Cover Image: Cry Baby

Cry Baby

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This one was excellent. Totally pulled me in and I didn't want to.out it down. Had me on the edge of my seat wanting to find out what was going to happen.
Was this review helpful?
How odd it is to think of a book where the plot takes place in 1996 as being historical. Twenty-five years ago policing looked very different and yet so many readers will easily remember that time period. I'm more used to thinking of 1696, 1796 or 1896 as the time period for historical mysteries. But, author Mark Billingham definitely made this one work.

I try hard not to read crime novels that involve children so I made a conscious decision to read this book involving two seven year old boys who were playing in a park when one went missing. What follows is a tension filled story where the drama of the inability of the police to quickly find the boy shares the pages with the tearing apart of a friendship because one mother's boy was lost and one mother's boy was safe. There are so many levels of fear written into this plot that I began to wonder how it would be possible for the police to solve the case. At one point I thought I had solved it on one level, and was quite proud of myself, but ultimately was wrong. It certainly had me thinking all the time.

So I broke my own rule about plot elements and am definitely glad I read the book. However, it's now time to put my barriers back up and avoid children in crime novels. It's too stressful for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atlantic Monthly Press/Grove Atlantic for an e-galley of this novel.
Was this review helpful?
Nostalgia is not what it used to be......

Well, in this really good read by the prolific author, Mark Billingham, it really is! 
We're taken back to the early Thorne days, when mobile phones were like bricks and Euro 96 is a running theme.
For us fans of Thorne, there are some excellent references and we get to see how Thorne and Hendricks friendship started. Against all of this, a young child goes missing and Tom Thorne is haunted by another case.

For those of you new to Thorne, it's a great prequel and you've got a lot of other books to enjoy. For those of us who have read all the earlier books, I found this a real treat. I don't always enjoy prequels and at times I felt it a little sluggish,  but,  overall this is a really well written, excellently constructed one.

Thanks so much to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview in exchange for this honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A police procedural set in 1996, a prequel to the series. The narrative is good and the author has taken the pains to keep the story going in the set time frame. Though the story and the suspense are well maintained with a good number of twists,as a police investigation it falls short. The suspect should have been suspected long back, the other child interrogated, the backgrounds verified. The investigation proceeds one dimensional and haphazardly.
Was this review helpful?
Another winner from Mark Billingham.  Here we go back with Thorne twenty years to a child abduction.  I enjoyed the humour, meeting Phil Hendricks for the first time, and of course a first-rate mystery as well.
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to be approved for this book - Mark Billingham is one of my favourite authors and Tom Thorne one of my favourite characters of all time!

I'm not a big fan of prequels, and I did feel the references to the pop-culture at the time was a little overkill....but I absolutely loved hearing more about what made Thorne the way he is now, and particularly how he became friends with Hendricks.

I did guess "whodunnit" but there was enough mystery for me to second guess myself all of the time.

Loved it. And I don't say that lightly. It was the Tom Thorne hit I needed right now!!
Was this review helpful?
Summer 1996. England is hosting Euro ‘96, “Football’s Coming Home” is being sung everywhere and DS Tom Thorne is haunted by a past case.
When 7 year old Kieron Coyne is snatched while playing with his best friend Josh, Thorne is part of the team tasked with finding him.  He is determined to find Kieron no matter how inept his superiors or how many press leaks occur.
Kieron's mum Cat is devastated and Josh's mum is blaming herself because she was watching the boys when Kieron disappeared.
As Thorne and the team investigate they seem to be getting nowhere. A neighbour with a previous conviction, Kieron’s teacher trying to get close to Cat and the only witness who claims he saw Kieron with a man getting into a car are all suspects. 
Thornes bosses are convinced they have their man but Thorne has his doubts. Will they listen or will Thorne have to keep fighting on his own to find the kidnapper before anything worse happens to Kieron.
I’ve read all of the Tom Thorne books, these are on my “must read” list so I never miss one. 
This is brilliant. Really good to see how Thorne's friendship with the Pathologist Hendricks started and his early relationship with Brigstock. I feel like I understand the character of Tom Thorne even better now.
Was this review helpful?
Although I'm an American, I'm generally a big fan of British crime fiction. But this book... not so much.

It feels like something I've read a dozen times before. The narrative, the characters, the way the story unspools are all so completely familiar that I was simply never drawn into the book. Finishing it was a chore.
Was this review helpful?
Another wonderful installment in the DI Thorne series. As a prequel, it gives a wonderful view into Tom’s early life on the police force, his divorce, and his meeting with Hendricks. If this is your first book in the series, go back and read them all you lucky duck. 

