Read Time of Death by Mark Billingham Online

time-of-death

Time Of Death…The MissingTwo schoolgirls are abducted in the small, dying Warwickshire town of Polesford, driving a knife into the heart of the community where police officer Helen Weeks grew up and from which she long ago escaped. But this is a place full of secrets, where dangerous truths lie buried.The AccusedWhen it's splashed all over the press that family man StephenTime Of Death…The MissingTwo schoolgirls are abducted in the small, dying Warwickshire town of Polesford, driving a knife into the heart of the community where police officer Helen Weeks grew up and from which she long ago escaped. But this is a place full of secrets, where dangerous truths lie buried.The AccusedWhen it's splashed all over the press that family man Stephen Bates has been arrested, Helen and her partner Tom Thorne head to the flooded town to support Bates' wife ­ an old school friend of Helen¹s ­ living under siege with two teenage children and convinced of her husband's innocence.The DeadAs residents and media bay for Bates' blood, a decomposing body is found. The police believe they have their murderer in custody, but one man believes otherwise. With a girl still missing, Thorne sets himself on a collision course with local police, townsfolk ­ and a merciless killer....

Title : Time of Death
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781408704813
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 436 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Time of Death Reviews

  • Lela
    2018-10-04 20:00

    Whenever I notice a new Tom Thorne police procedural by Mark Billingham is about to be released, whoosh, I grab a computer to pre-order it. Police procedurals are my reading "mind candy" and Tom Thorne novels are the tastiest! Tom is a very flawed, often selfish, free-acting, aging policeman. Following directions, staying out of trouble and closing his bothersome mouth are just too hard for him. His lover, Helen is, also, with the police but in a totally different division. Tom's bailiwick is homicide; Helen's child abuse in all its forms. They seem a strange pair. Neither seems particularly happy with each other but it's probably because they are both bloody minded and tenacious and touchy. This iteration (#13) is different. Helen and Tom are on a much-needed vacation when Helen recognizes an old school chum on TV - the wife of a man just taken into custody for the kidnapping of 2 young girls. Helen has some guilt and some hidden horror that drives her to help her friend. Tom tags along and unofficially begins to investigate to the distinct displeasure of the man in charge of the case. In every novel since Tom and Helen got together, I have frequently wanted to give them both a shaking and a severe talking to. They can be so hurtful to each other. But, I will keep frequently checking new publications for a new Mark Billingham Tom Thorne book, and keep making those pre-orders. Mark and Tom never disappoint!

  • Liz Barnsley
    2018-10-16 20:58

    Oh what sheer joy it is to pick up another Thorne novel from Mark Billingham - you just KNOW you will not be disappointed, this really is a most marvellous series.In the last novel Thorne and cohorts had a horrible time - here we find him away with Helen for a holiday. When two girls go missing in Helen's home town and the suspect is her friend's husband she insists on going to support the family - Thorne of course cannot resist getting involved in the investigation despite being very unwelcome.Always heart stoppingly addictive, I read this fast - when it comes to Crime Fiction Mr Billingham really is at the top of his game, each novel bringing something a little different and for such a long running series it maintains a fresh new feel each time. Not that easy to pull off but seemingly effortless in this case.This was definitely one of my favourites so far (mind you I'm sure I said that last time which just goes to show) - exploring some dark themes, flowing along at a heck of a pace, twisting and turning to another trademark thrilling conclusion.As ever a pleasure to spend time in Thorne's company - the whole series definitely comes highly recommended from me.Happy Reading Folks!

  • Trev Twinem
    2018-10-07 14:16

    It is always a pleasure to read another episode in the life of DI Tom Thorne from the magical and elegant handwriting style of Mark Billingham. This is English crime as its best, well researched, intelligent, informative with strong characters who aptly display their strengths and weaknesses for all to see. There are no quick solutions here but a story that unfolds like the petals of a rose revealing a nasty underbelly and one shocking revelation concerning one of the players with a personal secret to unfold. (to say more would spoil the surprise!) Thorne and his partner police officer Helen Weeks are on a trip to the small Warwickshire town of Polesford where an old school friend of Helen's is in trouble and in great need of comfort and assurance, her partner Stephen Bates having been arrested and accused of murder. This is also meant to be a break for Tom and Helen but as Helen becomes ever more involved in the pain and heartbreak of her friend Linda our surly DI finds himself somewhat ignored and at a loss is drawn into the search for the two missing schoolgirls. I love the relaxed and unpretentious style of Billingham and how he expertly portrays Thorne as a loner with very few friends apart from the somewhat colourful police pathologist Phil Hendricks. It was good to see that Hendricks once again became a central pivot as the story evolved, and his unconventional appearance and lifestyle acted in sharp contrast to the conservative Thorne. As suggested above there are secrets to be revealed and a relationship tested to the extreme in a great example of modern British crime fiction. Highly Recommended.

