Cover Image: Cry Baby

Cry Baby

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Member Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! 
It was a bit different from Mark Billingham's previous books because this book went back to the beginning in 1996. The research was very well done and everything was very authentic down to the soccer players who were big in those years! 
There were two good twists at the end that I did not see coming! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion
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Lovely to go back t Tom Thorne's early days. I'm a big fan of this series and this was a great edition to it. A missing boy brings back difficult memories for Tom as he races against time to find him. We are treated to memories of Euro 96 (painful ones!) and the highlight for me was meeting Phil for the first time. A real treat for fans.
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Genius. Mark Billingham can do little wrong in my eyes anyway but the way he manages to introduce a new case from the perspective of a much younger Tom Thorne is very clever. It will not spoil anything for a reader new to the series to know that 25 years on Thorne is still as irreverent as he was as a young detective. I loved the interactions between Tom and Brigstocke as contemporaries and it was great to see how Thorne and Hendricks got to know one another.

The disappearance of a child always leaves the reader avidly turning the pages with their heart in their mouth and this was no exception. There is a secondary crime however and it was the identity of the perpetrator of this that left me breathless. Can't wait for Thorne's next appearance, Johnny Cash records at the ready.
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It's the first book I read in this series and won't surely be the last as I thoroughly enjoyed.
The historical setting is vivid and realistic, the characters are well thought and interesting, the solid mystery kept me hooked.
I can't wait to read the other books in this series.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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So, surprisingly, this is my first Mark Billingham book. Not sure why I have never picked one up before, but I have already purchased the first 4 in this series and have become a firm fan.

While this is part of a series, it is a prequel and I did not have any issue with it as a standalone novel.

I loved the 1996 setting and all of the memories/nostalgia that came with that. Thorne is a great character and I thoroughly enjoyed his relationships with other characters.

The plot is simple, child goes missing from a park, but the plotting itself is anything but simple. Just when you think you have guessed what is happening, you second guess yourself, then third guess yourself! So many twists and turns and it is very very clever.

The only thing that knocked it to 4.5 stars, rather than 5, for me was that when we found out what had happened to Kieron, the missing boy, the motive was a little vague.

A thoroughly enjoyable crime novel and I am delighted that there are loads more for me still to read! 

Thank you to Grove Atlantic, Netgalley and the author for this eARC.
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I have previously read some of the books by Mark Billingham, mainly the first 5/6 of the Thorne series, and this book is a prequel to the series. This was good in that it re-introduced me to the characters that I had previously read about.

The basic story is about the investigation into a missing child set during the mid 90’s. It was interesting to read some of the historical elements, as I had context for remembering some of it as well and this brought the memories of that time back. There are also some amusing nods to people around at the time, and this comedy comes out well thanks to the authors standup comedy background.

I thought this story was engaging and thoroughly enjoyed following it through the twists (that from this reviewers perspective, didn’t see coming) to the very end. Would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a detective story set in the UK, and for this novel especially, doesn’t rely on the wizardry of modern day crime solving.

This review is based on a free digital ARC copy provided by NetGalley. My views are provided based on the book content only.
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A retrospective mystery starring the very well known protagonist Tom Thorne- very human DI with a lot of loose ends and vulnerability, crushed down ruthlessly by our old fashioned hero!
This was a thoroughly good read, the best from this author in a while. The time referencing was spot on and the non pc behaviours believable. A thoroughly good read.
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The year is 1996 and London is getting ready to host the  European Soccer Championships. Two great friends from vastly different backgrounds Cat and Maria meet to take their boys to the park. While Cat slips off to the rest room, Maria decides to have a cigarette, though she has tried to stop, starts day dreaming instead of watching the boys. A nightmare unfolds when the boys wander into the woods. One comes out and one disappears .
DS Thomas Thorne takes on the case. A great gripping suspense story. Thorne has to deal with inadequate supervisors, leaks to the media, two murders linked to suspects and his own personal issues. An unfaithful wife and her somewhat younger sandal clad lover, hovering parents that seem to fault him for the marital strife and growing frustration over the case as days go by without concrete leads.
Apparently Thorne is an ongoing character in author Mark Billinghams books and this one makes me want to read them all.
Great story!

