The Dying Hours by Mark Billingham

I really do enjoy Mark Billingham novels.  I have recently discovered that he also works as a stand up comedian and has done very funny shows with the Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre.  Other books by this author are reviewed here,  https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/in-the-dark-by-mark-billingham/,  https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/scaredy-cat-by-mark-billingham/ ‎‎https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/sleepyhead-by-mark-billingham/.  

dying hoursBillingham was born Mark Philip David Billingham in Birmingham, England on 2 July, 1961.  His main character is a detective named Tom Thorne.  It is no surprise to me that his books are best sellers, nor that he is a successful screenwriter, actor and comedian.  His novel, Sleepyhead has been made into a film for television. He has won the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year and has been nominated for the Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel and the Dagger in the Library.  He is very gifted.  

In this novel, The Dying Time, Thorne has returned to the uniformed branch of the police service from CID, although he is still an Inspector.  He hates the change and struggles to adjust to it.  He is living with Helen and her little boy but still has his own home across London.

Thorne believes that a series of deaths amongst older folks in London, England are not suicides, but murders.  Detectives in the Murder Squad dismiss his fears, so Thorne sets up an investigation privately with the help of a few friends.

However, things do not go smoothly and Thorne finds himself unable to trust anybody.  He seems to be alienating those closest  to him as the list of victims grows.  It appears that the perpetrator has nothing to lose and the will to make the victims take their own lives.

The story is well paced and cleverly written.  In Tom Thorne, Billingham has created an interesting and well-rounded character and I highly recommend this book.

Valerie PennyMark Billingham

 

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