Sunday, March 20, 2011
The Burning Girl by Mark Billingham
X marks the spot – and when the spot is a corpse’s naked back and the X is carved in blood, DI Tom Thorne is in no doubt that the dead man is the latest victim of a particularly vicious contract killer. This is turf warfare between North London gangs. Organised-crime boss Bill Ryan is moving into someone else’s patch, and that someone is not best pleased. For Thorn, a tenuous link between two cases become two pieces of the same puzzle; past and present fuse together to form a new and very nasty riddle.
This is the 2nd book written by Mark Billingham that I read. Unfortunately, there are very limited Mark Billingham’s titles in the stores where I’m from. After a period of time, I managed to find his books in the local library and at the same time came across some of them in local warehouse sales such as this and from outlet such as this.
The Burning Girl had a great start. It was real promising and DI Tom Thorne started off enthusiastically with new sidekick, Carol Chamberlain, a retired DCI who is now a member of the Crinkly Squard – a unit made up of former officers brought back to work on cold cases.
Unfortunately, the story kind of went downhill toward the middle of the book and continues downhill from there till it ends. That’s how I felt and I didn’t really like the ending. Perhaps, this is just not my cup of tea and someone else might enjoy it.
The story is very different from Sleepy Head as the focus of crime in this book is gang related. I was also quite annoyed with DI Tom Thorne. I hope he realises in future books that he’s not always right and he can be played left right and centre by other characters without him knowing. His action of getting intimate with the wife of the suspect....tsk...tsk....I thought he would know better too and certainly playing with fire over his career. And his dad...what exactly happen to him towards the end? Perhaps I will find out if I read the 3rd title under his series, Lifeless.