‘Rush of Blood’ by Mark Billingham
OH..MY..GOD!!! Ive just read page 326 of Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham and he’s made me change my mind AGAIN as to who I think the killer is!!!
Seriously, I thought I had it nailed back in the beginning!
This book is a rare stand alone from Mr Billingham, and it certainly does like to stand out from the crowd. Expertly written and paced, with seeds of doubt planted all the way through, just waiting to mature and branch off in yet another direction.
Set initially at a Floridian holiday resort, we bump into the main characters lounging around the pool enjoying their vacation, seemingly without a care in the world. On their last day at the resort a young girl goes missing, later to be found dead among the area’s tangled mangroves. The three couples try to brush this small glitch in their summer sun under the carpet and enjoy their final evening together, promising to stay in touch.
Back home under the grey English skies, an email prompts the first of three uncomfortable reunions, and it is at these where we really get to know the characters. Ed and Sue, who have more secrets than the chamber in Harry Potter; Barry and Angie who are both unhappy with their lot, angry and in denial; and Marina and Dave who covet the lives of others, not knowing who they really are themselves.
The suspects are a law unto themselves, and like a small British Poirot (who is also female and without a moustache I might add), Jenny the trainee constable slowly picks apart their alibis while eating a lot of biscuits.
This book is expertly character led. Normally I have to warm to the main protagonists to be able to care about them, but about a quarter of the way in I realised that none of them were very pleasant at all. I didn’t like one of them, which is entirely what the author set out to do I feel. I was still desperate to know how the story would unfold.
I actually wrote the first part of this review before finding out ‘who dunnit’ because I didn’t want to sway the reader AND I was just so excited at the number of curve balls that the author was hitting. All the way through I kept telling my husband ‘this is SO good, you HAVE to read it.’ Whether he does or not remains to be seen, but I loved it, and the twists and turns and subtle nuances kept me guessing throughout.
Mr Billingham, you have gained a new fan.
P.S. I guessed right in the end.
For more books by Mark Billingham, check out his website
If you like great thrillers, like this one, you could also try The Marriage Pact
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