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Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham
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Rush of Blood (2012)

by Mark Billingham

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1601674,566 (3.45)5

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Everybody is hiding something, is kind of the premise of this book.
3 seemingly normal British couples meet on holiday in Siesta Key Florida, and as often happens kind of bond because of their shared home.
They make the usual polite promise to stay in touch.
The day before they all depart, a woman from Georgia, who is also staying at the resort with her daughter, becomes panicked when the daughter goes missing.
Back in England is when most of the story is told, and the 3 seemingly normal couples do reluctantly stay in touch, and as the reader gets to know them and they get to know each other, it is revealed they all have various aspects or traits about them that they hide. Making all of them prime candidates for being responsible for the missing girl.
The story is well told, and there is not really any part of it that wasn't believable. ( )
  zmagic69 | May 17, 2017 |
No rating. Only read couple chapters.
  bogopea | Apr 26, 2017 |
I am surprised by the predominantly unfavorable reviews. I liked this mystery story!

Three British couples meet by chance while vacationing in Florida. As might be expected, they pal around together due to their common circumstances. On the last day of their holiday a mentally challenged teenage girl staying at the resort goes missing. The Brits can provide no significant observations to the cops’ routine interview questions. Back home they go.

Back in London the couples maintain casual contact. Their dinner conversation always seems to revert to the tragedy of the missing girl, who is ultimately found dead. On top of that British authorities are enlisted by their American counterparts to ask a few follow up questions, a seemingly mundane request. The British investigation is led by a detective in training anxious to prove her meddle. She dissects each detail of the couples’ statements, sparking more than a little suspicion among the new friends as well as the reader. Then, an almost identical crime occurs in proximity to London raising the stakes on both sides of the Atlantic.

The story is a classic whodunit. Multiple characters have questionable traits – one with an explosive temper, one skirt-chaser with a criminal history, another a boor who considers himself smarter than police. Even the women are questionable. Billingham dribbles clues using innuendo or a turn of phrase. I am proud that I guessed correctly about three quarters of the way through, and I NEVER guess right!

I have only two criticisms. First, putting a face to a character enhances my reading experience. Six major characters and a couple of really important minor ones made it awfully hard to remember all those faces consistently. Second, while I did guess the murderer correctly, I thought Billingham’s reveal was a little hokey. Nevertheless, a very satisfying read! ( )
  refice | Apr 6, 2017 |
Rush of Blood by British thriller writer Mark Billingham is a competent mystery that's a bit too long, tries a little too hard to be tricky, and breaks no new ground in the writing department. It's OK, but I'd hoped for a lot more.

The plot was interesting and things moved quickly in the beginning. 3 British couples who didn't know one another were vacationing at a resort in Florida when a young mentally challenged girl disappears. It just so happened that they'd become fast friends and had actually encountered the girl and her mother prior to the kidnapping. They're questioned by the local police and eventually return to their homes in the London area.

The couples decide to keep in touch via a series of rotating dinners at their respective abodes, while the police in Florida contact the Brit authorities and ask them to do some followup questions with the couples. The body of the girl in Florida is found and a young, similarly challenged youngster is abducted in metro London, leading to speculation by the police that a Brit who'd been in Florida when the original murder took place had repeated the process in Britain.

So, the story proceeds through a series of dinner parties and other meetings intended to develop the characters and provide ammunition to readers to guess as to whether any of them are involved. It's pretty standard stuff with caricatures thrown in: there's a nerd, a ladies man, a blue-collar guy, an artistic woman, a blue-collar gal, and a level headed teacher. About midway through the book the 'murderer' begins to narrate certain chapters. It was obvious to me that the author was really aiming for an unexpected result. That's as far as I'll go on the story line....

My main problems with Rush of Blood were that the pace was too slow and the writing was so 'mystery generic' in nature. The author was so intent on confusing readers that he spent way too many pages throwing out red herrings and dealing with characters that eventually didn't even participate in the conclusion. The writing seemed to be at the 7th grade level, with trite and inconsistent dialogue to boot. After I passed the midway point I wanted so badly for it to conclude that I powered through to the end in one sitting.

Rush of Blood isn't a bad book, just an overly wrong, generically written one that tries too hard to keep the reader guessing. ( )
  gmmartz | Mar 13, 2017 |
I still haven't read any of Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne books, but this is the second standalone novel that I've read following Die of Shame last year. In a similar fashion, Rush of Blood is about a small group of people, their dysfunctional relationships, their secrets, and enactments of pretence.
Here, we have three British couples who meet while vacationing in Florida. On the last day of their vacation, a young girl goes missing from their resort. We hear from different people including the young girl's mother, the Florida detective in charge of the case, and a young British trainee detective. But the focus is on the three couples who continue to meet up back in Britain. It is clear that one of them is guilty of abducting the girl. I kept changing my mind several times as to who that was and the plot provided a couple of good surprises. The final twist was a little too obvious though. None of these characters had any endearing features. There is a lot of quite mundane stuff going on. Dinner parties, exchanges between the couples at home etc. This isn't an electrifying crime thriller or intricate police procedural, but Mark Billingham is such a great people observer, I truly enjoyed following these flawed characters and their antics. If you enjoy stories about complex relationships and the sometimes odd dynamics between people, you'll like this. If you need characters you can feel sympathetic towards or you can relate to, forget it. My only minor niggle, it took me quite a while until I was able to differentiate between the three women and three men and I could finally remember who was married to whom etc. ( )
  Pet12 | Jan 17, 2017 |
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Three couples on a Florida holiday become friends around the pool. But on their last night the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing and is later found dead in the mangroves. When the shocked couples return home they remain in contact and get to know each other better. But they don't always like what they find: underneath these normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices. Then a second girl goes missing...… (more)

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