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    2018-10-16 18:59

    "She doesn't know who she is, or where she is, or how long she's been there. She knows only that, whatever is coming, she's ready for the end."#13 in Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne series does not disappoint.Tom Thorne is on holiday with his girlfriend DS Helen Weeks, when two girls are abducted in Helen’s home town. When a body is discovered and a man is arrested, Helen recognizes the suspect’s wife as an old school-friend and returns home for the first time in twenty-five years to lend her support.Despite having no official roll to play, Thorne investigates on his own and becomes convinced that, despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt, the police have got the wrong man. There is still an extremely clever and killer on the loose and a missing girl who Thorne believes might still be alive.An engrossing read, and although this is #13 in a series, it is well able to be read as a stand alone.Thank you to NetGalley, publishers Grove Atlantic and author Mark Billingham for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Esil
    2018-10-09 15:12

    3 1/2 stars. I like a few mystery series and am a very loyal reader of each book in the series as they come out -- Louise Penny, Michael Connelly, Elizabeth George, Sara Paretsky, Camilla Lackberg to name a few. But I don't want to spend all my time reading mysteries so I am always reluctant to try new ones and I am especially reluctant to jump into the middle of a mystery series, but in this case I had an opportunity to get a free-be from Netgalley so I took a chance based on the description of the story. And I’m glad I did. I liked the characters, story, setting and approach to unravelling the mystery. And it was not a “cosy mystery” – which I rarely like – and there was not much graphic violence – which I also don’t like. Time of Death is the 13th mystery in Mark Billingham’s series featuring Detectives Tom Thorne and Helen Weeks. Tom and Helen find themselves in a the small English town where Helen grew up in the middle of a kidnapping/murder investigation. Helen is there ostensibly to help an old school friend whose husband is charged with the crimes, and Tom gets nosy and pushes his way into the investigation even though it’s outside his jurisdiction and he’s clearly not particularly welcome. And as with all good mysteries, as the story progresses, we follow blind alleys, eventually figure out who did what, and learn more about the detectives' own lives -- including Helen's past in this town. In style, it reminds me of two of my favourite mystery writers – Elizabeth George and Camilla Lackberg – in that we see the story from different points of view, including the detectives, victims, possible perpetrator and various involved bystanders. While the story and denouement were worth the read, it was this ensemble of characters that kept me reading. Based on Time of Death, I would certainly read the first book in Billingham's series and consider whether to keep going with the series. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read this book.

  • Gary
    2018-09-20 16:01

    The 13th book in the Tm Thorpe series by author Mark Billingham. I would like to thank Net Galley for giving supplying me with an advanced copy of the latest Mark Billingham novel in exchange for a honest review. This was a pleasure to read and review, I am a big fan of this series and Mark Billinghams writing and I was always going to read this as soon as it came out so to get an advanced copy was a bonus. This series is now well established with some strong characters that regular readers will already be familiar with. The book starts off fast and strong with a story of two missing girls and continues to gather pace throughout. This series is going from strength to strength and already I am looking forward to the next instalment. Great novel by an excellent author.

  • Vanessa Loockx
    2018-09-23 13:19

    3.5 *

  • Christine
    2018-10-02 21:19

    ‘Time of Death’ is the latest in the incredible Tom Thorne series by Mark Billingham. I love Tom Thorne and it’s a joy to be back in his world again.The story takes us away from London again, to a small town community. Thorne and Helen are holidaying in the Cotswolds. They catch the news and see an item about the missing girls in Helen’s home town of Dorbrook. Helen recognises a friend from her childhood, Linda. Linda’s husband has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of the teenagers. Helen feels compelled to go and support Linda through this. She drags Thorne with her. Both Helen and Thorne find themselves getting involved in the investigation. Thorne cannot resist it, especially when he thinks they have got the wrong man and that one of the girls could be alive.There is so much to love about this book, so much that feels familiar and wonderful. The authentic dialogue between the characters being one of them and the relationship between Thorne, Helen and Hendricks. It all feels perfect and is a pleasure to read. We now really know Thorne and his quirky ways. His relationship with Helen is quite new still and it is amusing seeing him trying to work her out. And the lovely Hendricks comes into town to support his friends and their unofficial investigation.I loved the missing girls plot and the way Thorne is out of his London comfort zone, interfering in a police investigation. Dorbrook is very much small town England, with gossip and nosiness. We also get to know a little bit more about Helen and her background. I really like Helen and it is great to see where she comes from.Funny (well Thorne makes me laugh), clever, incredibly well put together and a strong storyline. Another winner from Mark Billingham. If you haven’t met Thorne, you really do need him in your life!A massive thanks to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for my copy of this book!

