Scott's Reviews > Good As Dead

Good As Dead by Mark Billingham
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Mar 16, 12

bookshelves: crime
Read in March, 2012

For my money, the TV adaptation of Thorne got so very much wrong, that Billingham's dedication of this book to the team responsible worried me. The humour was missing, the relationship with Phil was totally wrong - hell, they even changed the identity of the killers! So would this first post-TV book reflect the influence of the TV show?

Well, the cover certainly does. No, it's not David Morrissey but it is a silhouette obviously designed to look as much like him as it can without getting into trouble. And the London skyline recalls the beauty shots of the city that graced the TV show. But given that Thorne remains, in print anyway, short and stout, and that this book takes place mostly in a small newsagent's, it's clear the cover was created to reflect the TV show not the book it adorns.

Happily, the content is as reliably good as ever. Even if Billingham's writing style, his technique, is perhaps becoming a little familiar. Slightly mannered.
A little repetitive, perhaps.

As with In the Dark, to which this is a sequel of sorts, the marketing of it as a book with a shocking twist does Billingham a disservice. There is no twist - there's no Sixth Sense or Crying Game reveal here, but one isn't needed - it's a good case, well plotted and excitingly told. Which should be more than enough.

In summary - another great Thorne book, but the packaging and marketing seem at odds with the content.
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Tyrone Have to say i agree with you on the TV series. I've read all the Thorne books and they are great reads but i wasn't a Sky customer so had to wait for the DVD's. I was really excited with the great critical response it received. I couldn't have been more disappointed. I expect that most who have read the books would feel the same. The changes they made just didn't make sense.


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