A young boy is abducted from a park in broad daylight and Thorne, reeling from a previous failure, wants to get it right this time. He is consumed with guilt and dreams about the incidents. 

The characters are well drawn and you really get to know them. The writing is spare but exactly what is needed. I actually prefer this to too much description. 

Suffice it to say I could not put it down and went through it in two days (and many chores were ignored in the process). Many thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for my advance copy and the chance to review the book.  If you are a DI Thorne fan you will enjoy this latest tale.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

This author’s Tom Thorne series has been running for years & with this instalment, he gives readers a look at how it all began. 

It’s 1996. “Portable phones” are beginning to appear, John Major is PM & you can still enjoy a smoke with your pint at the local pub. Tom Thorne is a young hotshot detective, newly separated & already haunted by what he’s seen.

He & his squad catch the kind of case they all dread. Two little boys were playing at a park & while the moms were distracted, one disappeared.  The area is searched, witnesses tracked & endless interviews held…..not one sign of the child is found.

The format of this book is a bit different from those that follow. Chapters alternate between Tom & the parents of the 2 boys. We’re kept up to date on the investigation but it flounders & there’s little tension until the final 10%. Instead, we spend time with these MC’s (plus others) & gradually learn their histories, lives & problems. It’s less of a police procedural & more about how these very different people react to each other & the situation. 

It feels like this was written for long time fans. Those familiar with returning characters will enjoy meeting their younger selves. My favourite bit was “When Tom Met Phil”. IMHO their relationship is a highlight of every book so I found Tom’s thoughts after their first conversation particularly entertaining.

“All being well, once the post-mortem was out of the way, he wouldn’t have to see the bloke again, because it was a long time since he had come across anybody he’d taken a dislike to quite so quickly”. Ah, little does he know…

This was an OK read for me. I enjoyed it more as a fan of the books in general than as an individual police procedural. Overall, it’s a slower, more reflective read that gives us a glimpse at the roots of this popular series.
Was this review helpful?
It is great to see Tom Thorne back and to go back to where it all began.Cry Baby is set in 1996 when Thorne was only a DS.The story is  based around the disappearance of Kieron Coyne who goes missing while out playing with his best friend,Thorne is also haunted by a case 10 years ago in which he thinks he was responsible for deaths that occured,also set against the backdrop of the European Championships held in the UK that year Cry Baby is a superbly written book as we get an insight into Tom Thorne's early days especially how his friendship with the brilliant character that is Phil Hendricks started up and how he coped with the breakdown of his marriage to Jan.I must confess i am a huge Mark Billingham fan and have read everyone of his books and this one is no different than all the others in that it is an excellent read and just confirms to me that Mark Billingham is still at the top of his game when it comes to this genre.Read and enjoy ! a superb 5 star read as always.
Was this review helpful?
Two boys playing in the park being watched by their Mothers.  Both boys go into the woods skirting the park, only one comes out.  Two murders connected to the disappearance.  Can Tom Thorne figure out what happened, find the missing boy and figure out how it's all wound together?  Set in the mid 90's, this is a prequel to the Tom Thorne series.  Tom is a DS that is going through a divorce and butts heads with his boss.  He's haunted by a 10 year old case that won't quit invading his dreams.  Will this case make him a hero or cost him his career?

I liked the book well enough.  I didn't realize this was a prequel so it took me a while to figure out why he was referencing 80's and 90's things, jargon, etc.  I'd read some of the other books in this series a long time ago and that's why requested this ARC to read.  It was a different kind of read for me in that it seemed to skip from one thing to another without any warning.  I'd be reading about one character or event and then in the next sentence, I'm reading about something that's got nothing to do with it/them.  I'd have to go back an re-read what I'd just read to make sure I didn't miss something.  Took me a while to get used to that.  

The story moved along fairly rapidly and I had a hard time trying to figure out who did it.  I'd be thinking one person was the culprit and then 5 minutes later, I'd be thinking it was someone else.  I like stories like that. Kept me guessing until the very end.  It's dark and moody with a bit of humor thrown in.  A good English detective novel.

I think fans of English detective novels or darker crime novels would like this book.
Was this review helpful?
Cry Baby is Mark Billingham's 17th Tom Thorne novel and serves as a prequel to the first book and thus the series.

If you're familiar with the series then you should find this to be as good as the others. I have not read all of them but quite a few and enjoyed this quite a bit. It can easily be read as a standalone though part of the fun of it is knowing what the future holds in their personal worlds.

One thing I always find interesting in prequels that go far enough back is how the writer will highlight the changes in society since that time. Sometimes simply a more detailed description of something that will bring a smile to anyone who remembers the time. This book made me smile because of the way things like cell/mobile phones are talked about, or even the internet. Rather than just description we also get some opinion from the characters and that is fun also, since those of us who remember that time remember people, or we are those people, with those opinions. I got my first mobile phone in 1991 and it was a monster.