  • Elaine
    2018-09-27 20:22

    This is the first book that I have read by this author, and I really enjoyed it. Detectives Tom Thorne and Helen Weekes (his girlfriend) are holidaying in the Cotswolds when news comes through that the husband of an old friend of hers, Linda Bates, has been arrested on suspicion of the kidnap and murder of two young girls in the fictional towns of Dorbrook and Polesford in Warwickshire. They immediately head there, so that Helen can support her friend and Tom, being at a loose end, can watch the investigation, one that he just cannot help getting involved in as he starts to doubt Bate’s guilt. Helen spends a lot of time with Linda helping to support her as the suspect’s wife and I quite liked this angle, which is not one that we often come across in this type of read.For the first part of the read the couple are more observing than detecting so it seemed to start off quite slowly for me, but once they got into their stride I really enjoyed this story, which kept me guessing as to whether or not Stephen Bates had committed the crimes and if not, then who had done it, with quite a number of suspects emerging. This is Helen’s first trip back to her home town for years and the crimes and characters are going to strike close to home and we find out she has secrets which she has kept hidden for years.I am from Warwickshire, living probably about 25 miles away from where the book is set, and I was able to guess the locations quite easily. I particularly liked the way the locals spoke, it felt very real and certainly they used phrases and words that people round here use all the time.A thoroughly enjoyable read. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

  • Nick Davies
    2018-10-16 14:24

    This was an odd one - I have read most of the preceding DCI Thorne novels, and have (mainly) enjoyed them very much, but this felt a little less enjoyable than I remember the others. Perhaps this far into a series Mark Billingham is keen not to just repeat the same London-based police procedural themes which earlier books have had, and perhaps he knows many of his readers have invested in his characters... but for me this had a little too much 'soap opera' and a slightly contrived setting.The story follows Thorne, and his girlfriend Helen (also a police officer) after they get involved - at her bidding - in a missing persons case up in Warwickshire where Helen grew up. It was a bit of an inconceivable set-up, and the extent to which the two of them get involved in solving the crime (despite there being a supposedly competent local force who could/should do so) didn't quite wash with me. Though the plot was reasonably interesting, and the writing witty and entertaining, it all seemed a bit unrealistic an idea.So yes, still one of the better crime authors I have read, but not his very best novel.

  • Mike Gabor
    2018-09-24 13:14

    Tom Thorne is on holiday with his girlfriend DS Helen Weeks, when two girls are abducted in Helen’s home town. When a body is discovered and a man is arrested, Helen recognizes the suspect’s wife as an old school-friend and returns home for the first time in twenty-five years to lend her support. As his partner faces up to a past she has tried desperately to forget and a media storm engulfs the town, Thorne becomes convinced that, despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt, the police have got the wrong man. There is still an extremely clever and killer on the loose and a missing girl who Thorne believes might still be alive. Probably the worst book in the series. Wasn't terrible but I found it quite predictable and it didn't really seem to have the sharp edge that most of the previous books have had. With that said 13 books into the series and only 1 not quite making the mark is still a great batting average. Still highly recommend the series.

  • William Koon
    2018-10-08 20:17

    Apparently Mark Billingham writes better books than Time of Death. Apparently his main character Tom Thorne is more interesting in his other books. I don’t know if his partner Helen is not such a mindless twit in his other books. Here, she does the old, “I just have to go ‘there’" ruse to creak the plot along. Surprise! In her ole home towne, she was abused as a child.It does give a vapid view of small town decaying England. Along the way are some sociological hints for gays. Otherwise the plotting, the characterization, and writing are as pedestrian as any urban renewal. Total waste, and a bit suspect with the bitter wife imagining wayward husband having back seat sex in a Mini with a 15 year old. The Guardian has led me astray. I’ll read nothing but Edith Wharton for repentance.

