DEATH MESSAGE is the 7th novel in the Tom Thorne series by Mark Billingham and one of the best in the series that I’ve read.
Thorne is used to investigating murderers, but in this case the murderer is getting personal. Thorne is being sent pictures of the victims to his phone and he has no idea why the murderer has chosen him to receive the messages. The fact that the first two victims were part of the same gang helps Thorne and his team start to narrow down the list of possible murderers.
But the 3rd victim is not part of the gang and things are starting to get a bit closer to home. Thorne is also starting to build a relationship with the killer through phone messages, so much so that Thorne once again steps outside of proper procedure.
But even when the killer is identified, there is still the question of why Thorne has been sent the messages. That turns out to be related to someone from Thorne’s past – a dangerous psychopath intent on sending Thorne his own message.
Meanwhile, Thorne’s relationship with fellow police officer Louise continues on, but the cracks are starting to show. His friendship with pathologist Phil Hendricks is also suffering ups and downs. And now Louise seems to be developing more of a friendship with Hendricks than with Thorne. Can Tom and Louise manage to keep their relationship together?
This was one of the best novels of the series so far. Tom Thorne once again managed to solve the case but stepped outside the lines just enough to keep him human.
The pacing of this novel was excellent and it was difficult to put it down.
There were some excellent characters in this novel, including one from Thorne’s past come back to haunt him. And it was good (but completely illegal) to see Thorne take his revenge on another criminal from his past.
I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series – BLOODLINE.