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Tom Thorne Books In Order

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Publication Order of Tom Thorne Books

Sleepyhead (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scaredy Cat (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lazybones (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Burning Girl (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lifeless (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Buried (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Message (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bloodline (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
From The Dead (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good as Dead / The Demands (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dying Hours (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thorne at Christmas: A Short Story Collection (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bones Beneath (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time of Death (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love Like Blood (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Killing Habit (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Their Little Secret (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cry Baby (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Murder Book (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Tom Thorne series is a series of crime fiction novels written by the awards winning author from London. England, Mark Billingham. All the novels of the series revolve around the fictional character Tom Thorne, who is a middle-aged Detective Inspector living in London. The author Mark Billingham has characterized some of the personalities of the main character Tom Thorne based on his own personality. There is a total of thirteen novels in the series, which were published between the years 2001 and 2015. The series laid a huge impact on the readers as a new crime mystery series right from its first novel. The readers enjoyed reading the series and developed a strong love towards the thriller novels of the series. Each of the books in the series revolves around a case in the beginning, which get solved with the help of skillful detective Tom Thorne by the end of the book. The debut novel of the series was published in the year 2001 by the Little, Brown publishing house. It was called ‘Sleepyhead’ and depicted the story of a gruesome murderer who had killed three people and was about to take the fourth life, but for Detective Inspector Tom Thorne who comes in his way and hunts him down in the end. The opening plot of the novel shows Alison Willetts, who had survived a stroke attack which was induced deliberately by the killer using skillful manipulation of the of the pressure points of the neck and the head. Although she had survived the stroke attack, she was not able to communicate or move from her bed. Alison was able to see, feel and hear, and was aware of all the things that were going on around her. The condition of Alison is called the Locked-in Syndrome and the police believe that the killer has made his first and the only mistake by leaving Alison Willetts alive. Now, they face the tough job of finding the killer by growing on his only mistake as further mistakes from him seemed unlikely, being a skillful criminal. However, when Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is asked to handle the case, his investigations lead him to discover horrifying truths about the killer.

Tom Thorne believes that it was not Alison Willetts who was the mistake of the killer, rather the previous three women who were killed by him. Tom finds out that the killer had used an appropriate margin of error, which were effective enough to kill the women. He also believes that even though Alison has survived the attack, the killer will not stop at this and he will go for other victims. The killer seems to be smarter and enjoying the healthy battle with Tom Thorne who will stop at nothing to end his hobby of pursuing the sick fantasy. With several unsuccessful attempts at trying to catch the killer, Tom believes that he is not going to catch him by following the normal procedure. Hence, he decides to bend the rules and follow his own methods to catch the killer. Tom Thorne has the gut instinct based on the little circumstantial evidences that the anesthetist Jeremy Bishop might be the killer. He is on top of the list of Tom Thorne’s prime suspects of the murders. The pursuit of Jeremy Bishop leads Tom to Anne Coburn, who is Alison’s doctor and one of the close friends of Jeremy. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne finds himself in the dilemma of finding the terrifying killer and the only person that knows anything about him is unable to speak. The novel went on to feature in the Top Ten Bestseller list of the Sunday Times. The novel also became the highest selling debut novel of the summer in England. In the US, the novel was published by the William Morrow publishing house.

The second novel of the series was published in the year 2002 by the Time Warner Books publishing house. The novel was called ‘Scaredy Cat’ and revolved around a vicious murder plot. The plot of the novel opens up with a calculated and vicious murder of a woman. The killer had chosen the victim at the Euston station and had followed her to her home. He killed her by strangling her in front of her child. During the same time, one more dead body is discovered from the back of the King’s Cross station, The second victim was also murdered in the same way. The murder of the two women seems to be a coincidence as a couple of other women were stabbed to death in the same way a few months before on the very same day. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is hired to do the investigation of the murder of the two victims and find the relation between them and the other two murders that had happened previously a few months before.

Tom Thorne establishes the link between the murders and comes to the conclusion that there were not one but two serial killers that the police were up against. The worst part of the murders were finding the dead body and every time a body is found, Thorne knows that another body is about to be discovered somewhere in the city. Tom Thornes investigation makes him conclude that the methods used for killing were same, but the manner in which the victims were murdered were strikingly different. Hence, he realizes that he has to hunt two different killers. The case study makes the police believe that one of the murderers was ruthless and had control in his method of killing while the other was compliant, submissive and terrified in his method of killing. The ruthless killer seemed to be highly skillful in manipulations as he was in killing and he would not think twice to threaten the close relatives of Tom Thorne in order to stop him from coming behind him. The killer’s deadliest weapon was his ability to inspire terror. The novel went on to be nominated for the Crime Writers Association’s Gold Dagger Award for being the best novel novel of the year in the crime genre. It also won the Sherlock Award for creating the best detective by a British Author. The novel was also nominated for the Barry Award in the Best British Crime Novel category in the year 2003.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Tom Thorne

5 Responses to “Tom Thorne”

  1. Pauline Greenhalgh: 1 year ago

    Just finished The Murder Book …. excellent as ever !! Thank you xx

  2. Ann Tanner: 1 year ago

    I have read all the Tom Thorne books
    Is The Murder Club the last ever book?
    Hopefully not

  3. Christine Williams: 1 year ago

    Fantastic books. Have read every one. Recommended reading. I’m on the last one. The Murder Book. Thank you so much.

  4. Maureen Hutchings: 2 years ago

    Loving these books

  5. Wyatt Earp: 4 years ago

    a very interesting series of books various crimes and good stories and plots.


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