Buried (Tom Thorne Novels) by Mark Billingham

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Hellllllllo readers, something really exciting for you today and something a little different. When I can’t find something to read I always find myself scouring the bookshelves of the parentals forgetting that my little sister (not so little now that she’s twenty – when did that happen!) has a number of exciting books for me to sneak. They are normally thriller/abduction/horror style books but her shelves are stacked (unlike mine) with books she honestly loves and so I know I’m almost always going to get something good; today surprised me so I’m going to see what she thought of said book; hope you enjoy.

A retired copper’s son is kidnapped. Many of the villains he put away had sworn revenge. So why does he fail to mention the one who is still the main suspect in a four-year-old murder?

Must admit at the start of this, that I’m coming into this series pretty late because this is the sixth book in the series but I often think with series books in a crime genre you should be able to throw yourself right in and to a point I could. Quite easily. The book follows the country music loving detective Tom Thorne who appears to be a little side-lined by his colleagues (I’m sure this relates to a book earlier in the series.) However he is moved back into the spotlight when he is chosen to investigate the kidnapping of a former Detective Chief Superintendent’s son Luke. The book continues as the police hunt down Luke and his kidnappers as the plot thickens with more deaths, a racial crime and a romantic love interest to boot.

So for the positives; the book is a well written in terms of the jargon police language and the main character (I’m sure over the previous five books) has been developed into a really strong character profile. I thought it really helped the plot feel grounded and was an interesting persona to read about. Additionally  the supporting main characters to a point were well written although at times under-developed and they helped to weave the two stories and add a feel to the novel. I thought the writing of the racially motivated murder was intriguing and helped to add a sub-plot. There are a number of red-herrings weaved into both the plots and I thought the use of the Former Detective helped to add some suspense. Throughout I knew there wasn’t something quite right and I thought the sense of unease was handled well.

For me though this book really struggled; it has a really slow pace and being such a hefty number of pages I felt bogged down and need something to really excite me, but it just doesn’t deliver. Many of the secondary characters are under-developed or seem to play very little part and I think in terms of the writing a good two-hundred of so pages could have been wiped and instead the other content should have been whipped into shape.

Additionally, and oddly, the title doesn’t match the book inside. T asked me why it was called Buried and I could only come up with a very tenuous link. The author however, appears to acknowledge this with one of the chapters starting with a line such as ‘It was like being buried.’ Nope – that is not enough to link the book to the blurb. Additionally I thought that the links between the first and second plot was so tenuously linked it was a struggle to see why Billingham has done it at all.

*SPOILER*

I needed to put this in because I wanted to rage about this to you. Towards the end the police find out who the killer is, they then discuss him without directly mentioning him for a good chapter or two and then when the name was revealed I had no idea who it was. Mainly because he had been spoken to once in the first couple of chapters. No, No, that is NOT okay! Gah *rages.* Additionally, there are so many last names that I had trouble defining who was who and who was female and not; crime novels are so bad for this but here it was overwhelmingly so. I thought the ending was messy too, I’m still not sure how it all connects. Finally, and this is a big one, I didn’t like any of the characters that much so when it all came to a resolution I kind of thought – right that’s over. That’s not the feeling I want to feel so I was quite disappointed.

Overall I was really upset about this and I’m annoyed. For something so long in length I wanted something really powerful  and to not get that after 350+ pages I feel cheated. Add to this that to have under-developed characters in something so long is unbelievable. I didn’t enjoy this and I’m not sure you will too.

(PS: Spoke to Char and she struggled with book too and has since suggested others *yay* #holla)

Linnnnnnks

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