  • I read novels
    2018-10-19 20:58

    Review by www.ireadnovels.wordpress.comI have read many of Mark Billingham books, he such a genius at ramping up the tension right until the very end. I am so pleased that the Time Of Death is currently being adapted into a BBC series. In the page-turning Time Of Death, two schoolgirls are abducted in Warwickshire town of Polesford. Forty-three-year-old Stephen Bates a local man is questioned in connection with the abduction of Poppy Johnson and the disappearance of Jessica Toms. This novel will bug you to the end until you have all the answers. As you read chapter after chapter you will keep asking your self again and again who do you believe. Time Of Death I extremely recommend to every reader it is a must read, must buy.

  • Leah
    2018-09-21 21:09

    Nothing new under the sun...Two schoolgirls have been abducted in the small town of Polesford, where Helen Weeks grew up. Helen and her partner DI Tom Thorne are on holiday when the news reports that a man has been arrested for the crimes, although no bodies have been found. When Helen realises that the man is the husband of an old friend of hers, she insists on going to Polesford to offer support. At first reluctant, Thorne soon finds himself interested in the investigation and at odds with the local police.I read the first few books in the Tom Thorne series but lost touch with the series several years ago. While there is clearly a running story arc over Tom's relationship with Helen, this book works perfectly well as a standalone. Past cases are referred to but not in a way that affects the understanding of the plot of this book.My first impressions were pretty favourable – the serial killer storyline is increasingly hackneyed but Billingham tells the story well, and I initially liked the characters of both Tom and Helen. Although I picked up along the way that their partnership is fairly new, it was refreshing to have the detective in a seemingly stable, loving relationship. Thorne has some baggage from past cases, but is a functional detective, well able to handle the pressures of the job, and oh joy! He doesn't have a drink problem! In fact, early on in the book Billingham has a sly dig at the cliché of the angst-ridden drunken maverick of current crime fiction.There's nothing terribly original in the storyline, and it's pretty slow in places with a good deal of repetition. However Billingham keeps the tension flowing for the most part by skilfully casting suspicion on most of the male characters in turn. It's interesting to see the story from the perspective of the family of the accused, although they're all so unlikeable I couldn't develop much sympathy for them. And it all leads up in the end to the usual thriller ending.Overall, for the quality of the writing and storytelling I'd have rated this quite highly but for two things. The first is the ridiculous amount of unnecessary bad language, which is constant all the way through. Most of it is fairly low-level, simply a sign of a lack of imagination and facility in the author's use of vocabulary, but some of it is pretty strong. And of course it adds nothing to the story. Mild spoiler alert!(You might want to skip the next paragraph if you're planning on reading the book.)But the thing that annoyed me more, especially after Billingham mocking the maverick cop cliché himself, was that Helen and Tom suddenly turned into violent criminals halfway through - beating up a teenager in front of his friends (who fortunately seemed to be the only teenagers in Britain without smartphones to film it on) for the heinous crime of spitting, with no repercussions. (Did I mention Helen's job is to deal with child victims – good grief!) From that point on, the book lost any credibility and the characters lost any appeal for me. If every fictional police officer must be a violent criminal, the least authors could do is try to make it believable. (Hint for all the brutal and corrupt fictional police officers out there – take your victim up a dark alley, alone, and check there are no CCTV cameras around. It's hardly rocket science...) (End of spoiler) To sum up, a standard serial killer police procedural, quite well-written, slow in places, with lots of swearing, a bit of angst, the obligatory child abuse angle, and some gratuitous and silly police brutality. Same old, same old... 2½ stars for me, so rounded up.NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Grove Atlantic.www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com

