This is the first in a series of quick book reviews I’d like to share with you. This one has a crime focus but if you love urban fantasy I’ll be alternating between genres as I love them both.
If you have read a two-part interview about my writing journey, on Yvonne Carder’s (a YA Fantasy writer) website, you will already know I’ve been a fan of Mark Billingham since reading his first crime novel Sleepyhead.
A fact I rarely share with others is that Mark Billingham was also the first author I ever emailed for writing advice, well I suppose research advice is the accurate term. I never really expected a reply and was ecstatic to hear back the same day.
Thank you, Mr. Billingham, writing a novel isn’t easy and knowing there are authors willing to help us newbies is heartwarming.
Die of Shame by Mark Billingham
Die of Shame is the story of a group of five recovering addicts who are part of a support group and attend meetings hosted by therapist Tony De Silva. The group have little in common, their addictions and life experiences are poles apart yet they turn up week after week to talk, listen and argue with each other. Often they continue their discussions in a local North London pub.
When one of the group is found brutally murdered, DI Nicola Tanner and her partner have the difficult job of putting together a timeline for the murder and interviewing witnesses who are less than cooperative about sharing the discussions that had taken place in the therapy sessions.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a die-hard Tom Thorne fangirl, I was unsure whether a book with just a cameo appearance of Thorne would hold my attention. It was the structure of the story and the characterisation that had me hooked.
The book begins with a prisoner talking to a visitor. As the story develops this prologue makes sense to the reader and an important part of the story. The story is written from the different viewpoints of the group members and Tony De Silva and is separated into ‘now’ and ‘then’ chapters each part weaved into an intricate story which made me want to read on solve the subtle clues hidden within the chapters.
All of the characters were damaged in one way or another. At different points in the book they are all suspects, including the therapist, and as a reader, you are aware that they all have motives to murder the victim. As the story develops the reader also finds out secrets and shame of the group members which adds to your opinion of the characters as the story develops.
Tom Thorne’s appearance near the end of the book put a smile on my face, but then I’m biased!
I recommend this book but am aware there are some topics broached that will not appeal to the faint-hearted.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you have a recommendation?
I would love to hear from you, either in the comments below or via my contact page.
Just a reminder, I picked this book up at my local library. Support your local library!
Until next time.
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