Mark Billingham

The Bones Beneath

"a thoroughly entertaining read."


Tom Thorne is back in charge - but there's a terrifying price to pay. Stuart Nicklin, the most dangerous psychopath he has ever put behind bars, promises to reveal the whereabouts of a body he buried twenty-five years before - but only if Thorne agrees to escort him.

Unable to refuse, Thorne gathers a team and travels to a remote Welsh island, at the mercy of the weather and cut off from the mainland. Thorne is determined to get the job done and return home before Nicklin can outwit them.

However, Nicklin knows this island well and has had time to plan ahead. Soon, new bodies are added to the old, and Thorne finds himself facing the toughest decision he has ever had to make.

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I'm a long time fan of Tom Thorne and I was very interested to see how he would fare when taken out of the city and placed in a remote location. Billingham has essentially stripped away all the familiar facets of Thorne's life and upped his never-ending game of finding new ways to make Thorne's life hell. The novel is quite linear in its plotting and while I could make general predictions of what would happen, it was always good to see how the author would interpret the situation. One thread however blindsided me to the point where a muttered swear word escaped my lips! The pacing of the novel is progressive throughout and with Nicklin's expertly created character, you always feel something big is about to happen. And you wouldn't be wrong! Thorne is his usual self and as ever his personal life plays an important part in the story. While not scaling the heights reached by 'Sleepyhead' or 'Lazy Bones', I found 'The Bones Beneath' to be a thoroughly entertaining read.

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