Billingham continues his trend of bringing Thorne back to the top, where he belongs, in this instalment. As I said in the review for Lifeless I really didn’t enjoy The Burning Girl at all but thankfully Lifeless improved drastically on that and once again Buried has improved a little bit more. It’s once again a fast-paced exciting thriller with an easy enough storyline to follow and you get to know and love a lot of the characters introduced.
It’s slightly different to other Thorne books in that the main victim is alive throughout the book as the plot centers on a kidnap case. You get to see things from the victim, Luke’s, point of view and it really adds to the tension and excitement knowing that it’s basically a race against time to save his life.
Thorne is still feeling all sorts of bad emotions about the circumstances surrounding his father’s death. Guilt, shame and helplessness to name but a few but he seems to be slowly moving on and I think by the end he has some sort of emotional breakthrough so hopefully we get to see him become a little happier in future books. I like Louise so I hope we continue to see her pop up in future books as well and that Thorne may get some kind of a happy ending, so to speak.
There were a few flaws with this book, it wasn’t perfect but that’s kind of the way Billingham likes to write so I’m beginning to just accept that. For example, i thought it dragged in places and I got a tad bored here and there only to read a few pages and be hooked all over again when an unexpected turn of events raises its head. Also Billingham mentions in his acknowledgements at the end of the book that he found getting details of how a kidnap case is run in Britain extremely difficult because obviously of its sensitive nature. You do see this a little in the book where he always seemed to know the technical side of police work in previous instalments but here he flounders a little and seems to brush over certain elements. This can’t be helped though and his explanation is fair enough when you think of the work the real Kidnap Case Unit must have to do in Britain.
A good Thorne book, he’s getting back to his best slowly but surely.
- Mark Billingham Is A Fan Of The Dark Side Of London (npr.org)
- New in crime fiction: Billingham, Furst and the return of Inspector Montalbano (seattletimes.nwsource.com)