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Mark Billingham Books in Order (Thorne, Rabbit Hole, The Murder Book)

Mark Billingham Books in Order (Thorne, Rabbit Hole, The Murder Book)
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All of the Books!

Who is Mark Billingham?

Mark Billingham is a British novelist who grew up in Birmingham and graduated with a degree in drama. He first worked as an actor and had minor roles in TV episodes of different shows after moving to London in the mid-1980s. Disenchanted with acting following a series of uninspiring roles, he decided to pursue a career in comedy and he became Gary, one of the guards of the King’s castle, and the Sheriff’s henchman in the comedy Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, which lasted four seasons. He also participated in the writing process during the last season of the show. Then, Billingham turned his attention to writing comedy scripts for television, as well as continuing to act and appear in front of the camera at various points.

A self-confessed fan of crime fiction, he finally published his first novel, Sleepyhead, in 2001, also the first with his DI Tom Thorne. Since he continued to write novels at a steady pace and saw his work being adapted for television, beginning with a Thorne adaptation in 2010 with David Morrisey in the lead. His novel In The Dark has also been adapted as a miniseries by BBC in 2017.

Mark Billingham Books in Order:

Tom Thorne Series

Tom Thorne, is a middle-aged detective inspector who is known for being unpredictable, as he investigates violent crimes, hunts serial killers, and tries to save lives. For more details, go to the Tom Thorne reading order.

  1. Sleepyhead (2001)
  2. Scaredy Cat (2002)
  3. Lazybones (2003)
  4. The Burning Girl (2004)
  5. Lifeless (2005)
  6. Buried (2006)
  7. Death Message (2007)
  8. Bloodline (2009)
  9. From the Dead (2010)
  10. Thorne at Christmas: A Short Story Collection (2013)
  11. Good As Dead (2011) — aka The Demands
  12. The Dying Hours (2013)
  13. The Bones Beneath (2014)
  14. Time of Death (2015)
  15. Love Like Blood (2017)
  16. The Killing Habit (2018)
  17. Their Little Secret (2019)
  18. Cry Baby (2020) – A Prequel
  19. The Murder Book (2022)

Other Novels


  • In the Dark (2008) — includes Tom Thorne as a minor character and features Helen Weeks as a lead. A rainy night in south London. A gun is fired into a car, which swerves onto the pavement and plows into a bus stop. It seems that a chilling gang initiation has cost the life of an innocent victim. But the reality is far more sinister. . . .
  • Rush of Blood (2012) — includes Tom Thorne as a minor character. Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, their perfect holiday takes a tragic twist: the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves. When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties, they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find: buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices… Then, a second girl goes missing. Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody can imagine? 
  • Die of Shame (2016) — includes Tom Thorne as a minor character. Every Monday evening six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about addiction. There they share their deepest secrets: stories of lies, regret, and, above all, shame. Then one of them is killed – and it’s clear one of the circle was responsible. Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner quickly finds her investigation hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these people and their therapist together. So what could be shameful enough to cost someone their life? And how do you find the truth when denial and deception are second nature to all of your suspects?
  • Rabbit Hole (2021) — They were meant to be safe on Fleet Ward: psychiatric patients monitored, treated, cared for. But now one of their number is found murdered, and the accusations begin to fly. Was it one of his fellow patients? A member of staff? Or did someone come in from the outside? DC Alice Armitage is methodical, tireless, and she’s quickly on the trail of the killer. The only problem is, Alice is a patient too.

Short Stories and Novellas

If you like Mark Billingham’s books, you may also want to take a look at our Stuart MacBride reading order or the work of Lee Child. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.