Die of Shame by Mark Billingham

About this book…

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?

My review…

“Its never nice watching people tear each other to pieces” writes the therapist Tony De Silva at one point after his Monday night group have left their session but I have to disagree when it comes to this group of misfits! This standalone book by the Tom Thorne creator brings together a cast of incredibly unlikable but fascinating characters and puts them in a claustrophobic and highly combustible setting then stands back to watch them all explode!

The main thread running through this book is the weekly Monday meetings of a support group for those with addictions. The group is overseen by therapist Tony De Silva in his home and comprises of three women and two men. We realise at the start that one of the group has been murdered but we don’t find out until a quarter of the way through which one. The group have been telling their “stories of shame”, taking it in turns every Monday, and it looks like the latest tale may have got its storyteller killed. It’s up to DI Nicola Tanner and her sidekick DC Dipak Chall to investigate the murder and the Monday group is going to be their first port of call.

I really enjoyed this book! In fact I’m hoping that instead of a standalone, Mark Billingham will make this the start of a series-maybe just an occasional one though as we do still need Tom Thorne in our lives (we actually meet a few familiar faces here as well!). When I got this book I hadn’t even realised it was a standalone so was rather worried it wouldn’t live up to expectations but it did and even surpassed them. I didn’t even work out the “who”or “why” in this one and I was really convinced I had! I liked the way the story was told in the Then and Now headings once I had got used to them but most of all I just loved the simplicity of taking a group of people, all of whom had secrets and giving them all a motive for murder! This was a fabulous character driven murder mystery that would look brilliant played out in a television drama, an old-fashioned whodunit brought up to date with stories of addiction, sex, obsession and revenge. And that ending….loved it! I certainly feel Nicola Tanner has more to give so hopefully we will meet her again soon.

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

Publication date 5th May 2016

Available to buy at Amazon

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

8 thoughts on “Die of Shame by Mark Billingham”

  1. I really like the group support idea, and the fact you don’t know from the start who dies. Here comes another new book on my wishlist! 🙂 Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea of this because it’s a small group of people who could be the killer…sounds like a bit of a change from my usual fare of serial killers and the like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that’s what I liked! I love the whole “bringing a group of possible murderers together” concept. I used to read a lot of Agatha Christie in my youth so possibly a throw back to that!

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