The Burning Girl (Tom Thorne #4)
Once burned . . .A series of brutal gangland slay...more
By rights, the horrific schoolyard crime should have been laid to rest twenty years ago. An alleged perpetrator confessed and now is growing old behind bars. But the case still haunts ex-Detective Chief Inspector Carol Chamberlain -- and she has asked DI Tom Thorne to uncover a disturbing truth that lies buried in the ashes.
It is still an emotive case for Thorne and there are some very powerful and upsetting scenes within the pages of this fourth outing. Thorne also has to cope with the continuing mental and physical decline of his father. Yet despite the “human”...more
Mark Billingham – 4th in series
Little Brown, 2004 – U.K. Hardcover
Detective Inspector Thomas Thorne is in the middle of an investigation of what appears to be contract killings. A former colleague asks for his help with an old case of a girl, mistaken for the daughter of a mob boss, is murdered. It shortly becomes clear the two cases are, in fact, linked.
*** Billingham is a very good writer, but I always feel as though I’m missing bits of back...more
What is the link among the various dead bodies with an "X" carved in their backs that are showing up around London? The victims all have ties to an organized crime boss named Billy Ryan, and the killings appear to be the result of Ryan moving into territory currently controlled by Turkish gangs. The Serious Crime Group pairs with SO7, Serious and Organized Crime Group, to nip the turf wars in the bud. As a member of SOG, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne and his team are paired with a te...more
The story has london gangland members and turkish people trafficers at its core. The burning girl refers to an historical where one of the gangland members daughters was targetted...more
Each of the Tom Thorne novels featur...more
At the time of these murders Thorne is helping (off the record) his frien...more
He told the story well and you did get a good feel for all the different characters, good or bad. However it took me awhile to figure out who was who as there were so many...more
Plot: Four Stars
And that's strange, because this plot wasn't particularly eventuful, fast, life threatening, adrenaline pumping etc etc. No, what it was, was intriguing. While the last book ended with a graphic crime that sti...more
His writing style is amazing most of the time. The few times that I got truly annoyed was when he kept switching POV. It's usually written in that specific character's POV. And then out of the blue he'll switch to omnipresent POV, so he can foreshadow about somet...more
A contract killer is carving his way through North London's criminal underworld, leaving a bloody X on his victims' backs and taking Billy Ryan's gang down one thug at a time. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne and his team know there's a turf war going on, but who's attempting to take over Ryan's racket isn't quite clear. When DCI Carol Chamberlin comes out of retirement to work on the cold case squad and asks Thorne for help solving an old murder, the past and present catch up i...more
Billingham's fourth Tom Thorne novel opens with an old, old case that's been haunting folks recently, especially Carol Chamberlain, one of the tangential characters from earlier books; it's a case on which she was the lead back when it happened. It was always considered to be a contract thing, but something always nagged at Chamberlain. Now Thorne and Chamberlain have evidence—spotty evidence, but evidence—that the guy who was originally put away f...more
This one was hardly a patch on my first foray. The story was laboured and the plot paper thin. The characters, on the whole, feel real and believable, but some of the action stretched credulity beyond breaking point.
I'm sure there are better examples in the series than this one, and I certainly wouldn't avoid any of the others, but this poor...more
The writing is solid for the most part but there are sections of the book that seem to wander a bit. There's a lot going on but I like a...more
The author handled the horror of the crimes quite well. He also did a good job in fleshing out his protagonist, DI Tom Thorne, a man dealing...more
clash. The burning girl was a young girl targeted by a rival gang many years previously, however, the wrong girl was hit and set afire.
Usually I like these London/England set crime novels, but this one was just a bit too "much" and in the end just became silly; that is if you can call
lots of murders and dead bodies silly.
I will read more from this author though as I do like the setting.
But is it enough to make me want to read more about the exploits of DI Tom Thorne? Probably not.
Seems likely that the tone will get darker as the series unfolds, and darkness is not something I need in my life thankyouverymuch.
Still, this is the best of the first four books, and there is a sense that Mr. Billingham is getting better as an author and that the characters and developing...more
Still definitely an enjoyable series, but I found this one a bit slow going. Most of the plot seemed to be tied up by two thirds of the way through and I wasn't terribly bothered to read the last part, which seems a bit backwards, so I probably missed something essential....
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.