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Sleepy Head: Tom Thorne, Book 1 | [Mark Billingham]

Sleepy Head: Tom Thorne, Book 1

It's rare for a young woman to die from a stroke, and when three such deaths occur in short order it starts to look like an epidemic. Then a sharp pathologist notices traces of benzodiazepine in one of the victim's blood samples and just traceable damage to the ligaments in her neck, and their cause of death is changed from 'natural' to 'murder'.
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Publisher's Summary

It's rare for a young woman to die from a stroke, and when three such deaths occur in short order it starts to look like an epidemic. Then a sharp pathologist notices traces of benzodiazepine in one of the victim's blood samples and just traceable damage to the ligaments in her neck, and their cause of death is changed from 'natural' to 'murder'.

The police aren't making much progress in their hunt for the killer until he appears to make a mistake: Alison Willetts is found alive and D.I. Tom Thorne believes this error will enable them to track him down. But it was the others who were his mistakes: he doesn't want to take life, he just wants to put people into a state where they cannot move, cannot talk, cannot do anything but think.

When Thorne, helped by the neurologist looking after Alison, starts to realise what he is up against he knows the case is not going to be solved by normal methods; before he can find out who did it he has to understand why he's doing it.

©2001 Mark Billingham; (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks

What the Critics Say

"A disturbing and thrilling medical procedural with memorable characters and bundles of atmosphere." (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (97 )
5 star
 (34)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (36 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (38 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Sue Verwood, Dorset, United Kingdom 28/09/2008
    Sue Verwood, Dorset, United Kingdom 28/09/2008 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    36
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Utterly Brilliant"

    Now here is a book to get your teeth into. Sleepy Head is the first book by this author and a fantastic start was made. The plot is cunning, twisting, methodical and curiously engrossing. I found myself listening at every opportunity I could manage. The characters are lifelike and believable which traits that play into the plot well.

    The book was read superbly and the narrators voice fitted the story well. The pace was excellent and the quality crisp and clear, with no changes in tone etc.

    I really enjoyed this book, it was a pleasure to hear and I have already set my next listens to pick up the remaining books by this author. I can see me having to bump up my subscription.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul London, United Kingdom 15/09/2010
    Paul London, United Kingdom 15/09/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    133
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    24
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    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Overall
    "Kept me awake!"

    Having been a recent convert to crime fiction through the Harry Bosch series it was interesting to listen to a title that was set where I live in London (no glorious sunsets over the LA landscape for Detective Thorne). It was shaky start but I ended up gripped at this hard-worn, world weary detective who is driven (sorry for the cliche) but flawed (and another). At the end of this story I went straight out and got the second book 'Scaredy Cat'.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne St Austell, Cornwall, United Kingdom 19/08/2009
    Yvonne St Austell, Cornwall, United Kingdom 19/08/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    "Mark Billingham's 'Thorne'"

    My first 'Inspector Thorne' book and was not disappointed.
    I bought this Audibook for iPod to take on holiday for poolside 'reading' but ended up listening before!
    But not to worry I have book 2- if I can keep away from the play button!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda Birchington, Kent, United Kingdom 17/11/2010
    Lynda Birchington, Kent, United Kingdom 17/11/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Compelling listen"

    This was a very different book to what I would usually chose, and I found it very compelling listening. Excellent narrative and excellent writing. Fabulous.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beatrice Bridlington, United Kingdom 21/09/2014
    Beatrice Bridlington, United Kingdom 21/09/2014 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Your Average Crime Novel"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would. It's not the run of the mill crime book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The leading character Tom Thorne.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration by Robert Glenister was OUTSTANDING. I am the sort of person whose enjoyment of a story can be ruined by bad narration. But this reader has a beautiful voice, minimal accent, and he really dramatized the story. Superb. Will definitely be listening to more of his narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Newcastle, England 04/09/2014
    Ann Newcastle, England 04/09/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    44
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Suspense & different!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    It was unusual and kept me guessing!


    Have you listened to any of Robert Glenister’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Robert is consistently excellent!


    Any additional comments?

    A really good listen. I hadn't realised it was abridged though. I would have liked to listen to the unabridged version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leanne 14/08/2014
    Leanne 14/08/2014 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Took a little while but then hooked"
    Have you listened to any of Robert Glenister’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I love Robert Glenister's voice and in fact I chose this book because he narrated rather than because of the author and I was not disappointed.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The sequences where Alison speaks were very moving and really added to the book - I wasn't sure at first but on reflection this was really clever and I loved it.


    Any additional comments?

    This took a good 15 minutes for me to be sure I was going to like it - I found the music segments a bit offputting - but that's personal preference. Once I was in, I was hooked and have gone on to order the next books. I loved it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham 05/05/2014
    Graham 05/05/2014 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just did not get this book"
    Would you try another book written by Mark Billingham or narrated by Robert Glenister?

    Maybe not, I found the style of writing very 'jumpy' and the use of the piano music and more than one narrator very off putting.


    What was most disappointing about Mark Billingham’s story?

    The style of writing


    What didn’t you like about Robert Glenister’s performance?

    More than one narrator


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None that I could find, the story was hard to follow due to jumping around a lot


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Alderney, Guernsey 28/04/2014
    Marie Alderney, Guernsey 28/04/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No Napping Here!"

    From the start this was an intriguing storyline and kept one on their toes throughout. A thoroughly good listen with a real twist at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs Potterton, United Kingdom 20/03/2014
    Mrs Potterton, United Kingdom 20/03/2014 Member Since 2010

    Love all sorts of books, Eng Lit degree, but not just classics - SciFi, modern... just like good writing!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept one awake!"

    This book kept me listening to the end, so it gets high marks for the narrator (who was very good) and lower marks for the story. I thought this was clever but pretty implausible. Tom Thorne is fairly predictable - a hard bitten world weary tec with a "past" hang up. For all that not a bad character and one wanted to see more interplay with the young Detective Holland...
    Bad bits - terrible, cheesy music between the chapters made my teeth grind! I thought the villain was obvious and the obsession of Tom Thorne a bit over played...

    will I listen to more? I might.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Virginia
    Cobden, Australia
    07/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting."

    A great yarn. The depravity of it all is brought to life by a fabulous narrator. Really good fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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