Buried – Mark Billingham

Buried_1 Mark Billingham brings us another story in the engaging and entertaining DI Tom Thorne series.  As with the previous stories, Billingham again pulls off an original tale.

In a nutshell: Luke Mullen is missing and presumed kidnapped.  But this case is different.  Luke is 16 years old, so he’s not the usual age for a kidnap case.  There’s been no ransom demand.  Luke is also the son of a now retired ex-DCI in the Metropolitan Police.  The obvious place to start is with a list of those who may have a grudge against ex-DCI Mullen.  The list is prepared, but then Thorne discovers that Mullen left out someone who was really most worthy of a place on it…

Thorne is loaned to another team to assist in this investigation, allowing us to see him, yet again, slipping into a new set of colleagues with the finesse of the surface of a cheese grater.   Holland also makes the move, which puts him in a fortuitous position to assist with another ongoing investigation…    (Another good plot in itself.)  Hendricks, the pathologist, finds his way back to Thorne’s flat and sofa, albeit temporarily.  (Love is never smooth, is it?)  He’s not the only visitor to Thorne’s flat in this book, but you’ll have to read it to find out more.

London is Thorne’s beat; it’s also Billingham’s.  Billingham is a confident and reliable purveyor of London today – how it really is beneath the surface and what the Met experiences on a day to day basis.

Page turning, but with plenty of substance and intrigue, if you love/like this series, Buried is unmissable.  If you are new to the Thorne series, I reckon you might just get captured and seek out the backlist.