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Bloodline (Tom Thorne #8)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,675 ratings  ·  172 reviews
When a dead body is found in a North London flat, it seems like a straightforward domestic murder until a bloodstained sliver of X-ray is found clutched in the dead woman's fist - and it quickly becomes clear that this case is anything but ordinary. DI Thorne discovers that the victim's mother had herself been murdered fifteen years before by infamous serial killer Raymond ...more
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Published (first published 2009)
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Sam Woodfield
I really loved this book!! Most crime novels take the same basic plot and tweak it slightly - super brained detective follows the clues and saves the final victim at the lat minute. Thats nothing like this novel. Billingham has created Thorne as a slightly flawed man fighting his demons and being outwitted by a serial killer. Does Thirne get there in time? - I wont ruin the ending, but it certainly kept me gripped from beginning to end. I als loved the premise - son of a serial killer killing al ...more
When a woman is killed in her home with a small piece of plastic found clenched in her hand, DCI Tom Thorne is hard pressed to understand the motive behind her murder or who the murderer might be. He is, however, surprised to discover her mother had been one of the women killed by a serial killer, Raymond Garvey fifteen years ago. But when another woman's murder is brought to his attention, also with a piece of plastic in her hand, the plastic later found to be a piece of an x-ray film, and is d ...more
I cannot believe that here I am, starting another engrossing mystery-slash-police-procedural series, with a pile of precursors to read up on. o.O But now that I’ve had a taste of Mark Billingham’s writing, I don’t know that I can not pick them up…

Bloodline starts with a prologue that leaves you hanging, wondering what happened, and who the people are. Then it takes you right into Thorne’s personal life, and while you’re (he’s) still reeling from that revelation, the first body shows up. Which yo
This time Tom Thorne is investigating a string of people being murdered, all children of victims of a serial killer from the 1980s. It seems that the serial killer's son is trying to continue his father's work.

Meanwhile Thorne has to deal with problems at home as in the very first chapter his girlfriend Louise has a miscarriage. This means Thorne once again has to work alongside emotions he can't express and tries to focus all his efforts on the case.

It's another great Thorne book, with a revel
A serial killer is leaving clues clenched in the hand of his victims…a piece of a bloodstained X-ray which, when pieced together gives a clue to Detective Tom Thorne. All of the victims are children of the victims of Raymond Garvey, a serial killer from the 1980s. While Thorne is chasing down leads his personal life is on rocky terrain. His girlfriend, Louise, just lost their baby and is having a difficult time dealing with the loss. She is also a cop but the reader never gets to see her in acti ...more
Ray Garvey died of a brain tumor 15 years ago while in custody after he killed 7 women. Now, the children of those women are being killed as well. Meanwhile, Tom Thorne and his significant other are mourning the loss of their baby. Thorne is pitched into the pursuit of a merciless killer who definitely has an agenda, leaving him no time to cope with his loss. The clue that ties the murders together is various pieces of an x-ray from Garvey's brain scan. Can Thorne track down the killer before mo ...more
"Bloodline by Mark Billingham is a mystery thriller continuing with the Detective Inspector Tom Thorne series and is not one mystery fans will want to miss. As a new reader of Billingham’s work, I found the plot and backstory were covered well enough to jump in, in the midst of the series without feeling uninformed." full review may be read on my book review blog Rundpinne.
I wish that I could give this book 4.5 stars, but honestly, 5 is also just when it comes down to it. This book was fantastic. What really does help it along, more than other crime fiction novels out there, is that it finds its balance between the drama of the chase and police procedure. It's loud when it should be, giving us fast paced action and dialogue and, at times, too many characters and suspects to keep track of (you might want to grab a notebook and jot them down as they come along). But ...more
Laura Crosse
I've missed Tom Thorne and I didn't even realise quite how much until I picked up this book and began it. Billingham is exactly what I like in a crime novelist. He's exciting, fast-paced and writes excellent bad guys!

In this instalment the bad guy is retracing the footsteps of his serial killer dad and killing off his dad's victims kids one by one. With me? It did get a little confusing at times and I have found before with Billingham that there are quite a high amount of characters in his book
Stan Usher
I cannot say enough great things about this book. This is the 6th book I have read in the Tom Thorne series, and every one is better than the previous. Excellent storyline, fast paced plot with great twists and turns that you won't see coming. I have said in previous reviews I have posted of other books that Jack Reacher is my favorite literary character of the moment, well Tom Thorne runs him a very close second!

