Mark Billingham's long running and much loved DI Tom Thorne series. Now, although it is technically number 17, it's actually a prequel to the first book in the series - Sleepyhead. So.....faithful fans like myself will be thrilled to explore an early Thorne in Cry Baby. And new readers can make this their first book and discover this addictive series.
Cry Baby opens with Thorne dreaming of a past case - one where he didn't arrive in time. He's determined to not have the same outcome with this latest crime.
1996. Two young boys are playing hide and go seek in the wooded area of a park. The mom charged with watching the pair takes her eyes off them 'for just a second'. And only one boy comes out of the woods. A witness swears he saw the boy getting into a car with a man. And as anyone knows, the clock is ticking for Kieron's safety.
The two moms come from different worlds, but they each seem to have secrets and pasts they don't share. Billingham gives us lots of red herrings and possible whodunits along the way to the final pages. I was sure I knew who it was, but was happily proven wrong. Very well plotted. It was interesting to see Thorne try to solve the case using only technology and tools available in 1996.
We meet coroner Phil Hendricks (also a long running character) and witness the beginning of the friendship between Phil and Tom. Thorne's personal life is also part of Cry Baby - his marriage is over, but he's having trouble accepting it.
This has long been one of my favorite series and I loved seeing the beginning. Can't wait for number 18! Read an excerpt of Cry Baby.