I was provided an electronic Advanced Readers Copy by Netgalley for my unbiased review. The above review is my honest review and not influenced in any way.
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I’d like to thank Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Cry Baby’ by Mark Billingham in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

The year is 1996 and England is hosting the European football championships.  Two boys, Kieron and Josh, are with their mothers as they play in the woods at Highgate and as they play hide-and-seek Kieron disappears.  His mother Cat is distraught while Josh’s mother Maria blames herself for briefly taking her eye off them.  As DS Tom Thorne investigates the two men at the top of his list of suspects are murdered, but as the weeks pass by Tom is no closer to finding what’s happened to the boy.    

‘Cry Baby’ is an action-packed thriller with unexpected twists and turns, drama, suspense, a number of possible suspects and an exciting ending.  I’ve read and enjoyed every one of the books in the DS Tom Thorne series and although it’s been a bit strange going back to the start of Thorne’s police career this latest novel is a worthy addition to the series.  The last chapters as they drive through Hertfordshire are especially interesting to me as I know the places mentioned very well having lived there for many years.  I like Billingham’s style of writing and the amusing dialogue between characters, especially with DCI Boyle and Phil Hendricks, gives the story an added depth.
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Cry Baby is the perfect prequel to send us back to revel in Tom Thorne's twenty years. As if we needed reminding how good Mark Billingham is., Val McDermid

Tom Thorne is one of the most credible and engaging heroes in contemporary crime fiction. Mark Billingham is a master of psychology, plotting and the contemporary scene - making the Thorne novels the complete package. Twenty years in and better than ever.,
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A prequel to sleepyhead set in 1996. Prequels seem to be the literary fad of the moment with a lot of authors doing them, and I’m not overly keen on the concept. 
So how did Cry Baby work for me. The actual story is excellent, Mark Billinghams books are a consistently great read. 
The intro is a bit gory, I’m never one to shy away from a bit of gore so no problem there. 
I felt sorry for Figgis, he was the character that I engaged with most. 
It was good seeing a young Tom who is focused and driven being prepared to go out on a limb to do the right thing and seeing the young Hendricks with his amazing deductions and very different look to your usual pathologists. 
What I wasn’t so keen on was the chosen ‘wrapping’ and presentation for the story with it being presented as a dream. Too Dallas for me. 
So that affects my rating. 4* for this one.
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Two boys playing in the park, mums chatting, relaxed, happy, carefree. The lull before the storm, the quiet before everything changed, before they all became public property in a way none could have imagined. Two boys, best friends, dressed distinctively so they were easy to spot, two mums, best friends, so different but so alike, four people for whom 1996 would change everything, forever. 

DS Tom Thorne knew it would be a difficult case, missing kids always were, but no one could have predicted just how bad it would get or how much he'd want to punch his boss's light out. Added to everything going on at work he has an ex-wife who wants him out of their old home, a football championships to watch, and parents to visit. It could be a very long summer. 

This is such a fun book. Not something I usually think after finishing a Mark Billingham book but it is. Not the crime or its aftermath, that is as gritty, as shocking, as always but the fact it is set in 1996. All the memories, the asides, the lack of so many things we take for granted, both good and bad, was a joy to read. Add to that the fact I had no idea whodunanyofit until it was revealed when it all seemed so right and there is no doubt this is a first class, stay up late, must read, prequel of the highest quality. 

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it unreservedly. If you love Tom Thorne read it, if you have no idea who Tom Thorne is, read it and then continue into his world of first class storytelling.
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This one's different! I've been following Mark Billingham since his first official visit to New Zealand (the Auckland Writers' Festival), where he shared the podium with two other authors and joked that with that many people in the audience, we could all go up and hold the presentation in his hotel room. I fell in love with his humour right then and promptly bought "Sleepyhead" and all those that came after. I don't regret it.


The plot of "Cry Baby", written two decades after "Sleepyhead", actually predates it. Don't let it be the first Tom Thorne book you read, because you'll deprive yourself of the little "aha" moments when Tom meets Phil Hendricks for the first time, or walks away from his future flat in Kentish Town, or visits his parents. "Cry Baby" is a throwback to the times when people didn't carry cell phones and there was no CCTV footage to do the police legwork - and it's also a throwback to a younger, less cynical, Tom.

Of course, if you don't want to commit to reading 16 Tom Thorne books before "Cry Baby", go right ahead. It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.
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Absolutely fantastic. I had this on pre order and was lucky enough to get an ARC through Netgalley.

Our favourite grumpy, curry, country music and footy loving detective is back. I have read and loved all the Tom Thorne series over the last twenty years and to do a prequel was genius. I loved finding out where everyone came from and how the brilliant relationship between Thorne and Hendricks developed. We also get our first look at Tom and Brigstock working together as well as some more back story to Tom's divorce and the cases that have made him how and what he is.

