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Editor reviews

The Dying Hours by award-winning and best-selling crime thriller writer Mark Billingham is the latest addition to the highly acclaimed Tom Thorne audiobooks, narrated by the author. The world of Tom Thorne is bleak after a tough demotion from revered detective back to the desk. There’s a string of suicides only Thorne believes to be sinister. The community and his colleagues have turned their back on him, so he sets out to secretly hunt the elusive killer. But without back up, Thorne could end up in grave danger. The tension and suspense is unimaginable as you devour this story. Available now from Audible.

Summary

A cluster of suicides among the elderly. Such things are not unknown to the police and the deaths are quickly dismissed by the police as routine. Only one man is convinced that something more sinister is taking place. However, no one listens to Tom Thorne anymore. Having stepped out of line once too often, he's back in uniform and he hates it.

Patronised and abused by his new colleagues, Thorne's suspicions about the suicides are dismissed by the Murder Squad he was once part of and he is forced to investigate alone. Unable to trust anyone, Thorne must risk losing those closest to him. He must gamble with the lives of those targeted by a killer unlike any he has hunted before. A man with nothing to lose and a growing list of victims. A man with the power to make people take their own lives.

Tom Thorne returns in Billingham's most compelling thriller to date. The Dying Hours is a haunting portrait of London's dark heart, and the darker heart of a twisted killer bringing terror to its streets.

©2013 Mark Billingham Ltd (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Fantastic Listen - you will be hooked.

I have been waiting patiently (ish) for the next installment in the life of Tom Thorne. Having listened to all the previous books I feel I know him well and his hectic lifestyle and numerous problems! While I was initially worried the book was not to be narrated by Robert Glennister who is a fantastic narrator and by Mark himself, I need not have worried - Mark of course knows the book and the characters and the meanings as second nature after all he writes them and as Tom Thorne's voice - it is exactly as I remembered it by Robert.

The book is gripping, the plot is very varied and takes you through many emotions - sad, happy, cringing, angry etc etc..... I always have real empathy with Tom Thorne who means well , is a bit of a maveric ... and always gets himself into so much trouble in his personal and work life but with a good result overall.

A great read/listen ... I can't wait for the next one.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A bit disappointing

I'd enjoyed some of the author's earlier Tom Thorne novels but felt that this one wasn't as convincing. There's a series of elaborated-contrived murders as par for the course in detective fiction but I thought the author over-did Thorne as the maverick detective breaking all the rules. It's a well-worn scenario of detective fiction that the central character has just been demoted owing to transgressions against the rules and that he's at logger-heads with his bosses, but in the book Thorne's actions verged on the plain stupid. I didn't find the resolution satisfactory, nor, surprisingly the author's narration. In a an earlier recording I thought he was good but in this one he rushed some of the text as if he wanted to get it over with, particularly in the earlier parts of the book. He improved as the story progressed.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Could not turn it off

Another gripping story by Mark with all the usual drama and intrigue but what happens now to Tom is this the end????

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellie
  • Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
  • 04-07-13

Great story, narrated well.

I have to say I was a bit sceptical at first about downloading a book narrated by the author without them being somebody 'famous' reading their own books or an autobiography. However, I'm glad to say that I thought Mark Billingham narrated this story perfectly. A well written story with subtle, believeable twists and turns, up to date and with good humour. I am rapidly becoming a Mark Billingham fan. Definitely recommend.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good solid Thorne book

Don't think I'd put this up as one of MB's best, but better than some. I wondered how Thorne would adapt to life in uniform, and this tale seemed true to the character built up over the series. Not sure I completely buy the Helen/Alfie connection yet.
Mark Billingham's narration is very good - always nervous when an author reads their own work, but his characterisation works well.
A good addition to the Thorne series - will look forward to finding out more about the 'cliff hanger' in the next book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I am getting a bit tired of Tom Thorne's attitude and his arrogant and self centred behaviour. There was a good story line, but for me it was spoiled by the fact that I discovered that I really do not like the man. In previous Thorne novels I hadn't picked up on this quite so much!
Narration pleasant - a couple of odd accents, but generally good.

I think that this will be the last Tom Thorne saga that I read!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Getting better all the time

When an author has a main character the books start to get a bit 'samey', padded out with situations from previous books. I thoroughly enjoyed the 'Dying Hours' it was crisp and slick, read by the author Mark Billingham, it is one of the best Tom Thorne books I have listened to, if not the best.

The main protagonist is an elderly man, not what you would usually expect, but the ways and means he has of disposing of his victims is to say the least, ingenious.

Very highly recommended.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tom Thorne does it again!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Dying Hours to be better than the print version?

I love the narration by mark gillingham, he feels the book as well as narrates it.

What other book might you compare The Dying Hours to, and why?

any others by Mark Billingham however not all are narrated by him.

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

I haven't but this performance was very good.

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

Not particularly it was a police procedural.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

good

its my first time lisioning to this aurther not as griping as i had hoped for
struggled to finish
but think hearing the series fom the beging would be better still good read

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Mediocre Tom Thorne Tale

If you are already a Thorne or Billingham fan, you will enjoy this novel. However, this is not a book that I would recommend for a first timer because it is far from Billlingham's best work and does not do justice to his later more superior writing. Almost running parallel with the chronological development of his characters, Billingham develops and grows as a writer as the Thorne series continues; whether due to an increase in his confidence in his ability to spin a decent yarn, or a greater insight into his creations, Billingham's writing prowess hits new heights with each subsequent book to date. unfortunately, this is not one of his best.