Jessica Clarke had been set alight twenty years ago. Her attacker, quickly tracked down and eager to confess, was still in jail, his career as a hitman for North London gangs now well behind him. So who is harassing Carol Chamberlain, the arresting officer in that case, and claiming that he is the one who burned the girl? Now retired, Carol turns ...Read MoreJessica Clarke had been set alight twenty years ago. Her attacker, quickly tracked down and eager to confess, was still in jail, his career as a hitman for North London gangs now well behind him. So who is harassing Carol Chamberlain, the arresting officer in that case, and claiming that he is the one who burned the girl? Now retired, Carol turns to DI Tom Thorne for help. He's up to his neck in an investigation into a series of killings, which appears to be the result of a turf war between rival gangs, and he's fed up to the gills with reporting to DCI Tughan, so helping Carol out looks like a good deed in a naughty world. Only the world is about to turn much nastier, so nasty in fact that he finds himself longing for a straightforward psycopath to hunt down. In Mark Billingham's fourth novel, he explores the effects of violence and greed on the lives of those who exploit their fellow beings in a novel of exceptional power. Visit the author's website at www markbillingham.comRead Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-06-06 The engrossing fourth novel by British TV writer Billingham to feature London police detective Tom Thorne (after 2004's Lazybones) has a solid, traditional structure and plot, and a whiff of noir sensibility. Thorne is the solid reliable cop whom witnesses trust and colleagues appreciate. Of late, he's taken in his temporarily homeless pal, pathologist Phil Hendricks, and Billingham has fun with this odd couple (Phil is gay, messy and heavily pierced; Thorne is a Lucinda Williams-loving neatnik). Thorne's also willing to help out another friend-prickly, middle-aged ex-DCI Carol Chamberlain-who's uncovered new evidence about a case from the 1980s in which a schoolgirl was set on fire. Moral complexity clouds the picture: the man wrongly imprisoned for that heinous act is a career criminal; empathetic Thorne drifts into an affair with a key witness. A second case, equally complex, involves the murder of a Turkish video store owner, which proves to be just one of an alarming series of killings whose pattern Thorne must determine. Billingham delivers an edgy, ambitious novel with an excellent cast-just as BBC America's Mystery Monday offers a character-driven alternative to the current spate of forensics-heavy American TV police procedurals-and Morrow's betting on this one, with its hardcover-at-a-paperback-price, to break him out big. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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