Cry Baby by Mark Billingham – Review.

About The Book

It’s 1996. Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne is a haunted man. Haunted by the moment he ignored his instinct about a suspect, by the horrific crime that followed and by the memories that come day and night, in sunshine and shadow.

So when seven-year-old Kieron Coyne goes missing while playing in the woods with his best friend, Thorne vows he will not make the same mistake again. Cannot.

The solitary witness. The strange neighbour. The friendly teacher. All are in Thorne’s sights. 

This case will be the making of him . . . or the breaking.

The gripping prequel to Mark Billingham’s acclaimed debut, Sleepyhead, Cry Baby is the shocking first case for one of British crime fiction’s most iconic detectives.

My Review

With thanks to the to the publisher for the copy received via Pigeonhole. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Mark Billingham’s excellent Thorne series. It is one of a few that I have fallen behind on over the years but after reading Cry Baby, a prequel, that shows Thorne as a DC it was the nudge in the ribs I needed to make a determined effort to catch up. 

The thing about prequels is that it is a marvellous way of finding new readers. Obviously there are no spoilers, so you don’t have the worry about reading out of sequence. And for the readers who are familiar with the series you get to see friendships develop. Happily, for me, the friendship here was between Thorne and Hendricks. Hendricks has always been my favourite character in the books I have read and I loved that this was a friendship that didn’t start in the best way. 

The case itself was full of intrigue. I have to admit I got so hooked on one part of the investigation I forgot about an other. So when the culprit was revealed I was a little flummoxed. But not for long, and this just added to the more sinister side to the storyline.

The last chapter was one that will stay with me for a while. What happens there is something I’ve never really thought about before and it shows that sometimes a happy outcome is never guaranteed. 

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