Good as Dead, Hardback Book

Good as Dead Hardback

Part of the Tom Thorne Novels series

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


The Hostage Police officer Helen Weeks walks into her local newsagent's on her way to work.

Little does she know that this simple daily ritual will change her life forever.

It's the last place she expects to be met with violence, but as she waits innocently at the till, she comes face to face with a gunman.

The Demand The crazed hostage-taker is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in youth custody.

By holding a police officer at gunpoint, he will force the one man who knows more about the case than any other to re-investigate his son's death.

That man is DI Tom Thorne. The Twist While Helen fights to stay alive and the body-count rises,Thorne must race against time if he is to bring a killer to justice and save a young mother's life.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781847444196

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A 40-something curmudgeon with a pedantic affection for correct English and an inexplicable enthusiasm for country and western music, DI Thomas Thorne has had an excellent innings but there are signs in this, his 10th outing, that perhaps it is time for him to retire. Hostage office Helen Weeks [from Billingham’s stand-alone book In the Dark] is herself taken hostage by her local newsagent who is determined to find out the truth behind his son’s so-called suicide while in a Young Offender’s Institute. As the original arresting officer, Tom has just three days to solve the murder while tensions mount and people die. Twists abound, sexual exploitation and racism are manifest, the rather predictable anti-gay prejudice complicates lives and there is an overwhelming stench of high-level cover-up. A good read but not his usual standard.

Review by

I thought this was quite good - a worthy addition to the series, if not, perhaps, the best of the bunch.The setup seems a rather ho-hum affair: a shopkeeper suddenly snaps and shuts down his shop with two hostages held at gunpoint within. His price for their freedom: proof of his son's murder, not suicide, at a local Young Offenders' Institution. Tom Thorne to deliver.At first, there appears to be little at stake, but the bodies do indeed begin to mount up, and the pacing is perfect.What makes this especially stimulating reading, though, is its exposure of the casual corruption we imagine pervades the top of the British establishment, and what somebody else in a different context once called the banality of evil: it certainly is banal, but it is also, just as certainly, evil.A novel seemed to start unpromisingly in fact gathers steam and powers towards a terrific climax.

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