- Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date:
- 30 September 2010
- Thriller and Suspense
Showing 1-4 out of 10 reviews. Previous | Next
Fantastic start to British crime series. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne appeals because he is so authentic. He is shortish and heavy-set, intelligent but not infallible, and does not consistently react heroically when the opportunity presents. He is likeable and earnest. As with most detective or crime novels, that I enjoy, the book largely concerns Thorne's personal journey dealing with past issues, a doomed relationship and solving the present crime. You see the beginning of what is presumed to be the evolution of Thorne's more permanent relationships in later novels. I like Billingham's voice and cultural references -- name checks some good music. The mystery set-up is good. The killer's victims are "mistakes", as what he intends to do is leave his victims in a "locked-in" state where they are intellectually aware but unable to physically function. I found the book's conclusion satisfying. Often times, the book's conclusion is my least favorite part, I assume there is no way the author is going to be able to land the story once up in the air. Here, the action was plausible, the result logical, and I felt the human responses were honest. I compare Thorne to a younger, childless, more hip Wallander. Overall, a highly recommended read.
If I remember correctly, I got the recommendation for this book from the comments on a post about mystery novels on Tod Goldberg's blog. If I weren't terminally (lazy) busy, I'd go check out who recommended it, and find out if they have other recommendations, because they obviously have taste that matches mine.Tom Thorne is a police detective whose unorthodox methods and insubordination would have gotten him fired long ago if he didn't consistently solve cases. His latest case is pushing even his limits.It's a serial killer with a twist--the twist being that the one woman who survived was the success, not the failure. See, our killer's purpose is to invoke locked-in syndrome, leaving his victims in what he believes to be the perfect state: physically paralyzed, mentally aware. No pesky details to deal with, all bodily needs taken care of by someone else, they can just relax and be.As Tom closes in on the killer, he spends time with the survivor and her doctor, and begins a romantic relationship with the doctor--a relationship which is threatened as his investigation points him to her long-term friend.I'm not sure if I was relating too closely to Dr. Coburn, but that was the one thing that bugged me about this story--I wasn't clear on why Tom focused on the friend, and it seemed to me as it did to Anne that his pursuit was more about jealousy than police work.It was clear at the end, though, and was more than made up for by the chapters written from the surviving victim's point of view, which were a wonderful blend of chilling and amusing.I do have to address one complaint from the Amazon reviews. Yes, it's a British book. The author is British. It takes place in London. Why, then, are they shocked, surprised, and upset that there are British slang, TV shows, etc. in the book? I've never been to England, and I had no trouble understanding. Insert rant here about expectations of cultural homogeneity.Billingham's next book, Scaredy Cat, is on my to-be-bought list.
Superb crime thriller featuring D.I. Tom Thorne, as he seeks to catch a serial killer on the loose in London. Thorne is a damaged cop not fully trusted by his colleagues, whose only witness is a victim who has survived her ordeal paralysed and unable to speak. The novel was a page-turner with a superb twist in it's ending. I look forward to reading more novels by this author.
Talk about angst! Not only does the main character of this novel have lots of it (for good reason, as it were), but just reading this book built up a lot of tension as well. For a series opener, it was amazing. Not a cozy by any stretch, not a quick nor surface-level book, Sleepyhead really delivers a great mystery and an incredibly original plot. Yay.here we go:Alison Willetts is a victim of a horrible crime. The same man who killed other women left her with "locked-in" syndrome - in which she is fully alert but cannot talk, cannot move, cannot do anything except exist within her body. DI Tom Thorne comes into the case and as the investigation proceeds, fixates on a suspect. But is the suspect the right man? Thorne brings with him a lot of emotional angst based on a previous case, and can never be certain if his judgment is sound considering what happened in the past. It is a very dark story, although it has its moments; reading Alison's words locked up in her head was one of the best parts of this novel. I would highly recommend it to readers of British mystery series novels, to mystery readers who want something a little off the beaten path.
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