Die Of Shame, by Mark Billingham

12 Aug

29474754Format: e-ARC, 448 pages

Publisher: Grove Atlantic

Published: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 9780802125255

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: From British thriller master Mark Billingham, a recent finalist for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library, Die of Shame is a chilling story of addiction, subterfuge, and murder.

Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about shame. A respected doctor, a well-heeled housewife, a young male prostitute . . . they could not be more different. All they have in common is a history of addiction. But when one of the group is murdered, it quickly becomes apparent that someone else in that circle is responsible. The investigation is hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these individuals and their therapist together, which makes things difficult for Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner, a woman who can appreciate the desire to keep personal matters private. If she is to find the killer, she will need to use less obvious means. The question is: What could be shameful enough to cost someone their life? And how do you find the truth when secrets, lies, and denial are second nature to all of your suspects?

My review: My sister has been recommending Mark Billingham to me for a while, so I jumped at the chance to get this ARC when it popped up on Netgalley. And I was not disappointed. This standalone story introduces us to an addiction therapy group full of interesting, well-crafted characters. I was gripped from the outset, and although there were many twists and red herrings, I was satisfied my suspicions were confirmed in the end. In fact, that ending was one of those wonderful “gotcha” moments that make a reader grin, knowing the crime will not go unpunished.

Billingham’s experience as a TV writer shows, and I can easily see this as an excellent British crime drama. I hope we’ll see more of DI Nicola Tanner and her interesting colleagues in future. Meanwhile, I’m definitely going back to read Billingham’s earlier works. My sister was right.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

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