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On sale

8th May 2006

Price: £15.98

Theakstons, 2008

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405502160

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Teenager Luke Mullen was last seen getting into a car with an older woman. No one can understand why he has disappeared. His father – a former police officer – knows all too well that the longer he is missing, the more likely he is to turn up dead.
Then Luke’s parents receive an anonymous video. It shows their son, eyes wide with terror, as a man advances towards him holding a syringe.
DI Tom Thorne recognises a psychopath when he sees one. And the scene on the tape chills him to the bone – he knows that a child’s life hangs in the balance, and that every minute counts…

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The fashion in which Mark Billingham has climbed his way to the top of the British crime writing fraternity should cause no one any surprise. His secret (as his latest book, Buried, comprehensively proves) is simple: Billingham's work is always utterly reliable, delivering gritty and authoritative crime fiction writing in which the sense of locale is always spot-on. Here, DI Tom Thorne is asked to help in the case of a teenage boy who has disappeared. He is the son of a once high-ranking police officer (now retired), and Thorne's first endeavour is to ask the father, ex DCI-Mullen, to draw up a list of all those in his past who might have reason to hold a grudge. But then Thorne discovers that there is an omission from the list: a man who has made serious threats to Mullen and his family. And as Billingham's beleaguered hero strains every sinew to track down the boy before he is killed, he has to find out why his ex-police colleague has lied to him. As so often before with Billingham, it's the steady accumulation of disturbing detail that makes this novel so compelling. The author eschews easy thrills, and prefers to involve the reader at a more realistic pace. This is not to say that the book lacks excitement (even Billingham's enemies could hardly accuse him of that), but just that the tension is dispensed in a way that never seems meretricious. Another solid entry in the growing Tom Thorne canon. -- Barry Forshaw
'With Buried we're plunged back into the dark side with a vengeance . . . Billingham's plotting is as taut as ever' Barry Forshaw
Glenister conveys well the rising panic of the kidnapper, whose querulous protestations, though addressed to no one in particular, are certainly creepy... A long, meaty, good-value listen