  • Sandy
    2018-09-26 19:09

    If you're already a fan of this series, you greet each book with certain expectations. First, it's a chance to catch up with Tom Thorne & Phil Hendricks. Then you look forward to a smart, twisty suspense story, intricate plots, economical dialogue & a hair raising finale. Book #13 ticks all the boxes.This is more of a slow burn than the last instalment (which left me only slightly less traumatized than Tom & Phil). When Thorne's partner Helen goes home to support a childhood friend, he tags along. There's a serious criminal investigation underway involving the friend's husband & Tom has no jurisdiction. But every instinct tells him the local cops have the wrong guy & with nothing but time on his hands, he starts to nose around. The first half is devoted to setting up the characters & their stories. We learn the background of the crime & meet the locals. There's a strong sense of what it's like to live in a small town where everyone knows your business & memories are long. People support their neighbours in tough times. But when two young girls go missing & a resident is charged, that support can morph into a mob mentality.And something is up with Helen. She's either withdrawn or spoiling for a fight, leaving Tom baffled as to the cause of her behaviour. Narrators alternate from one chapter to the next so we get varied points of review on events. Those told in the voices of the perpetrator & one of his victims are particularly chilling.Tom has some theories but with Helen busy & distracted, he needs a brain to bounce them off. Enter Phil. My favourite tatted, pierced, gay pathologist arrives in town & it's game on from there. They're a formidable team & as they dig deeper, the pages begin to fly by as we follow them through this intricately plotted & creepy tale.It's thinking man's thriller full of clever misdirection. There's a blizzard of red herrings to wade through & you're in danger of sustaining whiplash as your focus swings from one suspect to the next. Events & comments that seem unimportant are tossed out along the way but will have you snacking your forehead at the end. It's been a long time since I was so surprised to learn a killer's identity.The case is duly solved & you get the sense that working together has helped Tom & Phil move past some of the psychological trauma that lingers from their last adventure. There are also hints Tom's personal life may undergo some change. It's the kind of read that makes you lose track of time & frown on any interruptions so don't crack the cover until you find a spot to hide for a few hours.That's the good news. The bad...now begins the looong wait for #14.

  • Jill's Book Cafe
    2018-10-07 19:15

    It is always a joy to see a 'new' Tom Thorne on the bookshelves and as ever this lived up to expectations. Following not too far off his disastrous outing to Bardsey Island this book opens with Tom and Helen on a much needed holiday in the Cotswolds. The holiday is short lived when Helen hears the news involving an old school friend whose husband has been arrested in connection with 2 missing school girls. She insists on going to the aid of her friend while Tom is left twiddling his thumbs - but not for long. While he has no authority or connection to the case he begins to question the way the investigation is going and starts to pursue avenues of his own. He is aided and abetted by the arrival of his old friend and pathologist Phil Hendricks. The question is are they right and if so can they solve the identity of the killer before another body appears.This was different to the standard Thorne books as for the first part, he is little more than a bystander, supporting Helen who has a much bigger part to play in this book. The book concentrates partly on his relationship with Helen and the progress of the ongoing investigation as seen from the outside, something we rarely see. We get to see the anguish of the family of the suspect and the way the disappearance of the girls affects the locals and their response to the way the investigation is going. Once Tom becomes convinced that the local police have got it wrong, it becomes a little more like traditional police procedural as we follow the clues to narrow the search for who was responsible. Despite thinking I knew who had done it, I was proved wrong. I will admit that initially I was not sure that having Thorne on the outside would work, but it did. An interesting aspect of the book was having Helen play a larger role and getting to understand her background to see what makes her tick. However the book is still full of the usual world weary cynicism and sarcasm that we have come to know and love and Thorne and Hendricks make a great double act.I received an ARC via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Carol -Reading Writing and Riesling
    2018-09-22 14:08

    My View:Billingham goes to great lengths to immerse the reader in this novel – the settings are so vivid you can imagine yourself walking down the main street of the small town of Polesford. You can sit yourself at the café or pub and look at the menu, order your pint/coffee, nod your head in a silent hello to the locals. You are sitting at the next table to Hendricks and Thorne overhearing them discuss bugs and death and missing girls. Cleverly you have become a bit player on this large stage and therefore have a vested interest in discovering the truth. Well done Mark Billingham.I love the characters of Helen, Thorne and Hendricks and have become very comfortable with these characters, their banter, their humour, sarcasm and intelligence…the dialogue is exceptionally natural and believable and the characters develop and grow with each new novel. The plot is complex and there are a few red herrings to keep you on your toes. There are a couple of story arcs and I particularly liked where Helen is heading (no spoilers here), the issues she brining to our attention are contemporary, dark and unfortunately prevalent in our modern society and I am pleased she has found the strength to deal with this issue. Her story may embolden others. Billingham has told us enough but not all of the details of this thread and leaves the reader wanting to know more. The issue is handled sensitively without sensationalism. In Time of Death Mark Billingham has provided the reader with another well written, complex narrative that speaks to issues that we can all empathise with. The plot is tense, the scenarios realistic, the political environment of the workplace is familiar, the characters are finely drawn and three dimensional and feel like people you know. The ending….is almost satisfying, the original case of the missing girls is cleared up but there is more happening that reaches beyond the last page of this novel; I was disappointed when it came to the end, I wanted more!

