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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.

Listen to our fascinating interview with Mark Billingham on the Audible.co.uk Podcast.

©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

4.0 (147 )
5 star
 (51)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.0 (83 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (30)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.2 (86 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sue Verwood, Dorset, United Kingdom 28/09/2008
    Sue Verwood, Dorset, United Kingdom 28/09/2008 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    129
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    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
  •  
    PP Merge 15/09/2010
    PP Merge 15/09/2010 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    147
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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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'.

    6 of 6 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
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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!!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beatrice Bridlington, United Kingdom 21/09/2014
    Beatrice Bridlington, United Kingdom 21/09/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    6
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    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.

    2 of 2 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
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    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
  •  
    Cabaspre Mallorca 31/08/2015
    Cabaspre Mallorca 31/08/2015 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    66
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Well narrated and excellent story"
    Any additional comments?

    Very good and I am very pleased to have found a new series. I have to say though that the jingles of music between chapters was very annoying - twangy guitars and tinny pianos - it reminded me of the soap Crossroads. I expect this has been discontinued in later books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Taylor 24/07/2015
    Richard Taylor 24/07/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb narration"

    Very good story, superb narration!!! Couldn't stop listening until it was all over. Looking forward to the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    other nanny 14/06/2015
    other nanny 14/06/2015 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Ordered the next book and cannot wait .
    My only criticism is that I prefer an in abridged book to make the story longer .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Oliver-Hall 09/06/2015 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fab"

    A Great story. A Fantastic narration. It was Gripping, chilling and engrossing to the end. Fab!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Murdoch 26/05/2015
    S. Murdoch 26/05/2015

    fraggle rock

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    19
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    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Decent crime book"

    Decent crime book. Avoided some cliches and narrator great. Such a shame it is abridged...it detracts from the book. But would recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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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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