Death Message (Tom Thorne Series #7)

Death Message (Tom Thorne Series #7)

4.3 11
by Mark Billingham
     
 

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Death Message is the unforgettable new entry in the suspense series featuring Tom Thorne, “the next superstar detective” (Lee Child), from Mark Billingham, one of Britain’s most compelling and talented crime writers. Billingham, the author of In the Dark and Buried, delivers a chilling thriller that begins with a body and a…  See more details below

Overview

Death Message is the unforgettable new entry in the suspense series featuring Tom Thorne, “the next superstar detective” (Lee Child), from Mark Billingham, one of Britain’s most compelling and talented crime writers. Billingham, the author of In the Dark and Buried, delivers a chilling thriller that begins with a body and a phone line, both of which are dead.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Det. Insp. Thorne receives an anonymous text message with a blurry photograph of a dead man, Thorne wonders if someone is playing a macabre trick in Billingham's outstanding seventh novel to feature the London policeman (after 2007's Buried). But when another, similar photo arrives, Thorne knows it's something much worse. Both victims are identified as members of the Black Dogs, a notorious biker gang, and fingerprints point to Marcus Brooks, recently paroled after serving time for allegedly killing the Black Dogs' leader. Brooks claims he was framed for the gang leader's murder; a few weeks before his release, Brooks's girlfriend and son are killed in a suspicious hit-and-run. Now Thorne fears that Brooks is out for revenge, targeting both the gang that landed him in prison and the bent coppers who may be behind it all. Billingham continues to enrich Thorne's world by introducing new villains and by highlighting connections to old cases and older wounds. (Oct.)
Library Journal
After his stand-alone In the Dark, Billingham returns to his Detective Inspector Tom Thorne series. This time Thorne is the recipient of pictures via cellphone of murder victims either before or immediately after they are killed. When Thorne traces the pictures to an ex-con whose wife and child were murdered shortly before his release, the link leads Thorne back to one of his old cases. Then a friend is threatened and dirty cops are implicated in the case. Thorne doesn't know whom he can trust, but in a strange twist, a confession from another killer unravels assumptions made by both the death message killer and Thorne himself, uniting them in an unexpected conclusion. VERDICT Billingham's latest deservingly won this year's Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. The plot twists and tight writing are sure to please fans of the genre. [This title was highlighted in LJ's Mystery Book Buzz webcast at http://bit.ly/AV1nw.—Ed.]—Lisa O'Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg
Kirkus Reviews
Forget You've Got Voicemail. DI Tom Thorne's cell phone is delivering a more macabre message: You've Got Corpses. Whoever beat to death dodgy used-car salesman Raymond Tucker is civic-minded in at least one respect. Instead of waiting for someone to report Tucker missing, he uses his phone to send Thorne a photo of the week-old corpse. Ricky Hodson's face also turns up on Thorne's phone shortly after he's suffocated in his hospital bed. Since Tucker and Hodson were both longtime members of the Black Dog gang, Thorne's suspicions soon focus on Marcus Brooks, who faced a horrific revenge after murdering the founding president of the Black Dogs some ten years ago and is now evidently engaged in reprisals of his own. But the case grows steadily more complicated. The next victim isn't another Black Dog but a police officer. Brooks, who's addressing himself more openly and directly to Thorne, insists that he arrived at one murder scene to find his intended victim already dead. And a tenuous bond begins to grow between Brooks and Thorne as they race to close the case, each in his own way. Though the climactic identification of the master criminals who are pulling the strings will pack a bigger wallop for Thorne than for most readers, the motives for their perfidy are satisfyingly chilling. Thorne's eighth (Buried, 2007, etc.) boldly pushes the British procedural toward the kind of cops-and-criminals psychodrama Americans are most likely to associate with James Lee Burke-a heady brew indeed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061941542
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Series:
Tom Thorne Series , #7
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
175,241
File size:
661 KB

Meet the Author

Mark Billingham is the author of nine novels, including Sleepyhead, Scaredy Cat, Lazybones, The Burning Girl, Lifeless, and Buried—all Times (London) bestsellers—as well as the stand-alone thriller In the Dark. For the creation of the Tom Thorne character, Billingham received the 2003 Sherlock Award for Best Detective created by a British writer, and he has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. He has previously worked as an actor and stand-up comedian on British television and still writes regularly for the BBC. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

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