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Time of Death (Tom Thorne Novels)

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But Tom can’t help himself and, as he passes the time scrutinising the villagers, wheedling out their secrets, his years of experience tells him that something is wrong. My first impressions were pretty favourable – the serial killer storyline is increasingly hackneyed but Billingham tells the story well, and I initially liked the characters of both Tom and Helen.

Linda and her children are put through hell on earth and it’s this which takes the novel into more unusual territory. With a girl still missing, Thorne sets himself on a collision course with local police, townsfolk ­ and a merciless killer. In the last novel Thorne and cohorts had a horrible time - here we find him away with Helen for a holiday. When it's splashed all over the press that family man Stephen Bates has been arrested, Helen and her partner Tom Thorne head to the flooded town to support Bates' wife ­ an old school friend of Helen¹s ­ living under siege with two teenage children and convinced of her husband's innocence. The story follows Thorne, and his girlfriend Helen (also a police officer) after they get involved - at her bidding - in a missing persons case up in Warwickshire where Helen grew up.The book concentrates partly on his relationship with Helen and the progress of the ongoing investigation as seen from the outside, something we rarely see. There is also suspense because the reader knows the second girl is still alive - will Thorne get to get before she too is finished off? If every fictional police officer must be a violent criminal, the least authors could do is try to make it believable.

While I enjoyed Time of Death very much, I suspect that I would have liked it even more if I had read it with a knowledge of this well-established series to back it up (this is the thirteenth outing for Thorne). Yes, it did get better once Hendricks, Thorne's pathologist best mate, pitched up half way through and no, I can't say I've particularly taken to Helen, even though I now know much more about her.

Thorne has some baggage from past cases, but is a functional detective, well able to handle the pressures of the job, and oh joy! This was a thoroughly satisfying read, one that made me want to go back and read those that I have inexplicably missed earlier on the series. There are a couple of story arcs and I particularly liked where Helen is heading (no spoilers here), the issues she brining to our attention are contemporary, dark and unfortunately prevalent in our modern society and I am pleased she has found the strength to deal with this issue. This entry was posted in Crime, Review and tagged Crime on October 14, 2015 by Kate (For Winter Nights). I. Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year Award as well as the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective and been nominated for seven CWA Daggers.

I like a few mystery series and am a very loyal reader of each book in the series as they come out -- Louise Penny, Michael Connelly, Elizabeth George, Sara Paretsky, Camilla Lackberg to name a few. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Mark Billingham's book Time of Death has a place in the shortlist of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year for 2016. This series is going from strength to strength and already I am looking forward to the next instalment. Abduction, missing people/children, and when someone bounces along and interferes in the investigation, always a treat to read, things just not going to plan.

Le roman s'intéresse un peu plus au personnage de Helen, à son passé - et on tombe, sinon dans le cliché, du moins dans le déjà vu maintes fois. Time of Death sees Thorne and Weeks setting off on a romantic break to the Cotswolds only for Weeks to see the partner of her best friend from school being arrested for the abduction of two teenage girls. A television series based on the Thorne novels was screened in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and a BBC series based on the standalone thrillers IN THE DARK and TIME OF DEATH was shown in 2017.

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