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Tom Thorne Books in Order: How to read Mark Billingham’s series?

  • Fabien 
Tom Thorne Books in Order

Last Updated 2 months ago.Played on TV by David Morrissey.

Who is Tom Thorne?

Written by an English novelist, actor, and comedian Mark Billingham, the Tom Thorne series is a mystery crime series set in London, England.

More precisely, the stories follow Tom Thorne, a middle-aged detective inspector who is known for being unpredictable, as he investigates violent crimes, hunt serial killers, and try to save lives.

Tom Thorne Books in Order:

Sleepyhead Tom Thorne Books in Order Scaredy Cat Tom Thorne Books in Order Lazybones Tom Thorne Books in Order The Burning Girl Tom Thorne Books in Order

  1. Sleepyhead – When a victim of a deliberately induced stroke is discovered, completely aware of her surroundings but unable to move or communicate, Detective Tom Thorne is horrified to learn that the attacker’s intention is to leave his victims hanging between life and death.
  2. Scaredy Cat – It was a vicious, calculated murder. The killer selected his victim at Euston station, followed her home on the tube, strangled her to death in front of her child. At the same time, killed in the same way, a second body is discovered at the back of King’s Cross station. And this grisly event eerily echoes the murder of two other women, stabbed to death months before on the same day. It is DI Tom Thorne who sees the link and comes to the horrifying conclusion. This is not a serial killer the police are up against. This is two of them….
  3. Lazybones – It’s only 10 days since Douglas Remfry’s release from prison, having served seven years for rape, and now he’s dead: naked on a bare mattress in a grubby north London hotel room, his head hooded and his hands tied with a brown leather belt. And when a second sex offender is found dead, DI Tom Thorne knows he has a viliglante on his hands…
  4. The Burning Girl – Jessica Clarke had been set alight twenty years ago. Her attacker, quickly tracked down and eager to confess, was still in jail, his career as a hitman for North London gangs now well behind him. So who is harassing Carol Chamberlain, the arresting officer in that case, and claiming that he is the one who burned the girl? Now retired, Carol turns to DI Tom Thorne for help.

Lifeless Tom Thorne Books in Order Buried Tom Thorne Books in Order Death Message Tom Thorne Books in Order Bloodline Tom Thorne Books in Order

  1. Lifeless – Tom Thorne’s career is on the skids. Depressed by the recent loss of his father, berated for overstepping the mark on his last case, he’s been ‘encouraged’ to take leave. It’s a fairly dire situation. But not as dire as the situation for London’s homeless. Three vagrants have been found murdered in the last month. Were they just random jetsam, or were they targeted for a reason? With his deputy, Dave Holland, as his only contact, Thorne is seconded to the streets.
  2. Buried – Luke Mullen, sixteen year old son of a former high-ranking police officer has disappeared, presumed kidnapped. While no-one quite dares to voice the fear that he could also be presumed dead, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is brought in to beef up the squad dedicated to locating the missing boy.
  3. Death Message – DI Tom Thorne has seen plenty of dead bodies in his time. But when he starts receiving sick photos of murder victims on his mobile phone, he soon realises that the next body could be his. And even when the man who has been sending the photos is tracked down, the deadly threat remains, For some, the case is all but closed, but Thorne’s nightmare is just beginning.
  4. Bloodline – When a dead body is found in a North London flat, it seems like a straightforward domestic murder until a bloodstained sliver of X-ray is found clutched in the dead woman’s fist – and it quickly becomes clear that this case is anything but ordinary. DI Thorne discovers that the victim’s mother had herself been murdered 15 years before by infamous serial killer Raymond Garvey. Now, a killer is targeting the children of Raymond Garvey’s victims.

From the Dead Tom Thorne Books in Order Good As Dead Tom Thorne Books in Order The Dying Hours Tom Thorne Books in Order The Bones Beneath Tom Thorne Books in Order