"The bloodstained X-ray: It seems like a straightforward domestic murder until a bloodstained sliver of X-ray is found clutched in the dead woman's fist - and it quickly becomes clear that this case is anything but ordinary.
The infamous killer: Thorne discovers that the victim's mother had herself been murdered fifteen years before by serial killer Raymond Garvey. The hunt to catch Garvey was one of the biggest in the history of the Met, and ended with seven women dead.
The chilling legacy: When
An engaging crime thriller raises the question of diathesis versus accountability for one's (murderous) actions. A tricksy timeline muddles rather than enhances the narrative.
Toni Osborne
Book 8 in the series featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne

I am rather fond of fictional detective stories and love to discover new ones. “Blood Line” is my first experience with both the protagonist and its author. Should I have started with the first instalment in the series….(some series you can, some series you can’t)

D.I. Tom Thorne becomes involved in what seems to be a domestic murder but it is soon discovered that the case is anything but ordinary. Clutched in the hands of the dead wom
Nigel Bird
Bloodline (US) is a really well put together novel. It works extremely well as a police-procedural, offers an excellent opportunity to explore Tom Thorne as a detective and in his personal life through the range of interactions he has with the people around him and has strong elements of a thriller about it as the book races to its conclusion.

Thorne is working a new case and it’s not long before he finds a link between it and another one up in the Midlands. The obvious piece the murders hold in
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Mark Billingham is a UK writer who is a really good writer. This is his 8th novel to feature Detective Inspector Tom Thorne.

Thorne is a character that is tough, sentimental and gets in trouble a lot. Thorne's London is not a pretty place and the world he does his work in can be quite bleak.

This novel begins with a woman being murdered in her home and left with a piece of plastic in her hand. Thorne is surprised to discover that the first victim's mother had been one of the women killed by a seri
Luanne Ollivier
For the longest time Mark Billingham was my little secret. I had discovered a fantastic author from across the pond and delighted in letting my crime/thriller aficionados at the library know about this fantastic author. Billingham is definitely not a secret any longer.

Bloodline is the eighth book to feature Murder Squad Detective Tom Thorne. Thorne is a wonderfully conflicted, stubborn, clever man who sometimes makes the wrong choices...

Thorne is called out on what seems to be a domestic murder.
This book starts out on emotional note with DI Tom Thorn in hospital with girlfriend Louise waiting for D and C to be done after the loss of their child.
He gets call about a young women who was murdered. There is a fragment of x-ray found in her fist.The bodies start to mount all with fragments of x-ray in their hands.It turns out these are all children of seven women who were murdered 15 years previously by serial killer Raymond Carvey.
You can see in start of this case how Thorn is distracted w
Darcia Helle
This is the first book I've read in Billingham's Tom Thorne series. It read well as a stand-alone, although I'm sure I would have understood more of Thorne's character, as well as the supporting characters, had I read the series from the start. The plot was well developed, with twists that kept me guessing until the end.

The one negative issue I had with this book is that Billingham often went back in time with various characters and these scenes weren't set apart as past events. Consequently, I
Mike Cuthbert
This British procedural is very complex but satisfying. The title comes form the fact that a series of murders is being committed around London and the victims are all children of women killed by Raymond Garvey some twenty years previous. Tom Thorne is assigned the case and immediately gets involved in discovering who might be on the killer’s list in addition to the women already killed. He has the help of the comely Carol Chamberlain, formerly on the Force, now retired with a husband dying of c ...more
Craig Sisterson
British comedian Mark Billingham burst onto the crime-writing scene in late 2001 with one of the most exceptional debuts in recent memory. Sleepyhead featured a chilling serial ‘killer’ putting people into persistent vegetative states, and introduced gritty yet layered Detective Inspector Tom Thorne and his investigative adventures set amongst the seamy world of greater London.

After taking an impressive detour in 2008 with standalone thriller In The Dark, Billingham returns with the eighth inst
Kathleen Hagen

Bloodline, by Mark Billingham, A-minus, Narrated by Paul Thornley, Produced by Hachette Audio, downloaded from

When Murder Squad veteran Detective Tom Thorne is called into what seems like, for once, an ordinary domestic murder, he thinks he's caught a break. A woman has been murdered by someone she knows. A positive pregnancy test is found on the floor beside her. Thorne plans to question the husband, arrest him, and return home to deal with his own deteriorating personal life. But
Gloria Feit

Tom Thorne is a troubled protagonist. More so than customary in this novel, the latest in the Thorne series, an unusual story about a serial killer, as well as in his personal life. It begins with Tom and his partner learning that the latter's pregnancy is not viable and that she needs a D&C. Tom does not quite how to react to or address the situation.

