Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about addiction. There they share their deepest secrets: stories of lies, regret, and above all, shame.
Then one of them is killed – and it’s clear one of the circle was responsible.
Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner quickly finds her investigation hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these people and their therapist together. So what could be shameful enough to cost someone their life?
It’s a while since I read a Mark Billingham novel and Die of Shame was a welcome reminder of how good they are and a slap on the wrist for falling behind. It’s a stand-alone novel that concentrates on a group of people who all suffer from an addiction. Most of the novel focuses on the group instead of the detectives who are investigating the case.
All of the group had different addictions and there were times when I had sympathy for all of them but this feeling diminished the further I read, when I knew them better. There was one exception though. I’m not saying who they were, you will have to make up your own mind.
The surprises started straight away. The identity of the victim isn’t revealed immediately and it wasn’t who I expected it to be. You are given no clue why the individual was killed and I couldn’t work out who had killed them. Each chapter focused on a different person, their problems and the relationship that they had with each other and the victim. Every time I finished a chapter there was something to convince me that they were the murderer.
At first I was a little unsure about the ending but a couple of days after finishing it I decided it worked and I liked it a lot. It’s a great novel, one that somebody new to his work would enjoy, but I can certainly recommend his previous novels. I now need to work out which of the Inspector Thorne books I’ve not read.