Every week Heather, Chris, Robin, Diana and newcomer Caroline meet at the house of their therapist Tony, who helps them overcome their various addictions and tries to keep them from relapse.
While the participants have almost become friends they all still harbour their secrets and are not always honest, neither with Tony or each other nor themselves.
When one of them is found dead DI Nicola Tanner is sure it must have been someone from the inner circle. No one wants to give anything away to the police though, all stating they don’t want to betray the confidentiality of the sessions. Eventually Tanner finds out that the last evening before the murder has been a very emotional one. Yet to find the killer and the motive proves more difficult than Tanner expected…
Mark Billingham is a not only a wonderful author but also a very keen observer of people and their habits. The characters in Die of Shame are so lifelike you can’t help feeling they could be your colleagues, neighbours, friends. The stories about what events led the members of the therapy group to become addicted are all too human and tragic. Billingham never exploits the addictions and his characters but writes about them in a very empathic and understanding way.
Die Of Shame has an unusual and very clever structure of storytelling that’ll grab your attention from page one. As you are being introduced to the group you know early on that one of them was murdered but it isn’t revealed until page 100 who it is.
I dare you to hazard a guess who of the remaining few did it and why. Needless to say I failed even though on page 365 I was sure I knew who the murderer is.
The carefully created characters come alive while the reader is trying to figure out who did it. Die Of Shame is a very clever and enthralling crime puzzle that will keep readers intrigued from beginning to the unexpected but perfect end.
Die Of Shame is out tomorrow, May 5th, from all good bookstores and your usual online bookshop suspects.