Book Review: Time of Death by Mark Billingham

time-of-death-billinghamTime of Death
A Tom Thorne Novel #13
Mark Billingham
Grove Press, June 2016
ISBN 978-0-8021-2499-9
Trade Paperback

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.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, May 2016.