, and a much longer read, if I had bought a newspaper this morning.
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on 11 June 2016
I would only give this one star as there is no option for zero stars! It hardly passes as a short story and does not appear as mark Bellingham writing. Although very cheap, it was still too much money for what it is. I have read all the Tom Thorne series and hopefully await the next. Not if its the quality of 'thorne at Christmas' .
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on 16 December 2015
This, for me, was a book of two halves.

The first story, which featured Billingham's best known creation, finds Tom Thorne working the Christmas shifts and investigating a murdered Santa. I enjoyed the story but found it too short and solving the murder wasn't too taxing.

The second story though, Stepping Up, is a totally different kettle of fish. An ex boxer and gangland driver sees a face from the past when his daughter makes him join a step aerobics class. Will he get the chance to do the right thing this time?

Stepping Up was a surprise for me. I thought I knew where it was going but Billingham rope-a-doped me this time.

A decent little 2 story collection
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