Cover Image: Cry Baby

Cry Baby

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Member Reviews

Cat and her friend Maria are out with their sons Josh and Kieron.  The boys go into the woods to play and only one comes out.  Now it's up to DS Tom Thorne and his team to find the boy.  The book alternates between the action of what is going on with the mother's and what the police are doing.  Story is well written and told, if you are a fan of the gritty crime procedural.  Thorne has his own problems with his parents and impending divorce, but is dedicated bti finding the boy.  I liked the book very much because I had seen two movies based on these books on Netflix, starting David Morrissey from Walking Dead as Thorne.  My only issue was the story dragged on a bit when I get author was expanding on Thornes love of soccer.  It could have been shortened a bit.  I was surprised at the ending.  The kidnapper was a real surprise!  N
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Thank you to #NetGalley and #MarkBillingham for the opportunity to read "Cry Baby" in return for a fair review.

Having read many of #MarkBillingham's Tom Thorne novels, I was happy to be able to read this 'prequel' to the much lauded "Sleepyhead' (which I thoroughly enjoyed).

When young Keiron goes missing from the playground where he was playing hide-and-seek with his best friend - while their mothers are close by - it's all hands on deck. And Tom Thorne quickly identifies the prime suspect - someone close to home. But when their witness fails to identify the suspect, he slips through their hands. Unfortunately, due to a leak to the press, the suspect's name is released and he's hounded by reporters; and because he's an actual neighbor of the missing boy, the boy's mother is equally hounded. Until disaster strikes.

Working off the witness's statement, Thorne and his team are left with the unenviable task of trying to trace a red Fiesta, no license plate number, no other identification. A seemingly hopeless task.

In the meantime, Thorne is dealing with the dissolution of his marriage, his wife's infidelity and the need to eventually sell off the family home.

Throughout this 'prequel' we are introduced to some of the characters who will become pivotal to future books - including Bridgstocke and Hendricks ("that's with 'icks' NOT ix like the musician") the new pathologist.

To complicate matters, suspects are dying gruesomely. As it turns out that the boy's father is an incarcerated criminal, he of course becomes a suspect in their demises.

We're thrown a number of red herrings in the course of this highly entertaining entry in the Tom Thorne series until the final climax when all is revealed, and some characters even find themselves in danger from close to home.