The story begins when a child, Kieron, going missing. As the case unfolds there's murder, lies, deceit, secrets, with twists and turns galore. Will Kieron be found alive? Who has taken him and what is their motive? As the story comes to it's climax the narrative then brings us back to the present day with Thorne reflecting on his past case. 

Massive 5 stars and highly recommended. If you are a lover of this series then this is a must. If you are a Mark Billingham/Tom Thorne virgin then this is a fab starting place.
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This was a really quick read, and I quite enjoyed this installment of the Tom Thorne series. I haven't read the other books, but this intrigued me enough that I would check them out. 
I really enjoyed the characters and the dynamics, I found myself really feeling with Cat because her emotions were described so raw and her pain felt so real. The intensity of the characters was the main reason I enjoyed this book as much as I did and it kept me involved in the plot during the entire read. 
The plot itself felt rather slow, there wasn't a lot of suspense and I did find myself wishing for some more excitement during the first half of the book. The build-up towards the ending was well done though and I enjoyed the ending a lot, especially because I didn't see all of the plot twists coming. I do think some aspects didn't make perfect sense and could have been built up better, but most loose ends were tied up well and I was very pleased with how it ended. 
Overall this was a good read and I would definitely read more books from this series.
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I received a free ebook of this title in exchange for a fair review from NetGalley.

This is book 16 in the Tom Thorpe series by Mark Billingham, but it is set back in 1996, so pre-  everyone has a cellphone and internet access and tons of CCTV and other resources to solve crime- era.  In his personal life, Tom is struggling with his ongoing divorce from Jan.  He is also dealing with his aging parents in the midst of this high profile case.

The case the book is centered on involves a kidnapping of a young boy.  The boy, Kieran,  disappears on a play date with a friend.  Two boys enter the woods and only one comes out.  Tom finds himself with an incredible amount of leads to follow up on and narrow down. There are plenty of red herrings and suspicious characters to engage the reader in the investigation along with Tom.  This was a suspenseful  and well paced police procedural.
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CRY BABY: A Tom Thorne Novel

This was a British crime procedural starring Tom Thorne and his team. This was supposed to be a pre-quell to his famous novel called "Sleepyhead." It takes place in 1996 when two mother's take their two seven year old children to the park by some woods. Maria and Cat are two British mother's each with an only son. The two boy's go into the woods to play hide and seek and one of them gets abducted.

This was suspenseful and I enjoyed it. As in all of Mark Billinham's crime novels Tom Thorne is the investigating detective that this novel mostly focuses on. He is getting a divorce from his wife Jan and they don't have any children. He doesn't like his Boss this time and reports him for leaking their suspect's name to the media causing a tragedy.

I probably would have enjoyed this even more if I had ever visited the UK. The language brogue used in the dialogue was sometimes confusing but not enough to make it so I couldn't understand it. I have read other books in this series so I knew what to expect. This can easily be read as a stand alone.
Great characterization and plot. Recommend to fans of British Crime Procedural's.

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

Thank you to Net Galley, Mark Billingham and Grove Atlantic Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#CryBaby #MarkBillingham #GroveAtlanticPublishing #NetGalley
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Mark Billingham never fails to disappoint and the re-emergence of DI Thorne is another shining example of why some characters stand the test of time.  The action is immediate and doesn’t stop.  Taking the time to build the key characters does not detract from the sense of pace which comes with this book.  Thorne is a flawed character but somehow his flaws make him all the more relatable.  A really great read.
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It's Euro.96 and Tom Thorne is investigating a missing lad from some woods near the park, whilst playing hide n sneek with his best mate.

Thorne is hiding something dark from a previous case, and is desperate to get things right here.

It's a prequel to Mark Billingham's successful Tom Thorne series, which I shall now be reading.

Very impressed with the style of writing and ease of how the whole story flowed.  

Will definitely being reading more from Mark. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Publisher for ARC
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According to the author this was a historical crime novel. The story takes place in England before cell phones, CCTV, DNA or any of the systems used in today’s crime solving. The characters were not well developed or interesting. There was little suspense although the antagonist did come as a surprise. The protagonist is a haunted man which you don’t find out why until well into the story which leaves you wondering what his problem is and why he acts as he does. A little bit of history might have explained his ridiculous handling of the case. This novel is not my genre so maybe I missed the whole point.
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