Mark Billingham


"Billingham is on top form with Buried."


Luke Mullen, sixteen-year old son of a former high-ranking police officer, has disappeared, presumed kidnapped. While no one quite dares to voice the fear that he could also be presumed dead, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is brought in to beef up the squad dedicated to locating the missing boy. The first thing the team looks for is anyone with a grudge against Luke's father. He's a man who'd put a lot of tough villains away in his time.

A list quickly emerges, but Thorne discovers that ex-DCI Tony Mullen has omitted the name of the most obvious suspect; a man, who'd once threatened him and his family, and who, after serving time for his original crime, is now the main suspect in a murder that has remained unsolved for four years. Is this a simple oversight , or is it understandable, considering the trauma of his son's disappearance? Could it be something more telling? Aware that he does not have the luxury of time, Thorne searches desperately for connections and leads, but learns that secrets are as easily buried as bodies and assumptions are the enemy of truth.

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Billingham returns with the irascible Tom Thorne for another tangled case. This time it strikes very close to home. This storyline is closely entwined with the murder of another teenage boy being investigated by Thorne's colleagues. Billingham uses the usual characters in the forefront of the book, whilst introducing some interesting new faces along the way. Buried has a much faster pace than Billingham's previous book and I found Thorne still his usual disagreeable and sullen self (one of the things I like about him!). I found his character - and indeed the story - to be lighter and more enjoyable without the presence of his father. Billingham is on top form with Buried. This is a great read.

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