Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Demoted from detective a few months earlier after a case gone awry (recounted in The Demands), London police officer Tom Thorne has lost none of his instinct or edge.At the bedside of an elderly couple discovered dead in a presumed suicide, Thorne senses something wrong, in part because the woman's dentures were removed, leaving her not the way Thorne thinks she would have wanted to be found. Rebuffed by superiors when he suggests investigating the case as murder, he goes rogue, calling on a few colleagues to piece together a string of deaths framed as suicides in which the victims seemed unlikely to have taken their own lives and making a connection that went back decades.Thorne risks his shaky career and more by ferreting out not only the "who" and "why" but the "how" of the crimes. Verdict In his 11th Tom Thorne novel, Billingham displays his mastery of the nuanced adrenaline-fueled police procedural several notches above the standard thriller. The final ambiguity about Thorne will leave even readers new to the series anxious for more about this principled maverick protagonist. [See Prepub Alert, 2/11/13.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Demoted from detective a few months earlier after a case gone awry (recounted in The Demands), London police officer Tom Thorne has lost none of his instinct or edge.At the bedside of an elderly couple discovered dead in a presumed suicide, Thorne senses something wrong, in part because the woman's dentures were removed, leaving her not the way Thorne thinks she would have wanted to be found. Rebuffed by superiors when he suggests investigating the case as murder, he goes rogue, calling on a few colleagues to piece together a string of deaths framed as suicides in which the victims seemed unlikely to have taken their own lives and making a connection that went back decades.Thorne risks his shaky career and more by ferreting out not only the "who" and "why" but the "how" of the crimes. Verdict In his 11th Tom Thorne novel, Billingham displays his mastery of the nuanced adrenaline-fueled police procedural several notches above the standard thriller. The final ambiguity about Thorne will leave even readers new to the series anxious for more about this principled maverick protagonist. [See Prepub Alert, 2/11/13.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

A growing number of suicides start looking like murder in Billingham's absorbing 11th novel featuring Det. Insp. Tom Thorne (after 2012's The Demands). With the apparent joint suicide of an elderly London couple, Thorne, who's no longer with the CID, senses something amiss but can't pinpoint what. His suspicions are met with ridicule from his former CID colleagues. With the reluctant help of old friends Det. Sgt. Dave Holland and Det. Insp. Yvonne Kitson, Thorne looks for other recent questionable suicides and finds several promising cases, but no clear link between the victims other than their advanced age. At home, the moody Thorne is doing no favors for his burgeoning relationship with fellow copper Helen Weeks, whom he met in The Demands. Billingham takes a chance by shaking up Thorne's career, but it pays off in this consistently tense thriller that's as much about Thorne as it is about solving the crimes. Agent: Anna Steadman, Lutyens & Rubinstein Literary Agency (U.K.). (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Detective Inspector Thorne, long with the London Police Murder Squad (Billingham has chronicled his adventures in 10 previous ­mysteries), has been demoted to regular copper and suffers accordingly. Billingham shows the glee with which other police regard Thorne's demotion and the eager way they shove him aside. He also shows and, unfortunately, overshows how this rankles Thorne. But even a depressed, demoted cop must carry on, and Thorne finds himself growing suspicious of a number of deaths of elderly people. The deaths have all been ruled suicides, but Thorne is convinced they may be homicides. In a way that is just far too predictable, the Murder Squad won't believe Thorne, and Thorne must investigate on his own. As the mystery progresses, however, the psychology and strategy of murder become more intriguing. Thorne is a little hard to take here. His gloom is pretty one-note and seems at odds with his enterprise in tracking down a killer. This acclaimed series has, however, hit many high notes (especially Lazybones, 2004), and fans will take one subpar effort in stride.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist