The Murder Book by Mark Billingham is the 18th mystery novel featuring D.I. Tom Thorne and sidekick Nicola Tanner. The Murder Book belongs to the serial killer category. It also belongs to the original and interesting serial killer category.

This makes The Murder Book hard to put down. Unfortunately, you have to be familiar with previous D.I. Thorne books to fully enjoy this one as Thorne’s nemesis returns. This said, this is the first Mark Billingham mystery I have come across and guess who is going to investigate the back catalogue.

The prologue features a man waiting, happy about the poison that he has had slipped to someone. This has nothing to do with the opening chapters of this mystery novel. D.I. Thorne shows up at a murder scene where a man’s ears have been cut off after his drink was spiked. The next victim is missing his tongue. A man who turns out to have been the first victim is missing his eyes. Thorne soon makes the connection with the three monkeys statue but has little else to go on.

A suspect is caught early on but, of course, it is not that simple. Enter Thorne’s nemesis.

Games are played, nerves are fraught, and not every one is who they appear to be.

The Murder Book by Mark Billingham ends on a rather original note that will surprise even the most experienced mystery novel fan.

The Murder Book
Mark Billingham
A D.I. Thorne mystery
Little, Brown & Associates 2022
405 pages

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