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Chris High books reviewed

From The Dead - Mark Billingham

Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN-10: 1408700751
ISBN-13: 978-1408700754

19 Aug 2010.

Front cover of the book 'From The Dead' written by Mark Billingham

From The Dead, Mark Billingham’s ninth Tom Thorne novel and Second outing this year following Bloodline, can only be described as mesmerising from first to last. Gritty, compassionate, tense, multi-faceted, brilliantly thought out, provocative and deeply compelling, this is a novel to sit and savour in one sitting.


When Donna Langford receives a very recent photo of her ex-husband in the post, she gets the shock of her life. Because she's just spent ten years in prison for organising his murder. When her daughter goes missing, Donna believes there can only be one man responsible and hires Anna Carpenter, a determined young private investigator, to find him. DI Tom Thorne worked on the Alan Langford case, so when Carpenter brings the photo to him, he refuses to believe that the man whose body was found in a burned-out car ten years before can still be alive. But when a prison inmate that he and Anna interview is viciously murdered, Thorne starts to understand that Langford is not only alive, but ready to get rid of anyone who could threaten his comfortable new life in Spain.  

The great thing about From The Dead is the way Thorne develops as each page is turned. Never dull, he constantly ebbs and flows on an emotional tide that continuously threatens engulf him both as a person and as a police officer, only for him to pull back at just the right moments.

The sense of place – fluctuating between London and Spain – and the tight, beautifully written dialogue combine to keep the pace at an all time high, whereas Billingham’s ability to draw peripheral characters as compelling as they are here is pure crime fiction genius.

In short, From The Dead is a must read novel that guarantees nails will be bitten to quick and nerve endings shredded by its conclusion.

Chris High.





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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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