Publication Date: Available Now (UK) from Little Brown 7th June (US) from Grove Atlantic.
Sources: Netgalley (Grove) Purchased copy (Hardback)
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?
I’m a bit of a closet fan of Mark Billingham (sometimes I’m shrieky other times I just quietly get on with reading everything an author has ever written) but I think I might get *slightly* shrieky over “Die of Shame” because it was bloody brilliant.
Mainly for me it worked because of the layered characters, all with a common thread but all so very very different, the interaction and relationship the group developed I found endlessly fascinating – the main premise of the plot dealing with addiction, a subject I am not unfamiliar with, was done in such an authentic fashion at times I forgot I was reading a crime novel – then ooh look big fat juicy murder. The mish mash of personal drama and dastardly deeds made this a bang on perfect read for me.
The investigative strand, the other side of the coin if you like, was also horrifically addictive (yes you see what I did there?) as the police mostly in the form of the highly intriguing Nicola Tanner attempt to drag secrets out of those who are secretive by nature. A natural part of the recovery process and one again that was done with a healthy dose of reality whilst still making it extremely entertaining. I was fond of Nicola – sharp around the edges, determined and refreshingly confident in her professional abilities – even though her home life is causing her somewhat of a challenge.
What else can I say? The point is its a blinking good read, plotted to perfection, entirely absorbing from the very first paragraph and as for the ending just really. Honestly. Clever. I sat there and went huh? Aaaah. Hmm. Interesting…..
Really good. Really VERY good. Mark Billingham is at the top of his game right now and lets face it he was hardly a lightweight to begin with.
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