Time of Death – Mark Billingham

Published on 23rd April 2015 by Little Brown Book Group


The astonishing thirteenth Tom Thorne novel is a story of kidnapping, the tabloid press, and a frightening case of mistaken identity.

Tom Thorne is on holiday with his girlfriend DS Helen Weeks, when two girls are abducted in Helen’s home town. When a body is discovered and a man is arrested, Helen recognizes the suspect’s wife as an old school-friend and returns home for the first time in twenty-five years to lend her support. As his partner faces up to a past she has tried desperately to forget and a media storm engulfs the town, Thorne becomes convinced that, despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt, the police have got the wrong man. There is still an extremely clever and killer on the loose and a missing girl who Thorne believes might still be alive.

My thoughts

‘Time of Death’ is the latest in the incredible Tom Thorne series by Mark Billingham. I love Tom Thorne and it’s a joy to be back in his world again.

The story takes us away from London again, to a small town community. Thorne and Helen are holidaying in the Cotswolds. They catch the news and see an item about the missing girls in Helen’s home town of Dorbrook. Helen recognises a friend from her childhood, Linda. Linda’s husband has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of the teenagers. Helen feels compelled to go and support Linda through this. She drags Thorne with her. Both Helen and Thorne find themselves getting involved in the investigation. Thorne cannot resist it, especially when he thinks they have got the wrong man and that one of the girls could be alive.

There is so much to love about this book, so much that feels familiar and wonderful. The authentic dialogue between the characters being one of them and the relationship between Thorne, Helen and Hendricks. It all feels perfect and is a pleasure to read. We now really know Thorne and his quirky ways. His relationship with Helen is quite new still and it is amusing seeing him trying to work her out. And the lovely Hendricks comes into town to support his friends and their unofficial investigation.

I loved the missing girls plot and the way Thorne is out of his London comfort zone, interfering in a police investigation. Dorbrook is very much small town England, with gossip and nosiness. We also get to know a little bit more about Helen and her background. I really like Helen and it is great to see where she comes from.

Funny (well Thorne makes me laugh), clever, incredibly well put together and a strong storyline. Another winner from Mark Billingham. If you haven’t met Thorne, you really do need him in your life!

A massive thanks to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for my copy of this book!


About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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5 Responses to Time of Death – Mark Billingham

  1. crimeworm says:

    Glad you enjoyed this – good to see a British Mark Billingham cover on the review (that cover disturbed me!) I missed The Bones Beneath, but hell, I’m just going to read this anyway and go back. I can’t think anything about Helen – but I love Hendricks! I’ve read these since the start, so it is like being back with old friends, as you infer! Great review – and I like the idea of him annoying other police personnel!

  2. Kay says:

    This is a series that I have not tried yet. I think I have the first book on my Kindle. Putting it on my list to begin this spring or summer. Sounds good!!

  3. suzigun says:

    Still not read anything by Billingham (to my shame). Really should put that right!

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