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The Dying Hours (Tom Thorne Series #11)

The Dying Hours (Tom Thorne Series #11)

4.0 6
by Mark Billingham

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A fantastic, never-before-published Tom Thorne novel by England's crime king.

It's been twenty-five years since Tom Thorne last went to work wearing the "Queen's cloth" but now, having stepped out of line once too often, he's back in uniform. He's no longer a detective, and he hates it.

Still struggling to adjust, Thorne becomes convinced that a spate of


A fantastic, never-before-published Tom Thorne novel by England's crime king.

It's been twenty-five years since Tom Thorne last went to work wearing the "Queen's cloth" but now, having stepped out of line once too often, he's back in uniform. He's no longer a detective, and he hates it.

Still struggling to adjust, Thorne becomes convinced that a spate of suicides among the elderly in London are something more sinister. His concerns are dismissed by the Murder Squad he was once part of and he is forced to investigate alone.

Now, unable to trust anybody, Thorne risks losing those closest to him as well as endangering those being targeted by a killer unlike any he has hunted before. A man with nothing to lose and a growing list of victims. A man who appears to have the power to make people take their own lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A growing number of suicides start looking like murder in Billingham’s absorbing 11th novel featuring Det. Insp. Tom Thorne (after 2012’s The Demands). With the apparent joint suicide of an elderly London couple, Thorne, who’s no longer with the CID, senses something amiss but can’t pinpoint what. His suspicions are met with ridicule from his former CID colleagues. With the reluctant help of old friends Det. Sgt. Dave Holland and Det. Insp. Yvonne Kitson, Thorne looks for other recent questionable suicides and finds several promising cases, but no clear link between the victims other than their advanced age. At home, the moody Thorne is doing no favors for his burgeoning relationship with fellow copper Helen Weeks, whom he met in The Demands. Billingham takes a chance by shaking up Thorne’s career, but it pays off in this consistently tense thriller that’s as much about Thorne as it is about solving the crimes. Agent: Anna Steadman, Lutyens & Rubinstein Literary Agency (U.K.). (Aug.)
Library Journal
Demoted from detective a few months earlier after a case gone awry (recounted in The Demands), London police officer Tom Thorne has lost none of his instinct or edge.At the bedside of an elderly couple discovered dead in a presumed suicide, Thorne senses something wrong, in part because the woman’s dentures were removed, leaving her not the way Thorne thinks she would have wanted to be found. Rebuffed by superiors when he suggests investigating the case as murder, he goes rogue, calling on a few colleagues to piece together a string of deaths framed as suicides in which the victims seemed unlikely to have taken their own lives and making a connection that went back decades.Thorne risks his shaky career and more by ferreting out not only the “who” and “why” but the “how” of the crimes.

Verdict In his 11th Tom Thorne novel, Billingham displays his mastery of the nuanced adrenaline-fueled police procedural several notches above the standard thriller. The final ambiguity about Thorne will leave even readers new to the series anxious for more about this principled maverick protagonist. [See Prepub Alert, 2/11/13.]—Michele Leber, Arlington, VA
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
DI Tom Thorne, back in uniform after his last round of insubordination, goes even further off the rez in his attempts to prove that a series of suicides was something else. John and Margaret Cooper didn't leave a note when they topped themselves; the bottle of insulin they used didn't carry a prescription label; and Margaret had removed her dentures, as if she were merely going to sleep. But those telltale signs don't persuade DI Paul Binns or DCI Neil Hackett that the Coopers might have been murdered. Since nobody will listen to him, Thorne signs off on the official findings and then goes off on his own--first during his free time, then on manufactured sick days--to find more compelling evidence that they're wrong. For better or worse, evidence of a sort keeps coming in. The earlier suicides of Brian Gibbs and Fiona Daniels look equally suspicious, and more victims soon follow, each of them clearly (at least to Thorne's mind) coaxed or forced into killing themselves. The breakthrough comes when Thorne, sneaking behind the back of DS Helen Weeks, the lover he's been more or less living with ever since he saved her life (The Demands, 2012), links all the elderly victims to a 30-year-old case. But even when he's satisfied himself of the killer's motive and identity, Thorne still can't find any evidence that changes Hackett's mind, and the harder he tries, the more he risks getting booted off the force for good. Too many views of the killer at work and not enough actual mystery. But no one currently working the British scene tops Billingham for mordant intensity, whether Thorne is surveying the latest scene of an apparent suicide or just trying to explain why he called in sick.
California Bookwatch
“[D]elivers this well-written police procedural with verve and storytelling skill. . . . Although the eleventh in the series, this entry is a good place for listeners to become acquainted with this crime writer as author and narrator.”
AudioFile [Earphones Award winner]

