Thursday, 9 February 2012

Bloodline - Mark Billingham

Clasped in the hand of the victim is a sliver of an x-ray. Warning bells ring loudly in Detective Tom Thorne's head - is this the start of a hunt for a serial killer?

As odd pieces of film are found at other crime scenes, Thorne searching for links between the victims, discovers that perhaps the bludgeoned bodies are not as random as first thought. In fact, it goes back to another killer from the 1980s - Raymond Garvey. Garvey, who terrorized and killed seven women in four months. But as similar as these new killings are to the ones committed by Garvey - he's dead. Who's responsible this time? Is Detective Thorne dealing with a copycat?

Perhaps it's a cliche to describe a Billingham novel as tense and gritty - but that's what they are! Just sheer genius. I love how this story is written in a way that you're mulling along with the odd touch of drama when a body is found and before you know it you're almost at the end of the novel and your mind starts to race - is Thorne going to get this killer? The authors descriptions of characters, places and murders brings them scarily alive. You're immediately drawn in and can vividly see what Billingham is driving at.

Tom Thorne is a brilliant character - complex, a little bit rough and a dedicated policeman. Over the years, Billingham has allowed the reader to discover what lies below the surface of Thorne, what makes him tick, yet it feels like there is so much more to understand about this experienced detective. Great stuff.

If you're new to Mark Billingham, I suggest you start with Sleepyhead and work your way to this, another explosive Thorne drama.

With a few twists and turns, Bloodline is a story of family loyalty gone awry; a stylish thriller that delves in to the murkier side of London - a highly recommended read!

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