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Chris High books reviewed


Mark Billingham

Publisher:  Sphere paperback
ISBN:  10 0751 5 3 9945
Date:  March 18, 2010

Front cover of the book 'Bloodline' written by Mark Billingham

Having written his first stand alone, In The Dark, and then following that with his co-written childrenís book, Treskilion, Mark Billingham gets back to Tom Thorne in Bloodline, the Detective Inspectorís seventh outing. Itís been a while since Death Message but, judging by the quality of this novel, the break has done both the creator and the created a power of good.


Beautifully crafted, the story tells of a woman whose body is found in a London flat clutching the fragment of an X-ray. When Thorne discovers that the victimís mother had herself been murdered fifteen years earlier by notorious serial killer Ray Garvey, who then went on to kill several women before being caught, more bodies clutching fragments of X-ray appear, leaving the jigsaw puzzle in the mind of the killer to become more terrifying as the final picture begins to emerge in clinical detail.

This is crime fiction at its best, with multifaceted characters that never fail to surprise and fascinate the pick of the crop is Thorne himself who both understates and excites in same breath. David Morrissey is set to play him on TV and, as fabulous an actor as he is, itíll be hard to capture the balance of Thorneís near- schizophrenic quiet self-assurance and overblown self-doubting temperament.

With an electrifying pace, spellbinding descriptions that never over step the line and enter a world of sensation for sensationís sake, Bloodline is a master class of crime writing, with storytelling that gives fresh delight as each page is turned.





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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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