Internationally bestselling author Mark Billingham's riveting new novel Love Like Blood marks the return of series character Tom Thorne, "the next superstar detective" (Lee Child), as he pairs up with perfectionist detective inspector Nicola Tanner of Die of Shame on an investigation that ventures into politically sensitive territory.
DI Nicola Tanner needs Tom Thorne's help. Her partner, Susan, has been brutally murdered and Tanner is convinced that it was a case of mistaken identitythat she was the real target. The murderer's motive might have something to do with Tanner's recent work on a string of cold-case honor killings she believes to be related. Tanner is now on compassionate leave but insists on pursuing the case off the books and knows Thorne is just the man to jump into the fire with her. He agrees but quickly finds that working in such controversial territory is dangerous in more ways than one. And when a young couple goes missing, they have a chance to investigate a case that is anything but cold.
Racing towards a twist-filled ending, Love Like Blood is another feat of masterful plotting from one of Britain's top crime novelists.
About the Author
Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston Old Peculier Award for Best Crime Novel and also won the Sherlock Award for "Best Detective Created by a British Author." His books, which include the critically acclaimed Tom Thorne series, have been translated into twenty-five languages and have sold over five million copies. He lives in London.
Read an Excerpt
They moved out of the shadows and across the road as the woman turned on to her front path. Quickly, but not too quickly, trying to time it right; heads down and hooded, ready to turn and walk casually away should anyone come along. A dog walker, a nosy neighbor. Emerging from between cars, they were coming through the gate as the woman pushed in her door key and one of them was calling out her name as she bent to pick up her bags from the step.
They had the water pistols out by the time she turned round.
She opened her mouth, but the words, the scream, were quickly silenced by the twin jets of bleach and a few seconds after she staggered back, blinded, and fell into her house, they were on her.
The water pistols were shoved back into pockets and the bags that had been dropped just over the threshold were kicked aside, so that the door could be shut. Folders and files spilled out on to the hall carpet, a bottle of orange juice, a notebook, pens. They stood and watched as the woman spluttered and kicked out at them, inching herself across the floor towards the foot of the stairs.
"Where does she think she's going?"
"She's not going anywhere."
Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakstons Old Peculier Award for Best Crime Novel and also won the Sherlock Award for "Best Detective Created by a British Author." His books, which include the critically acclaimed Tom Thorne series, have been translated into twenty-five languages and have sold over five million copies. He lives in London.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As usual the story becomes interesting and fast paced. It shows personal interaction and successes and failures, which makes the story that much more intriguing. It’s heart pounding and suspenseful! Another great read by a favorite author?
The book blurb does a good job of describing the main story line of #14 in the Tom Thorne series. DI Nicola Tanner is convinced her partner’s murder was a case of mistaken identity & she was the real target. Tanner has a theory about some recent honour killings in London. It’s a sensitive subject & she hasn’t exactly endeared herself to members of the religious communities involved. When she’s put on compassionate leave, some of her colleagues are hoping a little time away will help ease tension between the victim’s families & police. But Nicola has other plans. She figures her partner was killed because she was getting too close. All she needs is another cop willing to help, someone with a fluid regard for the rules who won’t mind colouring outside the lines if necessary. Someone like….oooh, I don’t know….Tom Thorne, maybe. They met on a previous case (“Die of Shame”) & although Tom is initially reluctant, Nicola isn’t above playing the sympathy card to get him on board. Besides, there’s a good chance one of his old unsolved homicides is related. “Nuff said about the main plot line. There are plenty of zigs & zags to keep you guessing, especially when you throw in several characters with questionable loyalties. But what really grips you is the subject matter. People of all religions find the concept of honour killings difficult to understand. Here, we are privy to the domestic situations of young men & women who are caught between parents’ traditional expectations & the freer lifestyle that a big city like London has to offer. The book also looks at the challenges faced by police when they attempt to investigate the crimes. Finding someone from the community willing to break the code of silence is difficult. If they press too hard, they may be accused of cultural insensitivity or racial prejudice. It’s a political hot potato that leaves both sides frustrated & many of the cases end up unsolved (see author’s comments at the end for a sobering dose of reality). But this is not a sermon about who’s right & who’s wrong. Instead, Billingham personalizes the issue by giving us relatable characters of all stripes who are just trying to live their lives. There are some nice twists along the way & he reserves a couple of whoppers for the final pages. One in particular, I gotta say….man, I did NOT see that coming. As usual, we get to enjoy Tom trading insults with ME Phil Hendricks over a few pints. I love Phil. If Lisbeth Salander & Quincy had a child (ok, a much younger Quincy) Phil might be the result. More time is given to Tom’s personal life & we get a closer look at his relationship with Helen as well as the challenges faced by 2 cops living under one roof. It’s an intricately plotted & pacey story that keeps you turning the pages to see how it all shakes out. Picking up one of these books is like running into old friends & I look forward to #15.