Newly demoted after stepping out of line once too often, and struggling to adjust, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne becomes convinced that a spate of suicides among the elderly in London is 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.
"Absorbing.... 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." (Publishers Weekly)
"…Mark Billingham has a voice that is wonderfully authentic for the task at hand. He delivers this well-written police procedural with verve and storytelling skill. He's good at emphasis, clear in his characterizations, and flawless in his pacing. His experience as an actor, stand-up comic, and screenwriter clearly informs his narration." (AudioFile)
"Billingham is one of the most consistently entertaining, insightful crime writers working today." (Gillian Flynn)
"Born in England's West Midlands, Mark Billingham has a voice that is wonderfully authentic for the task at hand. He delivers this well-written police procedural with verve and storytelling skill. He's good at emphasis, clear in his characterizations, and flawless in his pacing. His experience as an actor, stand-up comic, and screenwriter clearly informs his narration. As a tough, put-upon cop bucks the authorities who are busily sweeping things under the rug, the listener will find the plot extraordinarily believable." (AudioFIle)
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The set-up for this book is so implausible as to make it impossible to suspend disbelief. The author tries to explain away the absurd situation, but no prison/police force would allow the situation to develop as described. Is Tom Thorne this weak and easily manipulated? If so, I have no interest in reading any more about the scrapes he gets into, nor his post-scrape angst at his foolishness.