Die of Shame by Mark Billingham is another one of those ‘closed room’ murder mysteries (a la Agatha Christie) where the focus is on a group of characters one of whom will turn out to be the murderer. One member of a therapy group of recovering addicts is murdered and the plot takes you through the back stories and interactions of all of the group and their therapist (another ex addict) leading up to and after the murder.
There are several blind alleys and some misdirection before you get to the end of the story and a nice twist or two but overall this is rather predictable and somewhat unsatisfying. By some quirk of fate this is the second Mark Billingham novel that I have read in the last few weeks, Rush of Blood was also a ‘closed room’ style novel – neither has been particularly enjoyable.
Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne series have been great and stood the test of time as they get into their second decade, none of his one off’s have matched the quality of the Thorne series.