Book Review: Rush of Blood

Part Agatha Christie, part Gillian Flynn, that about sums up Mark Billingham's compelling standalone murder mystery Rush of Blood. A story about three British couples holidaying in Florida, their picture-perfect beach vacation turns sinister when the strangers-turned-friends find themselves caught in the middle of a disappearance of a teenage girl on the last day of their stay, and following their return back home, discovered dead floating in the mangroves. The couples continue to stay in touch, taking turns to invite each other over for dinner, even as all they talk about is the death of the girl how much ever they try to stay away from it. But then in a strange turn of events, another girl disappears, this time in Kent, and very soon it becomes a mere guessing game of who among the six is the murderer. Alternating between point of views of the three couples, Rush of Blood is a cleverly staged psychological whodunit, packed with surprises lurking in unexpected corners and its narrative peppered by vivid characterisation and a three-dimensional landscape that's both gripping and rooted in reality. A very fine beach read!