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Chris High books reviewed


Mark Billingham

Publisher: Little Brown
Hard Back
ISBN-10: 0316730521
ISBN-13: 978-0316730525
September 6, 2007

Image: Front cover of the book 'Death message' by author Mark Billingham


Mark Billingham and his central character, Tom Thorne, just get better and better and Death Message, Thorne’s seventh outing, is quite simply one of the best crime fiction novels you will read this year.

The first message sent to Tom Thorne's mobile phone was just a picture - the blurred image of a man's face, but Thorne had seen enough dead bodies in his time to know that the man was no longer alive. But who was he? Who sent the photograph? And why? While the technical experts attempt to trace the sender, Thorne searches the daily police bulletins for a reported death that matches the photograph. Then another picture arrives. Another dead man.

It is the identities of the murdered men which give Thorne his first clue, a link to a dangerous killer he'd put away years before and who is still in prison. With a chilling talent for manipulation, this man has led another inmate to plot revenge on everyone he blames for his current incarceration, and for the murder of his family while he was inside. Newly released, this convict has no fear of the police, no feelings for those he is compelled to murder. Now Tom Thorne must face one of the toughest challenges of his career, knowing that there is no killer more dangerous than one who has nothing left to lose.

Mark Billingham has long been regarded as one of the best in the business, as his stack of awards and nominations testify. With Death Message, however, surely now his reputation as the best is secure.

Pared-to-the-bone prose, released with devastating effect, make this a novel that stands out from the crowd, with a storyline that grips from the start and hangs on for all its worth. Never will the reader become lost and never will the simple beauty of a story well told pale, as Billingham takes control of the emotions and wrings them out for all they are worth, tying up loose ends past and present, into one explosive package with exemplary skill.

A truly momentous novel put together by a truly momentous writer.

“Great site, Chris. Lots of interesting stuff. Thanks, as always, for the supprt and for the unflagging enthusiasm for our genre. See you in Harrogate... ”
Mark Billingham - November 2007

Order this book online - Linghams Booksellers



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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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