  • Claire
    2018-10-20 19:08

    OMG I love Mark Billingham. I used to love him when I read Sleepyhead back when it was first released and the followings stories of DI Thorne but for some reason I haven't read any recently until Time of Death. And now I feel embarrassed I've not kept up with Thorne's trials and tribulations! Time of Death sees Thorne and Weeks setting off on a romantic break to the Cotswolds only for Weeks to see the partner of her best friend from school being arrested for the abduction of two teenage girls.Weeks wants to return to her childhood home to support her former best friend and drags Thorne along. Ever the policeman, Thorne feels something's amiss and makes a nuisance of himself with the investigation team. But they don't want help from the big metropolitan detective.This book is a little different to the previous Billingham books I've read as Thorne and Weeks are not on their own turf so it's more about Weeks relationship with the suspects partner and Thorne doing his own off-the-record investigation. I thought I had it sussed half way through but it shows how good Billingham is as a writer to lead me down that path whilst still dropping the little clues to the true perpetrator's identity. Needless to say I loved it and will be reacquainting myself with DI Thorne's escapades very soon. Thank you Mark for reminding me what I've been missing!!I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

  • Joanne Robertson
    2018-09-25 15:12

    I love Mark Billingham and this series featuring Tom Thorne is like settling down with a an old friend, in a comfortable armchair,for a chat! This is the 13th in the series and sees Tom and his girlfriend Helen Weeks interrupting their holiday in the Cotswolds to return to Helen's hometown when an old school friends husband is arrested for murder. Two young girls have gone missing and when a body is found Tom isn't convinced all is as it seems! I enjoyed this very much and I didn't see where it was going until it got there! There are detailed forensics which also adds to my enjoyment as I love the finer points that lead to the police getting their man!If you enjoy police procedural novels with great characterisation then this series is the one for you. I must add that it could also be read as a stand alone novel.I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

  • ReadAlong With Sue
    2018-09-20 21:07

    This has a lot of subject matter in here that I like reading about. Abduction, missing people/children, and when someone bounces along and interferes in the investigation, always a treat to read, things just not going to plan.This book has quite a lot of love in it, the characters are very close and very connected, They care about each other.There is intrigue and there are nosy characters.It is a fast paced read, fast plot and will keep you on your toes too because there are lots of suspects that you will be thinking "yes, its him" "oh no, it can't be"I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would like to say a special thank you to the author and to Little, Brown Book Group UK via Net Galley.This really did keep me guessing until the very end.

  • Maggie Kiely
    2018-09-21 19:11

    Thorn is away from Kentish Town supposedly on holiday and then chasing after old school friend of Helen. I did not believe in the relationship between Tom Helen and her friend. There was so spark or interest in this one and just felt like I was going through the motions reading it. I could not also reconcile how two middle class detectives would go into the house of virtual strangers just staying there when they would have known they would quiz them etc. It just did not feel that they would do this. I was glad it ended to be honest I did not find it credible, had no interest in any of the characters thus did not enjoy it and would not recommend.

  • Kate
    2018-09-30 16:20

    An intriguing and involving mystery.

  • Denise
    2018-09-21 18:16

    Instead of going on the hoped for vacation, Tom Thorne ends up accompanying his partner Helen Weeks to Polesford, the small town she grew up in, after she learns that two schoolgirls have been abducted in the area and Helen's old school friend's husband is the prime suspect. Her support is much needed as the evidence piles up quickly, one of the girls turns up dead, and Stephen Bates is arrested for the crimes. The police are convinced they've got the right man, but Thorne is not so sure. As the local police have no interest in alternate theories or suspects, he looks into the crimes himself - and the further he investigates, the more it looks as though Bates has been expertly framed.I'm always eager to pick up a new Tom Thorne novel, as the series has yet to disappoint. Another engrossing, well-crafted mystery that was, as usual, extremely hard to put down. Very much looking forward to the next one!

