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The Dying Hours
     

The Dying Hours

4.0 6
by Mark Billingham
 

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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

Overview


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

From the Publisher

Praise for The Dying Hours:

“Even in the best of times, Tom Thorne, the hero of a well-groomed series of police procedurals by Mark Billingham, is a moody chap. But he’s hit rock bottom in The Dying Hours . . . The joy here comes from watching Thorne work under the radar while on the hunt for a killer who proves to be extremely clever and really, really mean.”—New York Times Book Review

The Dying Hours is British author Mark Billingham’s 11th novel about Thorne, a prickly loner who is a relentless investigator, often at the cost of his personal relationships . . . Billingham is fiendishly clever about subverting our expectations, the book’s two-page prologue being a bravura example. He’s also adept at sketching believable characters very quickly, so that each of the killer’s very different victims are real to us, not just corpses after the fact. Thorne’s friends and colleagues are even more vivid . . . But the hunt is what drives The Dying Hours, and it comes to a breathtaking and surprising climax, with the last sharp twist saved for the final page.”—The Tampa Bay Times

The Dying Hours’ relentless pace doesn’t slow down until the last word, proving why Billingham continues to be a best-seller in Great Britain.”—The Sun Sentinel

“It takes but two short pages for the first twist to be revealed in Mark Billingham’s latest Tom Thorne mystery, The Dying Hours, and a very good twist it is. . . . Thorne is an exceptionally well-drawn character, ably supported by a cast of complex colleagues and truly disagreeable villains, although at times you will have some question as to which is which. The Dying Hours is a fine addition to what is already one of the best crafted police procedural series in contemporary fiction.”—BookPage

“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.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Mark Billingham’s troubled detective inspector is one of those riveting characters who is almost likable in spite of himself, somewhat dour in personality but possessed of a dry sense of humor, seemingly unable to close the deal on a long-term relationship, an aficionado of American country music. Yes, complex would be the word, just like a great number of us. It is these personality elements of Thorne’s, combined with Billingham’s sharp plotting and extremely interesting murderers, that keep readers on both sides of the Atlantic coming back again and again. . . . The Dying Hours may be my favorite Thorne book to date. . . . And the ending? Let’s just say that there is good news and bad news for newcomers and longtime fans alike. Strongly recommended for both.”—BookReporter

“One of my favorite crime series. . . . The Dying Hours was an excellent crime novel on so many levels. Billingham’s plotting is always inventive, dark and devious, designed to keep the reader wondering--and up late at night. The procedural details of the investigation always fascinate me. But it is Thorne himself that makes this series such a standout. I’m always a sucker for the ‘buck the system’ characters, and Thorne is a prime example. The Dying Hours kept me captive for an entire day when I was off sick. A riveting read is probably some of the best medicine one can ask for.”—A Bookworm’s World

Praise for Mark Billingham:

“Morse, Rebus, and now Thorne. The next superstar detective is already with us—don’t miss him.”—Lee Child

“Billingham is one of the most consistently entertaining, insightful crime writers working today.”—Gillian Flynn

“Billingham is a world-class crime writer and Tom Thorne is a wonderful creation. Rush to read these books.”—Karin Slaughter

“With each of his books, Mark Billingham gets better and better. These are stories and characters you don’t want to leave.”—Michael Connelly

“Mark Billingham is one of my favorite new writers.”—Harlan Coben

"Billingham is one of the best crime novelists working today."—Laura Lippman

“Mark Billingham has brought a rare and welcome blend of humanity, dimension, and excitement to the genre.”—George Pelecanos

“Billingham leaps to the upper echelons of crime fiction in one bound.”—John Harvey

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.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802122681
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/10/2014
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
392,032
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(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.

Customer Reviews

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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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