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The Bones Beneath

A Tom Thorne Novel
Narrated by: Mark Billingham
Series: Tom Thorne, Book 12
Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Deal: Tom Thorne is back in charge - but there's a terrifying 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 25 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....

Tom Thorne returns in this utterly gripping, brilliantly plotted thriller. The Bones Beneath is Mark Billingham's most ambitious and accomplished work to date.

©2014 Mark Billingham Ltd (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Bones Beneath

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  • Sam Q
  • 24-06-2014

A Tedious, Boring Disappointment

Would you try another book from Mark Billingham and/or Mark Billingham?

Yes, because I know all his other books and this comes nowhere near his usual standard.

What could Mark Billingham have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have written a story which held a reader's interest and did not make him regret having chosen this book. Tom Thorne has been transformed into a vapid character with none of his usual energy, daring, humour and psychological depth. He is a cardboard, one-dimensional ordinary man - not even a detective. The interaction with his colleagues does nothing to bring either him or them to life. There is a flatness about the whole book. The ending which should be exciting does nothing to rouse interest.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He did not use his voice to inject interest or lift a reader's attention in the story but spoke quickly in a voice which could on occasions almost become a monotone.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

For me, it is forgettable.

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  • Anna
  • 31-05-2014

Excellent Book Spoilt by Drab Narration.

Mark Billingham always delivers high quality, enjoyable fiction but he is not a good narrator.
This could have been an outstanding listen but was severely diminished by drab lack lustre narration by the author.
Excellent plot and though still enjoyable the monotonous drone of the reader really spoilt this for me. Next time use someone good like Paul Thornley.

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  • mr
  • 09-06-2014

Slow and ponderous

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This wasn't up to his usual high standard. I have really enjoyed all of this authors previous work.
The author usually keeps the tension high and the action coming. The very end was the only time this book got going for me.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Predictable and ensures a further book with the same characters.

What aspect of Mark Billingham’s performance might you have changed?

Don't ever narrate your own books!

Do you think The Bones Beneath needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It will get one without doubt due to the ending.

Any additional comments?

I was disappointed. Previous work has been exceptional.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 04-06-2014

plenty of action but it all comes at the end

this book lasts for just over nine and a half hours and the first 9 hours are more like a travel book describing Bardsey island and the trip there than a crime novel. I kept listening as I was sure that something might happen soon. Not my most favourite book I have listenened to recently. The ending reminded me of a Hannibal Lecter book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 02-01-2015

A good read but not his best.

Our gritty hero is here again but alas the story doesn't do him justice.

I think the detail could have been stronger and I thought the whole thing remained fairly flat and too matter of fact.

Mark Billingham is not the best reader of his works. His delivery could do with more animation to put some excitement into what was a fairly dull story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Smudgerwolves
  • 26-06-2020

Another great Billingham novel

I'm a great fan of Mark Billingham and read all his novels as soon after publication as possible. This is one of my favourites and wanted to revisit it but thought as a novelty I'd do so in audio format. I enjoyed it as much the second time round, the authors delivery is spot on.

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  • Mr. G. J. C. Gillan
  • 29-05-2018

another good TT novel.

not sure I'll visit the island but love this series. I'm sure you'll enjoy. it's really annoying I have to write 15 words

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  • LessButBetter
  • 21-07-2016

Disappointing

I kept waiting for the action but it never came. Too much setting the scene and not enough story.

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  • Jill
  • 02-07-2015

Gripping

I really enjoyed this book. If I had to find fault it was that it ended too soon. I found it hard to put down. Sad how easily others impact our lives.

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  • Mary
  • 13-05-2015

not the best thorne story but still enjoyable

I love thorne novels with their gory crime and touches of houmoir. this wasn't one of the best but was well read and overall enjoyable.

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  • J
  • 25-10-2014

The bones beneath

What made the experience of listening to The Bones Beneath the most enjoyable?

A good story with pace.

What other book might you compare The Bones Beneath to, and why?

The burning girl is still my favorite of his books.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison
  • 12-08-2014

Too Long

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It wasn't a bad book by any manner of means, and so no, the time wasn't wasted (I listen to audio books when I'm exercising to take my mind off the sheer misery of that particular activity), but it just went on too long. I think Mr Billingham is very taken with the Nicklin character and I feel he spends too long with him.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Just made it a bit shorter - missed out some of the extraneous stuff - the flashbacks weren't entirely necessary, or at least not so many of them. I realise that there was a build-up taking place, but it was too ponderous.

What about Mark Billingham’s performance did you like?

He obviously knows his characters and knows what they are thinking, and so he breathes life into them. I particularly like his Tom Thorne.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Probably not. It doesn't lend itself to a film.

Any additional comments?

Overall what I've said sounds negative and it really isn't supposed to be. As I say, this is far from being bad. It's just a little over long and perhaps a little bit self-indulgent. I enjoy the Tom Thorne novels and this certainly won't stop me reading them again in the future. I just wonder if we're coming to the end of Tom as a character.

1 person found this helpful