  • Kathy
    2018-10-15 20:04

    4.5 stars.Time of Death by Mark Billingham is another brilliant installment in the Tom Thorne series. It is another well-written novel with a clever mystery to solve but it is the intrigue surrounding Tom's girlfriend Helen Weeks that makes it such a riveting read.In this latest outing, Tom and Helen are on holiday when she learns the husband of one of her childhood friends is a suspect in the kidnapping of two teenage girls. Helen insists they cut their vacation short so she can support her friend and Tom tags along to keep her company. Of course, he cannot resist poking around the investigation and although his input is not appreciated by the DI in charge of the case, Tom continues to pursue the leads he uncovers. He is also growing increasingly concerned for Helen since she has been out of sorts since their arrival in town but she remains tight-lipped about why she is so upset.Helen abruptly left her hometown twenty years earlier and never returned. But when Stephen Bates, the husband of her old friend Linda, is arrested for the kidnapping of Jessica Toms and is a strong suspect in the disappearance of Poppy Johnston, Helen is compelled to lend her support. Their relationship is a bit strained but this could be due to the circumstances of their reunion. However, as the story progresses, it becomes obvious that something from their childhood is responsible for the increasing tension between them.While Helen is busy with Linda, Tom continues his off the books investigation into the girls' disappearances. When Jessica's remains are discovered, Tom becomes convinced that Stephen has nothing to do with the crimes despite the overwhelming physical evidence against him. Tom's close friend, medical examiner Phil Hendricks joins his investigation and the two men begin to piece together a viable scenario for how the killer is manipulating the evidence to frame Stephen for the crimes. Once their suspicions are confirmed, it is just a matter of time before Tom uncovers the identity of the real killer, but will he be able catch him before it is too late?Time of Death is an absolutely outstanding addition to the Tom Thorne series. The mystery is fast paced and nearly impossible to solve. Although it is easy to narrow down the suspect list, red herrings and misdirects effectively mask the perpetrator's identity for much of the story. Mark Billingham keeps the series fresh by taking Helen and Tom out of their element but it is the addition to Helen's story arc that really makes Time of Death stand out from the previous novels. Her revelations are heartbreaking and learning the truth about her past gives her character added depth. It will be interesting to see what comes next for Helen and Tom in both their personal and professional lives and as always, I am eagerly awaiting the next release in the series.

  • Cleo Bannister
    2018-09-29 18:11

    This is DI Tom Thorne’s thirteenth outing and although I haven’t read the entire series I’ve dipped in and out over the years. This is a great example of the strength of the characterisation and plot that this author produces and is reads successfully as stand-alone novel.Tom Thorne and his partner Helen Weeks are having some time away for a romantic break in the Cotswolds although Tom has stipulated a ban on walking and antiques shops, but still it is a break. Not for long though because when the news comes through of a crime is committed in Helen’s home town, Polesford, her ears prick up. When she finds out that one of her old friends is the suspect’s wife she rushes to support her. This leaves Tom at a loose end and he just can’t resist carrying out his own investigation – a true busman’s holiday.I do love crimes that are set in small communities, there is something very distinctive about the way they operate, with everyone knowing so much about each other’s lives, the suspicion of outsiders, the gossip and the protection and tolerance of their own, up to a point. That line is drawn when two girls go missing and Linda’s husband is taken in for questioning based upon some strong evidence and the race is on to find the missing girls.Unusually for a crime novel this book is as much about what happens to the family of a suspect when they are arrested as it is about the victims as well as the who, how and why element, and I really enjoyed it. Linda has two teenage children, trapped in an unfamiliar house while their own is combed by the scenes of crime officers, the tension between them all is palpable especially as they are being ‘looked after’ by the police and gawped at by the press camped outside the door. It takes a true story-teller to manage a disparate group of characters and maintain some of the most authentic dialogue I’ve read in quite some time.There are revelations about many of the characters, some truly ingenious reasoning by Hendricks, the pathologist and friend of Thorne and Weeks, some terrifying excerpts from the victim and a real mystery to be solved. Mark Billingham gives the reader a fair shot with the clues but he doesn’t half muddy the water by manipulating the reader to look the other way whilst they are revealed.This was a thoroughly satisfying read, one that made me want to go back and read those that I have inexplicably missed earlier on the series.I’d like to thank the publishers Grove Atlantic for allowing me to read this wonderful book.