However, a grisly murder soon comes to light, diverting him to another tough case. The victim is found with a piece of an x-ray in her hand, a
With his novel ‘Bloodline’ Mark Billingham presents the latest in his mystery series featuring the recurring character Tom Thorne, a London police detective. I found that even though this book is part of an overarching series, it functions just fine as a stand-alone novel. There is some dialogue and portions of the narrative that perhaps refer to events that took place in previous books, but these do not get in the way of the overall cohesive narrative. One thing I particularly enjoyed about the ...more
This was my first Detective Thorne book, and it was superb! This is a series that you can truly jump into at any point and will thoroughly enjoy.

DI Thorne is called to the murder scene of a young woman killed in her own home. The investigation begins typically enough, until a phone call from another precinct tells Thorne that they have a similar case. Suddenly, it’s clear there is a serial killer on the loose, and what’s more terrifying – he has an agenda: to kill the children who all lost their
Sally Rivers
This is where my Mark Billingham reads began, so thought I'd review them chronologically by reading rather than release. In fact when I started this book I didn't realise that it was some way through a series of Tom Thorne investigations.

However, it didn't spoil the enjoyment and at no time did I feel I was missing out because I hadn't read the previous instalments.

Here Thorne is investigating a series of murders that have a link to a previous serial killer from twenty years or so before. The su
Billingham gives the serial killer genre a different twist here with interesting results.

While the victims seem to have nothing to link them, each has a fragment of an X-ray film leading the investigators back to a serial killer who was convicted years earlier and died in prison.

As DI Thorne is dealing with the thorny issues of this case, he’s also striving to come to terms with his lover’s loss of their baby, adding a distinctly human element to the character.

Billingham’s skill in imparting thi
Jumping genres over to the crime fiction, this is a book about a detective living in London trying to track down a serial killer who is offing the children of the victims that a serial killed murdered 15 years before. The detective is Tom Thorne and this seems to be another in a series of books about him though I've not read any before. I might in future though. I like the way it was written. I didn't guess the twist at the end but then i almost never do.

There's a sub plot regarding Thorne's per
Let's just say I was super surprised to learn that this was #8 in a series, because I would have totally believed it was a debut novel. Super clangy so-called foreshadowing ("NEITHER OF THEM KNEW THEY WERE BOTH BEING WATCHED") and a lot of weirdly superfluous exposition. Like, Thorne went to the bathroom, and washed his hands. He noticed that the man who left before him didn't wash his hands.

Normally in a mystery novel I would expect that to signify somehow, but no, we're just making a note: not
Elyse Rudin
Seven women were murdered in London in the 1980's and the man convicted of the murder died in prison. Thirty years later family members of the previous seven are being murdered and the question is why. The detective called in to the case has personal problems of his own to deal with and is glad for the diversion. This is not a typical detective story. The plot has good twists and turns and the end is not tied up neatly. I really enjoyed the book and would give it closer to a four.
Like most series that hook readers and propel them on to 5, 10 or more books, the longer the reader stays onboard the less, I think, the plot really matters. The reader is cracking the cover to spend time in the world with these characters.

Bloodline is a pretty typical serial killer novel. Not that Billingham doesn't handle it all professionally and add a couple nice twists, but veteran readers will likely be able to spot the hairpin turns coming.

Still, you are a Thorne fan, you likely won't be
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Also writes as Will Peterson with Peter Cocks.

Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.
More about Mark Billingham...

Other Books in the Series

Tom Thorne (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Sleepyhead (Tom Thorne, #1)
  • Scaredy Cat (Tom Thorne, #2)
  • Lazybones (Tom Thorne, #3)
  • The Burning Girl (Tom Thorne, #4)
  • Lifeless (Tom Thorne, #5)
  • Buried (Tom Thorne, #6)
  • Death Message (Tom Thorne, #7)
  • From the Dead (Tom Thorne, #9)
  • Good As Dead (Tom Thorne, #10)
  • The Dying Hours (Tom Thorne, #11)
Sleepyhead (Tom Thorne, #1) Scaredy Cat (Tom Thorne, #2) Lazybones (Tom Thorne, #3) The Burning Girl (Tom Thorne, #4) Lifeless (Tom Thorne, #5)

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