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It was a calculated, vicious murder. The killer selected his victim at Euston station, followed her home on the tube, and then strangled her to death in front of her child. At the same time the dead woman is found, a second body is discovered at the back of King’s Cross station—killed in identical fashion. It is a grisly coincidence that eerily echoes the murders of two other women, both stabbed to death months before on the same day.
Introduced in Sleepyhead, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne sees the link and comes to the horrifying conclusion that it is not one serial killer the police are up against: it is two of them. Now each time a body is found, Thorne must live with the knowledge that somewhere out there is a second victim, waiting to be discovered. But while the methods might be the same, the killers are very different—one submissive and terrified, the other ruthless and in control. To stop them both, Thorne must catch a man whose need to manipulate is as great as his need to kill; a man who will threaten those closest to Thorne himself; a man who will show him that the ability to inspire terror is the deadliest weapon of all.
On a rainy city night, a handgun is fired at random. A struck car swerves and plows into a bus stop, killing an unsuspecting bystander. In an explosive instant, a cold-blooded gang initiation ends one life and forever changes three others: the desperate teenager who pulled the trigger…a policewoman on maternity leave…and an aging gangster plotting a terrifying revenge.
The truth about the shocking incident will tie them all together in a lethal blood knot. And nothing is what it seems.
In the Dark is the most powerful and unflinching crime novel yet from the remarkable Mark Billingham—a gripping journey into the modern urban darkness where violence is both indiscriminate and meticulously planned, and youth gangs take on established criminals for rule of the streets.
In Lifeless, Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne reaches something like the nadir of his police career, broken by the death—possibly the murder—of his demented father and shuffled off to a desk job of infinite tedium. When someone starts kicking the London homeless to death, he suggests going undercover, and those of his friends who care about him worry that he is looking for his own destruction as much as for the killer. Certainly Thorne finds compensations on the street for danger, cold, hunger and squalor—his friendship with two young addicts is nonetheless…
Some fires never go out…
Thorne’s got plenty on his plate when he agrees to help out ex-DCI Carol Chamberlain rake through the ashes of an old case that has come back to haunt her. Schoolgirl Jessica Clarke was lit on fire twenty years ago. Now, Gordon Rooker, the man Chamberlain put away for the crime, is up for parole, and it seems there’s a copycat on the prowl.
Or perhaps it’s someone trying to right a serious wrong: Jessica Clarke was the victim of mistaken identity. The intended target was the daughter of a gangland boss, a woman who would grow up to marry the current leader, Billy Ryan…
Thorne quickly identifies a tenuous link between the two crimes, and past and present fuse together to form a new, horrifying riddle. One that involves more killings, violence, greed, and a murderous family with no values—except gain at any price.
When an X is carved into his front door, Tom Thorne realizes that fires, once thought to be out, continue to burn.
Thorne knew when he was looking at something out of the ordinary. This was a significant murder scene. This was the work of a killer driven by something special, something spectacular…He looked at the dead man on the bed—the position of him, as if he were praying…Thorne guessed that at the end, he probably had been.
The body is found in the grubbiest of North London hotel rooms. Kneeling, naked on a bare mattress, the head is hooded and the hands tied tight with a brown leather belt. And then there’s the oddest detail of all: the call from the florist to check arrangements about the wreath…It’s been only ten days since convicted rapist Douglas Remfry was released from prison. Someone knew he was coming out. Someone wanted to hand out some punishment of his own. When a second sex offender is discovered dead, the police believe they have a vicious, calculating vigilante on their hands. But how does the killer lure his victims to their deaths?…[more]