“Right up there with this country’s dark masters such as Ian Rankin and Val McDermid.”



DI Tom Thorne becomes the leader in the hunt for a mentally ill killer in this one. The killer has just been released after six years in jail for a murder he didn’t commit. During his prison term, he becomes friends with another killer who Thorne had caught and had put away for two life terms. The first concern is that videos of the victims are sent to Thorne before they are killed. It becomes clear that Thorne himself may well be a target as well.

Wrapped up in it all is the usual ingredients of Throne’s love life and domestic situation, including his gay friend, a pathologist, who sometimes uses Thornes spare room to stop in. One of the videos is that same friend and various other friends go out of their way to find and save him. They do so, but catch him with his pants down, really down! A search of records show that the proposed victim was involved in a case many years earlier.

Two other police units are also interested in the hunt, one is looking at the first two victims and their involvement with drug importation. The second group is the Infernal Affairs unit, or the Professional Standards, who are looking at a senior officer as well as being interested in the killings too. The story unfolds and it becomes clear that the killer was set up by two cops to cover their own crimes. The killer’s mental illness is also caused by the same two cops.

This one is the fifth or sixth of Billingham’s books I’ve read, so that alone should tell you what I really think of them, and the next one is sitting at the top of my TBR pile, and I’m sure more will follow as I find them. I’ve no idea how good a comedian he is, but as a writer, he fits the bill just right. If you haven’t read him before, give him a go, he’s worth the effort.


Reviewed by:

Ron Clark

Added 14th July 2016

More Reviews By
Ron Clark