Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Mark Billingham

Photo of Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham, born and raised in Birmingham, England, has worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian. As a counterpoint to his comic abilities, Mark’s first crime novel Sleepyhead was published in 2001. Not only did it appear on the Sunday Times (London) Top Ten Bestseller list, but became the biggest selling debut novel of the summer. Though still occasionally working as a stand-up comic, Mark now concentrates on writing a series of crime novels featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne.

Mark is at work on the next Tom Thorne novel called The Life Thief as well as the second in the Triskellion trilogy of thrillers for children written with friend Peter Cocks, under the pseudonym Will Peterson. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.

What he writes: Billingham writes novels featuring the continuing character Tom Thorne, a London cop who has both a good and evil side. Thorne is a complex, rich character who compliments the gritty streets of London… both Thorne and London are dark and mysterious. They both have a broodiness about them that Billingham captures in his writing. These books don't show the “touristy” side of London. These are the real, dirty streets that visitors don’t get to see... and wouldn’t want to.


List of works
Tom Thorne series
  Sleepyhead (2001) Lifeless (2005)
  Scaredy Cat (2002) Buried (2007)
  Lazybones (2003) Death Message (2009)
  The Burning Girl (2004)  
Other novels
  In the Dark (2008)  
Scaredy Cat was nominated for the CWA Gold Dagger and won the 2003 Sherlock Award
Lazybones won the 2005 Theakston’s Old Peculiar Award for Crime Novel of the Year
Lifeless was shortlisted for Crime Thriller of the Year at the 2006 British Book Awards
What the critics say
"Ian Rankin may be Britain’s best-selling male crime writer but he had better look to his laurels – Mark Billingham is biting at his heels." - Daily Express (July 31, 2008)
"Anyone who reads detective fiction and has not yet come across Mark Billingham is in for a treat." - The Spectator (September 9, 2006)
"Mark Billingham is master of a rough-and-tumble crime writing which has liberated itself from the iron hoops of sameness that confine so many police procedurals. What is so impressive is how real his characters are." - The Guardian (May 20, 2006)
"A solid, traditional structure and plot, and a whiff of noir sensibility… Billingham delivers an edgy, ambitious novel with an excellent cast." - Publishers Weekly (June 6, 2005)
"Where Billingham scores highest is in his ability to write scenes that are genuinely chilling and frightening. Just four books in, he's up there with the best." - The Observer (August 22, 2004)
"Fans of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch and Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse will enjoy Thorne." - Library Journal (August 2002)


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