#BookReview #CryBaby Mark Billingham @MarkBillingham @LittleBrownUK @BooksSphere

Cry Baby (Tom Thorne Novels Book 17) by [Mark Billingham]
Source: Purchased via Amazon

Cry Baby is perfect for both fans and those new to the Tom Thorne series.

Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says

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.

My thoughts

Well, what can I say, other than I feel as though I have been waiting for this book forever and that you really do need to go and buy it now! I am a huge fan of Mark Billingham and the Tom Thorne series, so this opportunity to find out about the man before Sleepyhead was not one I was about to pass up on! In case you haven’t realised it yet, Cry Baby is the sequel to the Tom Thorne series, so great for new readers and longstanding fans alike!

Cry Baby takes us back 25 years to the 1990s, so it’s potentially considered as historical crime fiction! How old does this make me feel! However, this made it fascinating to read, an era with no instant methods of communication; no mobiles, internet, no lives lived out over social media and no CCTV! So good old fashioned policing comes to the fore. It’s hard (for some) to recall a time like this, I remember it well, and it made a refreshing change to read something that wasn’t steeped in online life! The sense of place and time was enhanced with the references to music, news and major sporting events, placing the reader firmly in Thorne’s world at the time. You

Mark Billingham has created a great team in this series and the relationships and dynamics between them all are

Cry Baby has a compelling storyline, a missing kid is always one to grab my attention; it was a real heart in the mouth case with a  cast of suspects that kept me guessing all the way through and left me reeling. But best of all was seeing Thorne as he was back then, learning about who and what shaped him, his motivation, his weaknesses and his fears. I loved Thorne’s first meeting with Phil Hendricks, the initial disdain which turns, as we all know, into a deep friendship, we see him discover their now legendary Indian restaurant, the Bengal Lancer and for fans of the series, it’s is great to join the dots as future names, cases and places are dropped in to the story.

It was a pleasure to meet up with Thorpe in his earlier years; The storyline may be dark but the writer’s trademark humour is there, albeit as dark as the plot. A nostalgic trip down memory lane with one of my favourite Detectives!

Cry Baby is available from

Waterstones and all good bookshops

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