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Friday, 17 October 2014

Mark Billingham - The Dying Hours

review written & read live on the bookshow by Brian Lowen 16th Oct 2014

I bought this book from the charity shop but when I got home I realised that I had read another book by this author - In The Dark – which I never finished as I could not get into it.
However, I persevered, and found it was quite good.

It is one of a series featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne, who has now been demoted to Detective Sergeant for some indiscretion he committed – what it was we are not told but I assume it was in a previous book in the series.

Tom is convinced that a series of suicides committed in the previous weeks are somehow linked because all the victims were perfectly happy and had no reason to kill themselves.

He starts picking up one or two clues and is convinced there is a serial killer at large, possibly seeking revenge for something that happened years ago. He tries to convince his bosses that the suicides should be investigated further, but they don’t agree with him, so he sets out to track the killer down on his own, getting limited help from some of his friendly colleagues.

He has recently started a relationship with Helen who works in Social Services and has a young son, Alfie. Tom’s obsession with this case and the extra hours he puts in investigating it causes some friction with their budding affair.

When he has amassed quite a lot of information leading to the killer he still goes on alone, rather than presenting the facts to his superiors, presumably to try and get promotion to his former rank of Inspector.

Whilst I enjoyed the story, I found the telling of it rather disjointed and sometimes hard to follow. The ending was rather left up in the air – presumably to try to get you to buy the next book in the series I expect, but I won’t be tempted.

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