Book Review: Bloodline

After a brief hiatus Billingham is back and better then ever with this gripping tale of a frightening murderer targeting the children of an earlier serial killer’s victims. Fifteen years ago the now deceased killer Raymond Garvey terrified London residents with a series of horrible murders and it appears he has an ardent admirer following his example. As detective investigator Tom Thorne examines a case involving an asphyxiated and battered young woman, a tiny sliver from what appears to be an X-ray sheet is found in her hand. Soon, Thorne and the investigating team realize a killer is targeting the children of Garvey’s victims and there are only three remaining alive. Protecting the potential victims proves nearly as difficult as apprehending the murderer and once they do, true closure remains elusive as it sometimes isn’t possible to fathom the convoluted reasoning of a criminal mind.

A dynamite protagonist, Thorne’s interesting personal challenges as he attempts to cope with his lover’s medically necessary abortion, the dark peek into a truly disturbed mind and a dash of humor make for one nice mystery read. Particularly noteworthy is the sense that even though a killer is brought to justice, sometimes the motivation remains unknown. Billingham has taken emphasis off Thorne’s assorted emotional upheavals and brought the series back on track, kudos.


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