Mark Billingham

The Dying Hours

"..fine characterisation, tight plotting and faultless prose.."


There has been a cluster of suicides among the elderly. Such things are not unknown to the police and the deaths are quickly dismissed by the police as routine. Only one man is convinced that something more sinister is taking place.

However, no one listens to Tom Thorne anymore. Having stepped out of line once too often, he's back in uniform and he hates it. Patronised and abused by his new colleagues, Thorne's suspicions about the suicides are dismissed by the Murder Squad he was once part of and he is forced to investigate alone.

Unable to trust anyone, Thorne must risk losing those closest to him. He must gamble with the lives of those targeted by a killer unlike any he has hunted before. He is a man with nothing to lose and a growing list of victims; a man with the power to make people take their own lives.

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The latest novel from Mark Billingham sees his trusty detective chasing a serial killer who doesn't actually kill people. Instead the twisted villain incites his victims to commit suicide. This is a very clever ploy which allows Billingham to have Thorne hunting yet another serial killer. The plotting makes formidably logical sense and the pace of the novel is delicately balanced with Thorne's personal and professional lives combining to drive the story forward. Those readers' who like me have followed the trial and travails of Tom Thorne's life, will be fascinated with the way he has fallen from grace, but still has at least one finger firmly on the self destruct button. Helen Weeks, Kitson, Hendricks and Holland all provide the usual level of support for both author and reader, but it is Tom Thorne's story and the reader is never allowed to forget it. With a mix of fine characterisation, tight plotting and faultless prose, 'The Dying Hours' will keep you turning pages long into the night.

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