Meet Tom Thorne Developing a character Scars A man without a face Thorne on screen Good cop bad cop The Tom Thorne novels
Tom Thorne's music It don't mean a thang Coming in the air The Smiths Music to die for Thorne's favourites
Meet Tom Thorne Mark Billingham home


Sleepyhead cover Scaredy Cat cover Lazybones cover
Burning Girl cover Lifeless cover Buried cover
Death Message cover In the Dark cover Bloodline cover
From the Dead cover Good as Dead cover Rush of Blood cover
The Dying Hours cover The Dying Hours cover  

Louise Porter nodded towards the room’s second desk, back to back with Kitson’s and piled high with folders and box-files, as though it was being used as storage space. “You normally share with Thorne, don’t you?”

“Normally, but everything’s been a bit up in the air for a while. He’ll probably be wanting it back now.”

Porter opened the notebook she was carrying and began to leaf through the pages, looking for the bullet points she was keen to go over. “Thorne’s not the easiest bloke to suss out, is he?”

Kitson looked across and smiled. “There isn’t nearly enough time…”

BURIED (2006)

Developing a charactor

When I am asked to describe Detective Inspector Tom Thorne, I have often said that the reader knows every bit as much about him as I do. And I stand by that. When I created him for the first book – Sleepyhead – I was determined that he should be a character who would never be set in stone, but rather one who would develop, book on book, who would change and grow as we all do, and who, crucially, would be unpredictable. Many authors who write series have created thick dossiers on their protagonists; complex biographies containing everything from family history to inside leg measurement. This may make life easier for the writer in some ways, but to me it seems limiting. As I write each new Thorne novel, I am determined that whatever is happening plot-wise, a new layer of the onion will be peeled away and reveal something about Tom Thorne that is surprising. To me as much as anyone else. This may not always be something that the more conservative reader likes too much, but that can’t be helped. Simply put, if I can remain interested in the character, then hopefully, the reader will stay interested too. The day a character becomes predictable is the day a writer should think about moving on, because the reader certainly will.