The Bones Beneath (Tom Thorne Novels)

The Bones Beneath (Tom Thorne Novels) - Mark Billingham The Deal
Tom Thorne is a detective again, but there’s a price to pay. Stuart Nicklin, the most dangerous psychopath he has ever put behind bars, promises to reveal the whereabouts of a body he buried twenty-five years before. But only if Thorne agrees to escort him.

The Danger
Unable to refuse, Thorne gathers a team and travels to a remote Welsh island, at the mercy of the weather and cut off from the mainland. Thorne is determined to get the job done and return home before Nicklin can outwit them.

The Deaths
But Nicklin knows this island well and has had time to plan ahead. Soon, new bodies are added to the old, and Thorne finds himself facing the toughest decision he has ever had to make…

I had, same as Throne, a creeping feeling that it was all going to end horribly proceeded by lots of head working manipulative behavior from Nicklin.

So to make it work you have to go along with the premise that the authorities would allow this ill thought out jolly for a serial killer who is allowed to dictate terms and conditions. This of course makes it immensely readable because you know it is coming.....

I love the Lleyn peninsula and am very familiar with Bardsey Island, Aberdaron and Abersoch so was great to see the area used as a book setting.

Billingham really does a good job of getting over the atmosphere of this wild desolate place, making Throne almost take a secondary role.

“There you go,” Morgan said. “Bardsey Island. Well...that’s what the English call it.”

“What do you call it?”

“Ynnis Enlli in Welsh. Island of Tides. Bloody tricky ones at that...”

Approaching as they were — from behind the mountain that dominated one side of the island — the first view was of cliffs and the snowflake specks of wheeling seabirds against the black crags. The island was shaped like a giant, humpbacked tadpole; no more than a mile from end to end and about half as wide.