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To his friends, his foes and even to himself it looks as though Tom Thorne's career is on the skids. On his last case he had seriously over-stepped the mark, and now gardening leave has been suggested and all he has to tend is a window box. So when it appears someone is targeting London's homeless community it seems perfectly natural for Thorne to take a step nearer to the gutter and go undercover amongst them. He blends into the sometimes invisible community easily - too easily perhaps - but the information he gleans quickly proves that this is no random killer, it is someone with a very distinct purpose and a very specific list of victims, only the team supporting Thorne from the outside don't have the key to motive or identity. Then somehow the fact that a policeman is working under cover becomes public knowledge ... With acute observation of character and place, combined with his acknowledged mastery of plotting, LIFELESS raises the Thorne series to an even higher level.
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In Lifeless, Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne reaches something like the nadir of his police career, broken by the death--possibly the murder--of his demented father and shuffled off to a desk job of infinite tedium. When someone starts kicking the London homeless to death, he suggests going undercover, and those of his friends who care about him worry that he is looking for his own destruction as much as for the killer. Certainly Thorne finds compensations on the street for danger, cold, hunger and squalor--his friendship with two young addicts is nonetheless real for his deceit and their pragmatic ruthlessness. Yet the secret of the deaths he is investigating lies only partly in London's dark alleys and corners; it lies as well fourteen years in the past on the road to Baghdad... This is probably Billingham's best thriller yet--inventive and passionate and full of commitment and dark humour. In his vulnerability and shrewdness, Tom Thorne is gradually shaping up into a classic detective whose habit of breaking the rules is not so much a strength as part of a pattern of self-destructive behaviour. Billingham's writing gets better with each book, too--the rough tenderness for each other of Spike and Caz, Thorne's mildly deranged guides to the street, is delicate and moving. ---Roz KaveneyReview:
Complex, thought-provoking and, in parts, very funny ... a tour de force (OBSERVER)
Murder and mystery do not come better than this. (WHAT'S ON IN LONDON)
Assured and shocking thriller. (GUARDIAN)
A cunning variation on the serial-murder theme. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
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Book Description Hachette Audio, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1405500247