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Lazybones by Mark Billingham


Lazybones by Mark Billingham

Someone - a woman or somebody pretending to be a woman - is writing to convicted rapists in prison, befriending them and then brutally killing them when they are released. DI Tom Thorne must discover the link between these killings and a murder/suicide that took place twenty-five years before; a tragedy to which the only witnesses were two small children, now adults and nowhere to be found...How can you escape a past that will do a lot more than just catch up with you? And how can Thorne catch a killer, when he doesn't really care about the victims?


LAZYBONES is insanely gripping, the type of book that can rob you of a whole night's sleep. The dark humour is perfectly weighted, the rhythm of the prose is perfectly quick and our hero is likeably dishevelled and careworn. BIG ISSUE An excellent thriller. DUBLIN EVENING HERALD A compellingly satisfying police procedural that never loosens its grip on your throat. DAILY MAIL LAZYBONES is meticulously researched, as interesting as it is enjoyable. DAILY MIRROR
Mark Billingham landed something of a double whammy with Scaredy Cat and Sleepyhead, two violent and uncompromising novels that instantly established him as one of the best and most innovative writers on the British crime scene. Lazy Bones has all virtues of its predecessors (ever-accelerating tension, complex plotting and authentic characters) but demonstrates that Billingham has refined his skills even further by coming up with an original plot. Someone is befriending rapists in prison by writing to them. Is it a woman, or someone masquerading as a woman? When the rapists are released and attempt to make contact with their pen pals, they are savagely killed. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is convinced that there is a link between these murders and the murder/suicide that happened 25 years in the past. But the witnesses to that event have vanished. As Thorne gets closer and closer to a ruthless killer, he is forced to confront the fact that he has little time for the victims. At what point does his professionalism end and his personal opinion take over? The psychology of the serial killer is an over-explored subject these days, but Lazy Bones cunningly subverts this syndrome by focusing attention on the plotting and the minor characters, who are vividly created here. Thorne is a strongly wrought character, and the effect of his personal views on the case he's working at is well handled. As with previous Billingham novels, though, this one is not for the squeamish. (Kirkus UK)

About the Author

Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham has been awarded the 2003 Sherlock Award as the creator of the Best Detective created by a British writer and has twice won the Theakston's Old Peculier prize for best novel of the year. He lives in North London with his family.

Photograph © Charlie Hopkinson

Maxim Jakubowski's view on DI TOM THORNE...

A dogged London cop whose beat somehow invariably crosses into the dark side and confronts evil at its cleverest.DEATH MESSAGE is the 7th in the series, and BLOOD LINE appears in August 2009.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th March 2004


Mark Billingham

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Sphere an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


448 pages