  1. From the Dead – It has been a decade since Alan Langford’s charred remains were discovered in his burnt-out car. His wife Donna was found guilty of conspiracy to murder her husband and served ten years in prison. But just before she is released, Donna receives an anonymous letter containing a photo of her husband. The man she hates with every fiber of her being seems very much alive and well. DI Tom Thorne becomes involved in a case where nothing and no one are what they seem.
  2. Thorne at Christmas: A Short Story Collection – When young Jack finds ‘Father Christmas’ dead beneath the tree, DI Tom Thorne, who has volunteered to work on Christmas Day, must get to the truth with the help of his reliable team and some incriminating evidence.
  3. Good As Dead – Police officer Helen Weeks walks into her local newsagent’s on her way to work. Little does she know that this simple daily ritual will change her life forever. As she waits innocently at the till, she comes face to face with a gunman. The crazed hostage-taker is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son. By holding a police officer at gunpoint, he will force DI Tom Thorne to re-investigate his son’s death.
  4. The Dying Hours – It’s been twenty-five years since Tom Thorne last went to work wearing the “Queen’s cloth” but now, having stepped out of line once too often, he’s back in uniform. He’s no longer a detective, and he hates it. Still struggling to adjust, Thorne becomes convinced that a spate of suicides among the elderly in London are something more sinister. His concerns are dismissed by the Murder Squad he was once part of and he is forced to investigate alone.
  5. The Bones Beneath – Tom Thorne is back in charge – but there’s a terrifying price to pay. Stuart Nicklin, the most dangerous psychopath he has ever put behind bars, promises to reveal the whereabouts of a body he buried twenty-five years before. But only if Thorne agrees to escort him. Unable to refuse, Thorne gathers a team and travels to a remote Welsh island, at the mercy of the weather and cut off from the mainland. Thorne is determined to get the job done and return home before Nicklin can outwit them.

Time of Death Tom Thorne Books in Order Love Like Blood Tom Thorne Books in Order The Killing Habit Tom Thorne Books in Order Their Little Secret Tom Thorne Books in Order

  1. Time of Death – Reeling from a particularly difficult recent case, Tom Thorne is enjoying a Valentine’s Day break with his girlfriend DS Helen Weeks in the picturesque English Cotswolds. But their romantic weekend is disturbed when they hear about an arrest made in Helen’s hometown of Polesford, Warwickshire. Two young girl have been abducted, and the prime suspect in the case is the husband of an old school friend of Helen’s, and Helen and Tom rush to Polesford to try to find out more.
  2. Love Like Blood – DI Nicola Tanner needs Tom Thorne’s help. Her partner, Susan, has been brutally murdered and Tanner is convinced that it was a case of mistaken identity―that she was the real target. The murderer’s motive might have something to do with Tanner’s recent work on a string of cold-case honor killings she believes to be related. Tanner is now on compassionate leave but insists on pursuing the case off the books and knows Thorne is just the man to jump into the fire with her.
  3. The Killing Habit – While DI Nicola Tanner investigates the deadly spread of a dangerous new drug, Tom Thorne is handed a case that he doesn’t take too seriously, until a spate of animal killings points to the work of a serial killer. When the two cases come together in a way that neither could have foreseen, both Thorne and Tanner must risk everything to catch two very different killers.
  4. Their Little Secret – When DI Tom Thorne is called to conduct a routine assessment at the site of a suicide, he expects to be in and out in no time. But when he arrives at the metro station, where a woman named Philippa Goodwin threw herself in front of an underground train, Thorne inexplicably senses something awry and feels compelled to dig deeper. He soon discovers that she was the victim of a callous con-man who preys on vulnerable women, and whose deception plunged Philippa to her end.

The Murder Book - Tom Thorne Books in Order

  1. The Murder Book – Tom Thorne finally has it all. In Nicola Tanner and Phil Hendricks, Thorne has good friends by his side. His love life is newly reformed by a promising relationship and he is happy in the job he has devoted his life to. As he sets off hunting the woman responsible for a series of grisly murders, Thorne has no way of knowing that he will be plunged into a nightmare from which he may never wake. A nightmare that has a name. Thorne’s past threatens to catch up with him and a ruinous secret is about to be revealed. If he wants to save himself and his friends, he will have to do the unthinkable. Tom Thorne finally has a lot to lose.

Cry Baby Tom Thorne Books in Order

  1. Cry Baby – A Prequel published in 2020 (after Their Little Secret). It’s 1996. Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne is a haunted man. Haunted by the moment he ignored his instinct about a suspect, by the horrific crime that followed and by the memories that come day and night, in sunshine and shadow. So when seven-year-old Kieron Coyne goes missing while playing in the woods with his best friend, Thorne vows he will not make the same mistake again. Cannot. The solitary witness. The strange neighbor. The friendly teacher. All are in Thorne’s sights.

If you like Tom Thorne, you may also want to see our Roy Grace reading order or our guide to Stuart MacBride’s series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.

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