Love Like Blood

Atlantic. Jun. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780802126535. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780802189547. M
OrangeReviewStarLondon DI Tom Thorne (Time of Death) returns for another absorbing installment in Billingham's gripping police procedural series. Fellow officer Nicola Tanner (Die of Shame) returns, too, as she needs Thorne's contrarian intelligence to help solve a crime. Tanner is on compassionate leave: her partner was brutally murdered in their home, but Tanner believes that she was the actual target. She had recently been investigating links between two contract killers and possible honor killings in the local Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh communities, and is convinced that she was supposed to be the next victim. Her superior officers are skeptical, so she and Thorne pursue their own inquiries. Tensions are high, and when two young people go missing in what looks suspiciously like another honor killing, the stakes are raised substantially. Billingham brings the book to its conclusion with a stunning, surprising twist.
VERDICT Superior writing, credible dialog, and creative plotting drive this deftly crafted crime novel. If you haven't encountered DI Tom Thorne yet, this would be an ideal introduction.
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