THE BONES BENEATH by Mark Billingham
Kirkus Star

THE BONES BENEATH

KIRKUS REVIEW

DI Tom Thorne escorts a convicted serial killer to a remote Welsh island with predictably eventful results.

Twenty-five years after teenage car thief Simon Milner disappeared from Tides House, a facility for young offenders on Bardsey Island, his mother still doesn’t know what happened to him. Now she has a chance at the closure she craves. Stuart Nicklin, a notorious murderer who put in his time at Tides House along with Simon, says he killed the boy he befriended and that he knows where he buried him. Since the topography of Bardsey—a real-life island reputedly home to the graves of countless saints—is tricky, Nicklin can’t just tell the coppers the location of Simon’s last resting place; he has to lead them to it, and he insists on taking along both Thorne, who put him away, and a more recent friend, history teacher Jeffrey Batchelor, who’s been imprisoned along with Nicklin for killing the young man who jilted Batchelor’s teenage daughter, which led to her suicide. The staff of Long Lartin prison takes all possible precautions in transporting the two prisoners to Bardsey, but Thorne knows that something will go terribly wrong, and of course, he’s right. Like the manipulative Nicklin, Billingham (The Dying Hours, 2013, etc.) delights in toying with his audience, and most readers’ nerves will be shredded long before the sadistic import of Nicklin’s deep-laid plot finally becomes clear.

Thorne’s 12th is a tour de force of suspense that dares you to guess the secrets of a magician who’s made his intentions perfectly clear from the very beginning.

Pub Date: June 3rd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2248-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2014




BEST MYSTERIES & THRILLERS OF 2014:

FictionWHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT by David Shafer
by David Shafer
MysteryTHE BONES BENEATH by Mark Billingham
by Mark Billingham
FictionNIGHT HERON by Adam Brookes
by Adam Brookes
MysteryTHE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith
by Robert Galbraith

MORE BY MARK BILLINGHAM

MysteryTIME OF DEATH by Mark Billingham
by Mark Billingham
MysteryFROM THE DEAD by Mark Billingham
by Mark Billingham
MysteryTHE DYING HOURS by Mark Billingham
by Mark Billingham

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionTHE LAZARUS HOTEL by Jo Bannister
by Jo Bannister
MysteryHOLLOW MAN by Mark Pryor
by Mark Pryor
FictionSHUTTER ISLAND by Dennis Lehane
by Dennis Lehane