As a prequel to the series this novel can be read as a standalone, and those of us who have read the other entries won't be let down.
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The latest Tom Thorne book is set 25 years ago, when Thorne was a relatively new policeman.  It was great because we got to see how the ending of his first marriage came about.  We also saw him meet his best friend, the new morgue doctor, Phil Hendricks, whom he didn’t really like at first.  Most of all we got to see that good old Tom hasn’t changed much in 25 years, a great policeman back then and still one now.
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What author Mark Billingham accomplished here is amazing. He crafted an intricate story and populated it with a variety of interesting and intriguing characters. He kept my interest throughout as I gobbled the book in less than 48 hours. I never really suspected the true culprit and was aghast when I learned who it was. I felt for these characters, and that's not always the case. Ultimately none of them are perfect, which only adds to their credibility. Thanks, Mr. Billingham, NetGalley, and the publisher for the ARC It's a winner!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a gripping police procedural that takes you on the journey of the investigation and throws in a few twists along the way.
It is the latest in a series of books based around the detective Tom Thorne but you don't miss out if you haven't  read any of the others as it takes place in his past. It is 1996 and brings home just how far we have progressed with technology these days.
Having read other Tom Thorne books I particularly enjoyed witnessing the arrival of Phil Hendricks on the scene and his initial meetings with Thorne.
I was a little apprehensive when starting the book as missing children are not an easy read but by halfway through I could not put it down and just sat and devoured it until it was completed.
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I’m a huge fan of the Tom Thorne series and this book is the best of them all! It’s a prequel to the others so we learn a lot more about Tom and how he became who he is. The mystery involves a missing boy back in 1996 and then moves through more murder and some background on Toms marriage, his early career and London during the late 1990’s. This was one the better books I’ve read in a while. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
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I’m not usually a fan of prequels as they often seem like ‘filling in the gaps’ after inspiration has failed the author. In Mark Billingham’s hands, however, this book is a valuable addition to the Thorne series. It is darker and more gloomy than many of the others, with a lot of flashback dreams to Thorne’s first major case, which haunts him. I felt some of the exposition was rushed (why did the kidnapper do what he did?) but the secondary story about Kieron’s parentage was well handled and did keep the reader guessing. The present day coda was also a tad hurried, but maybe that will resurface in subsequent novels (I’m trying not to give spoilers, but it concerns a pivotal character and what happened to them after the case covered in this book).
It’s a competent and assured book full of backstory and shows how policing was different even 25 years ago.
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Thank you NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for the eARC.
This is a prequel to the Tom Thorne series and what an enjoying read it is.  It's 1996 and Thorne is a DS and his personal life is a mess; he's in the midst of a nasty divorce when he gets a case involving the disappearance of a 7-year old boy.  
I found the fact there wasn't today's preponderance of electronic devices refreshing; a lot of old-fashioned sleuthing makes for a more intense read and shows what a good detective Thorne was, even then.  He's one of my favorite characters in the mystery genre.  It was fun to find out how his friendship with Phil Hendricks started, as well as discovering the details of the end of his marriage.
The mystery of the missing boy is intense, I had to stop from racing through the book because I like to savor the Thorne books.  The ending was a cracker; heart stopping and surprising, I loved it!
Highly recommended!
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I think I've read all of Thornes previous outings but I particularly enjoyed this one. It was great to go back in time to see how Tom was in the 90's (also as someone who was 18 around that time it was a great look back) I loved seeing the origin of Thorne and Hendricks' friendship. Also a reminder that detective work was a lot less hi tech in the not too distant at all past! A great story on top of all this and its huge recommendation from me!
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Cry Baby is Mark Billingham’s  twentieth crime novel and having read them all, I can safely say that there isn’t a dud among them and all are consistently brilliant. Cry Baby features Billingham’s detective Tom Thorne, but takes a detour from Thorne’s usual timeline by setting this novel in the mid-nineties when Thorne was a DS. (He was a DI in the last novel.) 
Thorne is called in as member of a team investigating the abduction of a seven-year-old boy from Highgate wood in London. Kieron and his friend Josh are playing in a park bordering the wood with their mothers nearby. Kieron’s mother, Cat, goes to the toilet and leaves Maria, Josh’s mother to watch over them. The boys run into the wood and a little while later only one boy comes out, the other has disappeared, seemingly into thin air.
Billingham captures the horror and desperation Cat experiences perfectly as well as the detectives’ increasing frustration at their inability to find Kieron. Cry Baby provides a masterclass in characterisation and pitch perfect dialogue, not to mention the brilliant plotting with it’s inventive twists and turns.The Tom Thorne series is one of the great crime series in this genre and Billingham’s latest offering is superb.
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The 17th book in the Tom Thorne series by author Mark Billingham.
This is a little different to the other books in the series as it a prequel to Mark Billingham's acclaimed debut, Sleepyhead and is set back in 1996 when Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne is a haunted man. Haunted by the moment he ignored his instincts concerning a suspect and by the horrific crime that followed. Poignant memories that haunt Thorne and mistakes he never wants to experience again, so when 7 year old Kieron Coyne goes missing while playing in the woods with his best friend, Thorne is determined to get it right this time. 

All the usual characters are there and a good plot that builds up to an exciting finale. Another excellent addition to this popular series.
I would like to thank both Net Galley and Grove Atlantic for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Excellent crime book! The reader gets to meet Tom Thorne 20 years ago meeting for the first time his friend Phil Hendricks over a case involving a missing 7 year-old boy, Kieron. Kieron disappeared in a wood while playing hide-and-seek with his friend Josh.
Tom Thorne as in all books involving him proves a very credible person. He is not a super hero, he is in the process of divorcing his wife, does not necessarily needs to be promoted at work. He is though of course very good at his job but also makes mistakes which cost him much sleep. All characters in the book are also credible on a psychological point of view. One can identify with their reactions ( apart from the kidnapper's, of course!).
The plot takes you on a long exciting and tense journey to find out what exactly happened with a couple of murders, Josh who has himself some behavourial problems, and more... How Thorne eventually gets to the truth builds the tension up so much that you hold your breath up to the very end! 
I have really enjoyed it and highly recommend this book!
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Don't normally enjoy prequel books but this one worked well. It was a little weird  reading a crime book that didn't feature all the latest technologies. Really enjoyed it though as it wasn't bogged down with too much detail
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A great series which will be keep you hooked.

