Genre – Crime Fiction
- Kindle Edition, 416 pages
- Published: May 23rd 2013
- Published by: Sphere
- ISBN13 9780748120505
- Series- Tom Thorne #11
- Characters – Tom Thorne, Phil Hendricks, Dave Holland, Yvonne Kitson, Helen Weeks
- Setting – London, England (United Kingdom)
Syopsis from Goodreads
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.
I give this book 4.5 Stars
Billingham never disappoints me with DCI Tom Thorne being one of the most interesting Detectives ever, apart from now he has been knocked back down to a Sergeant on the beat through his unwillingness to play by the rules and risk not catching his man, endangering lives.
The Dying Hours sees Tom not being able to let go of something he feels, no, he knows, to be a murder case not suicide. He is on the beat not in the murder squad who are not exactly in love with Tom’s manner of working, and refuse to listen to him, humiliating him in the process.
So does Tom give up, what do you think? This though is where Tom’s character becomes more open to us and more interesting. This compulsion, obsession: addiction to get deeper involved and solve the crime gives us an insight into how the job has changed him.
Reading the Tom Thorne series is not just like reading brilliant crime novels where you get to know the characters and can’t wait to hear the next crime they solve. The series has grown and matured with age along with the characters. Fresh young faces have become the weary faces of Detectives under a heavy workload hopelessly struggling to solve all of the crimes.
We see Tom refusing to let go of his certainty that several ‘suicides’ are murders and watch as he presses a destruction button inside himself to solve it, drawing in help and risking the careers of his ex colleagues in the murder squad Holland, and Kitson. For the first time we question what he is doing, why is he so drawn to keeping it quiet when we know that he could pass on all that he knows higher.
Personally instead of wondering about his relationships he is honest about it to himself, we see him acknowledge that his lack of visible emotions have destroyed what he had and could of had. Now living with Helen and her young son, Tom shows us a paternal side and the effort he makes to be emotionally honest.
This book is different, the killer is old in his 70’s and is hidden amongst the general public openly – who takes notice of an elderly man coming and going?
We are invited to think about crime and how there is a public perception of younger people committing it with all their anger and violence being unchained perhaps in a single moment. Billingham asks us to look at how anger and violence changes with age, how it can remain but be without passion, how life is both precious and meaningless at the same time. We see how Tom Thorne is somehow caught up in emotional changes as we get older. We like to think we have the same values, that they are honourable and not for self gratification, but Billingham shows us that we can all get lost at times.
I really enjoyed this book and loved how Billingham has given Tom Thorne a new maturity with age.
(Book purchased from Amazon)