On his last case, he over-stepped the mark, and now Tom Thorne's career is on the skids... So when he learns that someone is targeting London's homeless community, it seems natural for Thorne to go undercover amongst them. His investigations quickly prove that this is no random killer; it is someone with a specific list of victims. Then the news that a policeman is working undercover becomes public knowledge, placing Thorne in mortal danger....
©2005 Mark Billingham (P)2005 WF Howes Ltd
As someone who devours crime novels I was disappointed with my first Mark Billingham book. It was not helped by the plodding delivery of the reader. Just because the book is set in London, there is no need to have a reader with a flat London or Southern England accent! The reader of this book, must have read the title and decided to deliver the words in a lifeless manner. If the plot moves along at a pace, then one can forgive and overlook weaknesses in the story. Once a pattern to the murders had been established, no explanation was offered as to why Thorne needed to remain undercover on the streets. This was a really weak point, together with the repetitive and tedious discourse of 'life on the streets'. Anyone who regularly reads crime novels is aware of 'life on the edge' and this book did not try or succeed in shedding any new light on the homeless problem. I shall listen to another Billingham novel and hopefully, Lifeless, is one of his weaker novels.
One last point; a good reader can grab the listener's attention and maintain their interest even if the material is a little lacking. A poor reader can ruin very well written books.
A great read
This is a book on its own
The book was well read, the voices are good, everything is clear
When the statistics were mentioned about how many ex-military there were in the over 25's homeless!
A compelling read. Well done Mark Billingham - This book kept my attention.
I could not walk past the Big Issue Seller without buying a copy.
I bought this book on offer with the next title in the series.
Sadly, it is dull. Even more sad is that the narration leaves a lot to be desired. The accent is fine to me and for the first half of the book I found the broken sentences quite endearing. Undertones of a friend sitting by your bedside reading you a story. By part two I was less forgiving though. I stuck with it because I wanted to know the outcome of the story.
But.. These are professional productions and I'm so sorry to say this but we, the listeners who buy them, expect great quality. It isn't in this book.
I am now on to the next in the available series 'Buried' which was part of the same offer. The narration is slightly improved (there was a meeting no doubt and our narrator is becoming better at his job). Still not great though and I am about to throw in the towel and send it back.
Sorry. Not this one. If you're looking for new and you've not done 'The Woodcutter' yet, just go straight to it and put it in your basket.
After picking up one of the later Thorne novels on a whim I'm going back and listening to the earlier ones. Thorne is the ultimate detective, true to the genre in many ways but so utterly unpredictable as to remain unique and fascinating.
Paul Thornley does a great job of voicing a wonderful piece of crime fiction.
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