From the Publisher
“Billingham’s narration is brisk and excellently paced. This gripping novel is a suspenseful detective story with rich, fully developed characters. It will appeal to all crime fiction fans.”
Library Journal

“Narrated by the author, who adds spice and zip to his Tom Thorne detective story. . . . A fine story of crime and mystery evolves, perfect for the audio format.”
California Bookwatch

Product Details

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
Tom Thorne Series , #11
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Award-winning journalist Dunkel has not only researched and presented a virtually forgotten but very significant piece of sports history, he has also done it in a very entertaining, narrative nonfiction style. The principals, particularly Churchill and his players (including Satchel Paige) just simply come alive. Baseball fans will cherish this book, and it will become required reading among those who feel we can better understand today’s racial tensions by looking to the past." —Booklist

"A decade before Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color line in 1947, an integrated team captured the imagination of Bismarck, North Dakota . . . Dunkel delves into the history of players, towns, and baseball itself in constructing this portrait of a harmonious team rising above a segregated society. . . . a story that transcends championships, and an inspirational reflection on an otherwise dismal human rights history."—Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Mark Billingham is one of England's best known and top-selling crime writers. His most recent book was a #1 bestseller in the UK. He has twice won the Theakston's Old Peculier Award for Best Crime Novel, and has also won a Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer. His novels Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey as Thorne. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.

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The Dying Hours 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
As a result of his importune actions in the previous novel in the series, “Good As Dead,” Tom Thorne finds himself demoted to uniform duties, while remaining an inspector. You can put him in a patrol car, but you can’t take his analytical and detecting abilities away. So, when several senior citizens are discovered to have committed suicide, Tom sniffs a different story: murder. But when he tries to convince a detective on the Murder Squad about his analysis, he is ignored. So Tom Thorne, being the person he is, goes about it on his own, without the tools or assistance needed, relying on friends to chase down whatever information can help identify the murderer, jeopardizing not only his own position as a policeman, but theirs as well, Thorne is an enigma: A talented detective, he defies the standard demands and set ways of established police methodology. This novel is the 11th in the series (Mr. Billingham has also written two standalones), all well-written page-turners. “The Dying Hours” is a welcome addition, and happily, according to an interview included at the end of this book the 12th is already in the works.
Haziegaze More than 1 year ago
This is the 11th instalment in the saga that is Tom Thorne; a fantastic, interesting and unorthodox police officer wonderfully created by Mark Billingham and I want to thank my local library for lending me a copy at no cost :) The synopsis pretty much explains the story of the book so I won't repeat it but what I will say is how much I enjoyed reading this. Once again, Mark successfully manages to keep the Tom Thorne novels feeling new and refreshing and although you don't have to have read the previous 10 books, it does help and if you do, Tom will very quickly become an old friend. The story flows well and is easy to read with a fantastic cast of characters. The plot itself is, I feel, quite creative and it makes a change to have the "baddie" as a senior citizen; this brings a unique and different perspective to that of other books. I felt that this particular story provided more insight into Tom's character especially his almost obsessive and selfish desire to prove his theory is correct that the apparent suicide victims are actually being murdered. Tom is single-minded in his quest to prove that he is right despite the very real danger he has of losing his trusted colleagues and friends. Having said that, it also shows a vulnerable side to the hard-nosed detective which is well explored throughout and brings a new and more human dimension to the character. Overall, a great read ... probably not as enthralling as previous Tom Thorne stories ... but pretty damn good all the same and I would most definitely recommend it to others who enjoy this genre and also to people who don't ;)
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