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“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
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
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.
Posted September 5, 2013
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.
Posted November 19, 2013
No text was provided for this review.