Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Grove Press

Rush of Blood

by Mark Billingham

“Mark Billingham takes us on a very unhappy holiday in this sizzling thriller that starts in Florida and moves back to Britain . . . Billingham is brilliant with both characters and narrative and he’s at his very best in this . . . tale of love and loss.” —Globe & Mail (Canada)

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 416
  • Publication Date February 20, 2018
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2758-7
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 400
  • Publication Date February 07, 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2591-0
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $25.00

About The Book

Perfect strangers. A perfect holiday. The perfect murder.

In the stand-alone novel Rush of Blood, internationally bestselling author Mark Billingham puts a sinister twist on a deceptively innocent topic: the beach vacation.

Three British couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on Easter Sunday, the last day of their vacation, tragedy strikes: the fourteen-year-old daughter of an American vacationer goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves. When the shocked couples return home to the UK, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find. Buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some unusual kinks and unpleasant vices. Then, a second girl goes missing, in Kent—not far from where the couples live. Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody can imagine?

Ambitiously plotted and laced with dark humor, Rush of Blood is a first-rate suspense novel about the danger of making new friends in seemingly sunny places.


“Ugly Americans on a European tour are always good for a laugh. But you laugh at your peril at the Ugly Brits vacationing in America in Rush of Blood, Mark Billingham’s savage satire about good friends whose special bond originated in murder . . . Even [the] good guys are flawed, which makes them attractively human . . . It’s maddening, the way Billingham keeps us in suspense, cringing from each character while keeping watch as if our own lives depended on it—but we wouldn’t want it any other way.” —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“An absorbing psychological thriller. The chilling plot realistically intensifies as true personalities are revealed . . . Billingham’s affinity for delving deep into psyches shines in the enthralling Rush of Blood, as he proves that sometimes the most domestic of situations can be the most chilling.” —Oline H. Cogdill, Associated Press

“In Mark Billingham’s Rush of Blood, three British couples meet semi-cute on a Florida vacation, a vacay that’s marred on the last day when a young girl, unrelated to them, disappears . . . Billingham does a tantalizing job of centering the smoothly paced tension around a small group of characters.” —Daneet Steffens, Seattle Review of Books

“Hugely effective and entertaining . . . many twists and shocks.” —Times (UK)

“The suspense is expertly built and the resolution of the mystery is unexpected and deeply chilling, the perfect ending to an extremely gripping book.” —Daily Express (UK)

“The twists and turns are smart and original, but more than that, Billingham is one of
a handful of authors whose words flow as smoothly as his plot.” —Sunday Express (UK)

“Trouble in paradise follows three British couples back home [in Rush of Blood] . . . Billingham . . . provides a stand-alone that’s both creepy and shocking as he probes a friendship with complexities even the friends can’t fathom.” —Kirkus Reviews

Rush of Blood is a very different book for Mark Billingham. A stand-alone work taking place almost entirely outside of the purview of his Tom Thorne series, it is his first novel to take place (though partially so) in the United States. Of greater note, though, is that Billingham one-foots into the domestic thriller genre while remaining firmly planted in police procedural with the other. The result is a work intended to keep the reader guessing and reading through multiple changes of time, place and, most particularly, point of view.” —Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter

“A real contender for the title of nation’s top crime writer.” —Daily Mirror (UK)

“Dialogue is perfectly pitched . . . All six “friends’ tell small lies to the police, all have their sadnesses and their secrets. Almost any one of them seems capable of murder and any reader trying to guess the culprit’s identity will be doing so to the very end.” —Scotsman (UK)

“Billingham’s characters are cleverly drawn . . . Rush of Blood is a book not to be missed.” —Reviewing the Evidence

“This high-tension, fast-paced, character-driven story is masterfully plotted and flawlessly told.” —Crime Thriller Girl (UK)