Simply as a police procedural this story will satisfy both old and new readers, so if you haven't read any of the series this is just fine for diving in.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Cry Baby the newest Tom Thorne novel is a resounding 5 stars for me !

It is a prequel to the series and though I am not a fan of prequels, I loved this one !!  You get to meet and know the younger Tom Thorne  how he becomes what he does and  how he meets his good friend Phil the pathologist.

Tom and crew try to solve the disappearance of a young school boy and suffice to say  Mark Billingham throws a few curve balls at you to keep you guessing.

I hope Tom Thorne would be on my side if I ever needed him ( he is real to me )

Having a new Tom Thorne novel is a like a birthday present !!  

Thanks to Net Galley and Grove Atlantic, Atlantic Monthly Press for allowing me to go on this journey with Tom .
Was this review helpful?
Cry Baby by Mark Billingham(Tom Thorne #17) I've enjoyed all of Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne books that I've read, but this one was different as it takes place before the first novel in the series(Sleepyhead) and makes reference to the facts of the early nineties, no cell phones, little real camera surveillance, no social media, and little internet footprint in daily lives. It's about a child kidnapping and from there it's a pretty straightforward police procedural with all the dead-ends and hidden surprises of an ongoing investigation. Billingham is great at steering you from one suspect to another and letting you wonder which one it could be, then dropping a bomb when you've got it all figured out. I always look forward to these books. Thanks to Netgalley for giving me this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Mark Billingham continues to write classic British crime novels.  This is a prequel that goes back twenty five years to the beginning of the Tom Thorne novels.  It is a great well thought out read that continues to give insight into the Tom Thorn we all read about.
Was this review helpful?
Thankyou to NetGalley,  Grove Atlantic and the author,  Mark Billingham, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of Cry Baby in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.  
I was so excited at the prospect of reviewing this book by an author I really enjoy reading.  The premise of the storyline had me intrigued. It is the beginning of Detective Tom Thorne's career, the central character in Mr Billingham's previous novels. 
The storyline was well thought out and written.  The characters are well drawn and intriguing. The author has certainly delivered a rollercoaster plot that will keep you guessing until the end.  
Well worth a read.
Was this review helpful?
A throw back novel where we meet a young Tom Thorne and discover the beginnings of his friendships and career. He is charged with solving every parent’s nightmare as a child is snatched from the park. As intriguing for the stories behind the characters as for the events that involve them, while the emotions evoked dramatically bring realism to each situation. A surprisingly enjoyable prequel, thanks to netgalley for an advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
I would like to thank Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for an advance copy of Cry Baby, the seventeenth novel to feature the then DS Tom Thorne of The Met, set in 1996.

Tom Thorne is haunted by an old case and its terrible consequences when he didn’t act soon enough, so when seven year old Kieron Coyne disappears from the woods he was playing in with his friend, Josh, Tom is determined to leave no stone unturned.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cry Baby which is a tense read as the hunt for Kieron goes nowhere and the pressure mounts on the detectives and Kieron’s mother, Cat. Surprisingly it is also a historical novel. 1996 doesn’t seem so long ago to an oldie like me but when I look at the technology, the attitudes and some of the contemporaneous events it is definitely history. I think the author does a great job of it, bringing it alive and introducing some well known faces and locations from the other books in the series. 

The novel is told from various points of view, including the perpetrator, but the main voices are Tom Thorne as the investigator and Cat Coyne as the victim/survivor/face of the crime, I don’t really know what to call her. I liked the way the investigation followed the leads, examining various suspects and hunting down any scrap of information. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to note that Thorne is as bolshie as ever and not one to back down from an argument so there’s plenty to keep the reader occupied on that front. I think Cat Coyne is well drawn as the helpless mother, assailed by grief and the unknown, besieged by the press and forced into revealing secrets she’d rather have kept hidden. I found her fascinating And realistic with her tumultuous emotions.

The plot is well done with several other crimes arising from Kieron’s disappearance and a rousing finale with several unexpected turns. There is never a dull moment.

Cry Baby is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
Was this review helpful?
I have read all the Tom Thorne series, but it is not necessary to enjoy this one. Crybaby takes you back to 1996, at the time when he met his good friend, Phil Hendricks. He’s in the midst of a divorce as well as being haunted by a past mistake that led to a horrific crime.  There is a good lot of suspense and  when you think you figured it out, the author  throws you a curve ball and sends you in another direction. I enjoyed the read and once started it was hard to put down. I highly recommend it to all that like crime and suspense.
Was this review helpful?