Mark Billingham

Rush of Blood

"Rush of Blood’ is an excellent read which gripped me throughout."


Three couples become friends while on holiday in Florida. On the last night of their perfect holiday, the teenage daughter of a fellow holidaymaker goes missing. Some weeks later her body is found floating in the mangroves.

The couples remain in contact when they return to the UK and before long they are hosting dinner parties for each other. Each party is more fraught than the previous one as the twisted, kinky and hidden details of their lives emerge.

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Once again Billingham has stepped away from his series character (Tom Thorne) and produced a different kind of novel. 'Rush of Blood' is not a hard boiled police procedural. Instead it is a look behind the curtain of suburban life and the lies therein. The six main characters were all drawn with an artists' eye for detail and never once did Billingham allow one person to dominate the story. Each was displayed in all their glory and failings for the reader to pass judgement upon. Jenny the trainee DC was a fine creation and her enthusiasm for her new role shone through. I am confident enough in her to predict that at some point in the future she will share space with Tom Thorne or carry a novel herself. Billingham is a master of prose and with a well chosen word or two he paints a scene, a character or leads the reader a merry dance. The plotting is where 'Rush of Blood' will succeed or fail. Personally I loved the way Billingham shifted suspicion back and forth among the three male leads to keep the reader guessing. 'Rush of Blood' is an excellent read which gripped me throughout.

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