Jul 14, 2011

BLOODLINE


A funny thing happened at Casa Crimespree when we watched the THORNE mini-series. I fell in love with Mark Billingham's character Tom Thorne all over again. So great to see him back at the beginning of this journey, before the support system and Thorne himself were battered, beaten, left for dead. It was a wake up call to all Billingham has managed to do in the eight books that have been published in the U.S.
Today number nine officially hits bookshops and on-line vendors throughout the U.S.A. BLOODLINE is a remarkable book. A twisty, terrible ride into the mind of two killers and the man looking at the cases they're involved in. What happens when the children of a Serial Killer's victims begin to die? From the epilogue at the very beginning of the book you'll know the stakes are high.
Did I turn you off with the words "serial killer"? Don't let it be so.
For this is a book about choices and history. The characters both heroic and cowardly. The puzzle is truly remarkable. Bloodlines is the kind of book you lose yourself in until you're done..
Once again I've got to go back to the mini-series. When you love an author's work from the beginning you often lose prespective of everything he has managed to accomplish. In Billingham's case he has dealt effectively and compassionately with Alzheimer's, Gay rights, the Iraq War, the socio-economic system, inner-office politics, homelessness. And you forget because you are so caught up in the character of Thorne. Simply one of the best Police to ever grace the page. His books are big. Think McDermid, Robinson, Rankin if you like Brit. Think Harry Bosch and Cork O'Connor if you're a fan of American police procedural.
Back to the mini series though. In watching the TV adaptation I found flaws. All faithful readers do. What I saw was eye opening. Tom Thorne is an over the top every man cop with layers and baggage. He is Jimmy Smit's Simone from NYPD Blues. He is Timothy Olyphant in Justified. He is Rudy Carazzo from the 57th Precinct series. He is Lucas Davenport without the cash. He is Harry Bosch with all the bad political savy.
Mark Billingham and Tom Thorne are the best of reads. There's a depth of character and plot written with the pacing of an airport best seller. It's time to join the party. Out today from Mulholland Books don't miss BLOODLINE.

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