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Cry Baby

A Tom Thorne Novel
Series: Tom Thorne
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A full-cast, unabridged production of Cry Baby, the gripping prequel to Mark Billingham's acclaimed debut, Sleepyhead. Starring David Morrissey, Robert Glenister and a full cast of actors, with the narrator played by Mark Billingham.

Cry Baby is the shocking first case for one of British crime fiction's most iconic detectives.

It's 1996. Detective Sergeant Tom Thorne is a haunted man. Haunted by the moment he ignored his instinct about a suspect, by the horrific crime that followed and by the memories that come day and night, in sunshine and shadow.

So when seven-year-old Kieron Coyne goes missing while playing in the woods with his best friend, Thorne vows he will not make the same mistake again. Cannot.

The solitary witness. The strange neighbour. The friendly teacher. All are in Thorne's sights.

This case will be the making of him...or the breaking.

Full cast list:

Mark Billingham
David Morrissey
Robert Glenister
Candida Gubbins
Nathalie Buscombe
Mandy Weston
Rachel Atkins
Rupert Farley
Homer Todiwala
Nigel Pilkington
David John
Will Kelly
Glen McCready
Bhavnisha Parmar
Henley Ingall
Luke Stoneham

©2020 Mark Billingham (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"Cry Baby is the perfect prequel to send us back to revel in Tom Thorne's 20 years. As if we needed reminding how good Mark Billingham is." (Val McDermid)

"Tom Thorne is one of the most credible and engaging heroes in contemporary crime fiction. Mark Billingham is a master of psychology, plotting and the contemporary scene - making the Thorne novels the complete package. Twenty years in and better than ever." (Ian Rankin)

"Billingham is always a must [listen]." (Harlan Coben)

What listeners say about Cry Baby

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  • Lesley Paxman
  • 15-08-2020

Dull and disappointing

In the final chapter, the narrator makes reference to the person “who committed murders for reasons he found hard to fathom.” Yes, I found them pretty hard to fathom too. The partial dramatisation eliminates the need for the narrator to switch quickly from one voice to another - a real challenge for some - but this audiobook is a hybrid where voices are suddenly spliced into the narration. It’s better, on balance, but it’s clumsily done and interrupts what little momentum the author manages to muster. This is a boring book devoid of tension and with a pitiful ending. I feel Mark Billingham must have written it one wet Sunday afternoon.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 22-09-2020

Prequel - Early concerns totally unjustified

When this book first started and it quickly became apparent that it was a prequel (I am such a fan I don’t even read the synopsis). I was very apprehensive especially after being so committed to Thorne’s story over the years. Presumably I have a prequel prejudice. My concerns were quickly put at ease as the story progressed and the time period (1996) came vividly to life. It was almost like a historical novel where you had numerous points of reference, especially if you are of a certain age and a football fan. It was a delight to experience there first jarring meeting of Tom and Hendricks and witnessing their blossoming friendship. Also the numerous other secondary characters appearing in Thorne’s life for the first time. The plot is satisfying and up to Billingham’s usual high standard. One unique aspect of this audio book is that it is a full cast recording. Firstly, Billingham is IMO the best author narrator around. I assume this is due to his acting and comedy background. His characters and accents are flawless. For this title it was a wonderful relief to have him still narrating the story and also voicing Hendricks (superior to Aiden Gillen whom I assume wasn’t available). I would have been happy for him to voice all the parts but it was a treat having the likes of David Morrisey returning to his role as Thorne (as he did on the short lived TV adaptation). One slight criticism is that the choice of actor to play the Scottish superior officer left a lot to be desired - his accent was unbelievably grating (btw I’m a Scot). Pros and Cons. I would thoroughly recommend this title and hope that Billingham voices his next book solo; I’ll be devouring it immediately whatever the case.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Simon Evers
  • 12-09-2020

Interesting new format

I thought the new format (with a live cast) worked well and added to the enjoyment of the story, which was as engrossing as usual. It was interesting to learn more about Tom's past. I look forward to the next instalment - and finding out more about his new girlfriend!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-09-2020

fits in well with other books

A well written well paced, I didnt like the narrator aspect at first but settled down. The characters are really well crafted and developed. David Morrisey was a joy to listen to. overall well worth the credit

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  • TrudyW
  • 09-09-2020

Billingham at his best

One of my favourite authors. Billingham is excellent at narrating as he is at writing. Characters bought to life by Morrissey and Glenister. Loved every bit of this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jye
  • 21-08-2020

Not blown away !

I looked forward to listening as many of the reviews were so good but I was a tad underwhelmed. The voice for the main character is rather drawl, I just wanted to give him a shake , it seemed an effort for him to speak! The plot is okay but conclusion a bit disappointing. I see there is a whole series of books by this author but I won’t be reading anymore!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Henderson
  • 17-08-2020

A wonderful listen

A wonderful storyline in the series, a prequel , brilliant characters and plot. The narration was absolutely perfect th brought the characters to life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-08-2020

Loved it as always

Great suspense as always. Couldn’t stop listening and loved finding out more about Thorne’s earlier years. Highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nicola
  • 16-08-2020

Another great Thorne

Loved the story but it took some getting used to a cast performance ( I personally prefer just having the narrator ) but it helped that David Morrissey played Tom on tv. Nice to meet all the old characters in there early days, and meet his mum!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 15-08-2020

Mmm

Well not a lot happened in the 10 +hours but I listened to it happily enough. The dramatisation was interesting. The last chapter reminiscing was a bit strange and self indulgent.

1 person found this helpful