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for approving my request
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I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley.

It is a prequel to the Tom Thorne series, of which I have only read the most recent instalments, but stands perfectly well on its own. If you have read others in the series, you will enjoy Tom's first encounters with Phil. This was set very firmly in 1996, with many references to Euro 96, which I can actually remember, but also many perhaps slightly heavy handed references to enormous mobile phones and the beginnings of the internet, neither of which Tom can see catching on.

The plot was a bit leisurely for my liking - a child was missing after all. I thought the portrayal of the missing child's mother was very well done. The ending was a little abrupt and the motivation of the culprits was not (to me) satisfactorily explained, but I had been taken in by various red herrings along the way, and overall this was a good read.
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It’s always a forgone conclusion before I even start a Mark Billingham book that I will give it 5 stars. He is one of my favourite authors, and one of the few who I will always buy the book in print form even though, like this version I might have read it as an ebook. His character Tom Thorne has become a friend to me, and many others too I bet. So when you pick up a Thorne novel, it’s like picking up a conversation wth a friend you haven’t seen in a year or so.
One of the things I loved about this book, is that because it is set 25 years prior to the current books, we see a slightly different Thorne. He’s just broken up with his wife, he hasn’t yet moved to Kentish Town and we experience with him his first visit to the Bengal Tiger. He also meets Phil Kendrick’s for the first time, although unfortunately I now don’t like the man after his part in the Thorne tv series was played by the nasty, sly and evil “Littlefinger” from Game of Thrones. Thornes mother is still alive and his dad hasn’t yet started his decline with dementia.
The story starts with 2 mothers and their sons playing in a park. While Cat goes to the toilet leaving Maria to watch the boys, Cats son Kieran is snatched from the woods they were playing hide and seek in. A witness saw Josh being walked along a street and into a red car and that is the only lead there is. What comes next is a look at police procedures before internet and all the modern gadgets of today, where most of the work is sitting in front of a computer searching hundreds of records. As always one of the main attractions to these novels is Thorne himself, his interactions with colleagues, his music, his food preferences and his always dogged determination to do the right thing and do it well.
If you haven’t read any on Marks books, pick up Sleepyhead, and like me, don’t be surprised if you become an avid fan too.
#netgalley #crybaby
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432 pages

4 and 1 / 2 stars

We travel back in time to 1996 in this novel to when Tom Thorne was a sergeant. It was right after his wife Jan left him for another man. Tom is very bitter about it. This book is a prequel to Sleepyhead, Mr. Billingham's first book. 

Two young boys are playing in the wooded park with their mothers nearby. One runs out of the woods, but the other doesn't. The mothers are unllikely friends . When one of the boys disappears, it tests their friendship to the limit. 

Sergeant Tom Thorne is one of the team who responds to the call. He plays an integral part in the search for the boy and the interviews of relatives, friends and other associates. A suspect comes into view and is taken in for an interview. 

Then two murders occur. The cases must be related for they were people who either had contact with the missing boy or knew of him. The tension increases. Assumptions are made. Errors occur. 

Thorne's inexperience shows in this early novel. He is not as decisive as he is in later books, but one might expect that. After all, he has been a police officer for less time and is younger than in the later books. 

This was the era when non-landline phones were clunky, rare and a novelty that Thorne didn't think would catch on. I was surprised when Thorne stepped into a phone booth to call the station, and then I remembered, “Oh, yeah.” 

This flash back to early in Thorne's career was refreshing and filled in many blanks, especially about his ex-wife Jan and his friendship with pathologist Phil Kendrick. The book was very well written and plotted and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was interesting to see how Thorne had grown and changed – in some ways. There are some surprises in store for the reader as the do-ers of the crimes are revealed. All in all, very well done, Mr. Billingham. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Grove Atlantic/Atlantic Monthly Press for forwarding to me a copy of this great book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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Definitely not the book I was expecting..............................................................................,,,.........
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Billingham is pone of the best British thriller writers around and in this prequel to Sleepyhead Detective Tom Thorne takes on the case of a missing boy as he founders through the break-up of his marriage. Like all of Billingham’s books, this is compelling and character driven
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Loved this book as I have read most of the series. Is nice to read a book that happens before the series answers a lot of questions from the book series. Definetely a series worth reading
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