  • Dan
    2018-10-05 14:03

    The latest novel to feature detective Tom Thorne and his partner Helen Weeks is one of the best of Mark Billingham's books so far. And given the quality of his books that is really saying something. Two girls are missing in the village of Polesford. When a man is arrested Helen is shocked to learn that he is the husband of a childhood friend. She drags Thorne along to her home village to go and do all she can to help. Now Thorne isn't investigating but there's nothing much to do in Polesford so he looks in on the enquiry. Gradually his suspects the investigative team have got it all wrong and he can't help but get pulled into the case. Alongside all this is Helen's reaction to her home village. She's far from normal and Thorne begins to wonder what dark secret she has from a childhood in this miserable place. Usually the Thorne books are more about the plot than anything else but this has lots of character stuff about Helen and the central pairs relationship. Much of the book is also spent looking at how the wife and children of the suspected kidnapper/killer are affected by his arrest. The media have hung them out to dry and Helen can't do much to help as the family have to cope with unbearable things. All in all, superb. Billingham often gives us a good mystery and this is one of the best, taken from an angle of how can we prove this man didn't do it? Alongside that we've got all sorts of great character stuff, with the family and the central characters. Every part of the book works well and Billingham deals with a crowd of topical issues sensitively. Each book in the Tom Thorne series is pretty good but some are better than others. It's difficult to compare them as each story is so different but I really thought this was one of the very best. A hugely enjoyable read.

  • Damaskcat
    2018-10-20 17:19

    I started reading this book without at first appreciating that it was part of a series and I really think that you need to read this series in order. There were a lot of references to previous cases and I couldn't really understand the nature of Tom Thorne's and Helen Weeks' relationship. Clearly there is a lot of history between them which will only be understood by readers of the rest of the books in the series.That said - and these are purely personal criticisms - I did think the book was well written and the tension was created and built up in masterly fashion. I found myself reading faster towards the end because I wanted to find out what happened and how it was all resolved. Helen and Tom get involved in a case while they are on holiday. Two young girls disappear and a school friend of Helen's is married to the man arrested for the crimes.Helen feels she has to go to her school friend even though they haven't kept in touch and haven't seen each other for twenty years but returning to her old home town is not an altogether pleasant experience for her. It doesn't seem to be having a good effect on her relationship with Tom either as he is at a loose end while Helen is supporting Linda.I didn't altogether take to Tom and Helen as characters but I am sufficiently intrigued by their past history to want to go back and start at the beginning of the series and find out what the past history is. In my opinion this isn't a series which can be read out of order and this isn't a book which can really be read as a standalone novel. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.

  • Gloria Feit
    2018-10-08 19:19

    Tom Thorne and his significant other, Helen Weeks, arrange to take a short trip to the Cotswolds, leaving her baby to be cared for by her father, but the vacation is cut short when two young girls go missing in Helen’s home town. She decides to go to support a girlhood friend she hasn’t seen in 20 years when the woman’s husband is arrested for the abductions. Tom, of course, accompanies her, and can’t resist sticking his nose into the investigation, especially when the first girl turns up dead.Tom becomes convinced that the man jailed for the offenses did not commit the crimes, but the police are convinced they have the right man. But how to prove his theory? With the help of his good friend, the pathologist Phil Hendricks, the first clue emerges and the quest for additional evidence goes on.This novel goes deeper into developing Tom, Phil and Helen as characters, showing their human frailties, as well as their professional talents. Moreover, the theme of the novel is one that the author uses to demonstrate the terror and helplessness of victims of violent crimes. Another fine book in this top series, and one that is recommended.

  • Plum-crazy
    2018-09-19 15:57

    Brilliant.....but then there was never any doubt that I would think otherwise ♡♡♡Talking of Thorne.......I see from the back cover this is soon to be a major BBC drama & of course my thoughts turned to who should play my beloved Thorne (PLEASE not David Morrissey again *shudder*) & it made me realise how much you create your own version of a character over time. Re-reading "Sleepyhead" it struck me that my Tom Thorne, the one that I've come to know & love, no longer resembles the "book-one" one visually! Quote...."...the rest of the team called him the Weeble. It was easy to see why. Thorne was...what? five six? five seven? But the low centre of gravity & the very...breadth of him suggested that it would take a lot to make him wobble." - sounds more like Frank Cannon to me! Somehow over the last 13 books my Thorne has morphed into someone slightly taller & quite a bit less rounded :o)

  • Debbie
    2018-10-13 14:20

    This was a pretty fast paced book with lots of suspects. Although the local police stopped at one and refused to look at others. There were a few slow parts, but all in all it was a preset good book. Major kudos to the author on the stolen pig scheme, both creepy and brilliant. Never seen that one used before. There were also several sub plots going on and one regarding a 25 year old crime. I definitely recommend this one. It's totally different from most kidnap/abduction stories I've read. Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.