Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bloodline-Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham
Mulholland/Little Brown, Jul 14 2011, $24.99
ISBN 9780316126663

In Whittington Hospital, police Detective Inspector Tom Thorne struggles with his girlfriend Detective Inspector Louise Porter’s miscarriage. Thus when his superior DCI Brigstocke informs him of a homicide, he welcomes a new case to take his mind off the tragedy.

In her home in Finchley, someone battered Emily Walker before suffocating her with plastic. Thorne looks at the murder scene, which is clearly that of domestic violence. However, he learns that a twenty-something nurse was murdered in the same manner three weeks ago in Leicester City. Further inquiry into the pasts of two dead females links them when both their mothers and five other women were murdered fifteen years ago by the late serial killer Raymond Garvey. As more offspring of Garvey’s victims are murdered, a copycat psychopath is on the loose.

The latest Thorne British police procedural (see Death Message) is an engaging suspense filled investigation. The protagonist does not cope well with the miscarriage and though he relishes the case to keep his mind off dark personal thoughts, he also feels a bit guilty for his euphoria over corpses appearing in London. Although the nibbles from the soul of the psychopath never feel adequate as with the Lay’s commercial a few chips is not enough (either more or none is needed). Still sub-genre readers will want to join the DI as he investigates the copy cat serial killings.

Harriet Klausner

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