Billingham, Mark Scaredy Cat

ISBN 13: 9780061032202

Scaredy Cat

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9780061032202: Scaredy Cat

It was a vicious, calculated murder. The killer selected his victim at Euston station, followed her home on the tube, strangled her to death in front of her child. At the same time, killed in the same way, a second body is discovered at the back of King's Cross station. It is a grisly coincidence that eerily echoes the murder of two other women, stabbed to death months before on the same day... It is DI Tom Thorne who sees the link and comes to the horrifying conclusion. This is not a serial killer the police are up against. This is two of them. Finding the body used to be the worst part of the job. Not any more. Now each time a body is found, Thorne must live with the knowledge that somewhere out there is a second victim, waiting to be discovered. But whilst the methods might be the same Thorne comes to realise that he is hunting two very different killers. One is ruthless and in control, while his partner in crime is submissive, compliant, terrified. Thorne must catch a man whose need to manipulate is as great as his need to kill; a man, who will show him that the ability to inspire terror is the deadliest weapon of all...

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Product Description:

TWO WOMEN DEAD

It was a vicious, calculated murder. The killer selected his victim at Euston station, followed her home on the tube, strangled her to death in front of her child. At the same time, killed in the same way, a second body is discovered at the back of King's Cross station. And this grisly event eerily echoes the murder of two other women, stabbed to death months before on the same day.

TWO KILLERS WORKING TOGETHER

It is DI Tom Thorne who sees the link and comes to the horrifying conclusion. This is not a serial killer the police are up against. This is two of them - and two killers are way more deadly than one . . .

Review:

Mark Billingham's Scaredy Cat is as inventive his previous serial killer novel a Sleepyhead. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne has the job of watching out for patterns and thinks he spots one--two similar killings on the same day; women followed from a mainline station and then strangled. Rapidly, though, it becomes clear that the methods differed in all sorts of ways--one killing was controlled, the other frenzied--and the timings do not work out. On a hunch, Thorne checks for other such pairings and finds them--this time two killers are working as a team, one setting the other challenges.

We know what Thorne does not, that all of this has to do with things that happened at school years ago; we also know a lot more than Thorne about the demons that drive some of his own investigating team. Billingham sets himself some complicated technical challenges here--flashes back and forwards, and closeups of killers' minds that keep crucial information from us--and some of the complications don't quite work. Overall, though, this is a terrifying exploration of brutal madness, made all the more so by touches of compassion for the killer's victims--the killer may think this a game, but we and Thorne know it is not.--Roz Kaveney

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