The second book in the Tom Thorne series from bestselling author Mark Billingham, Scaredy Cat is a gripping, chilling tour-de-force; a book to keep you reading until deep into the night.
'Assured and shocking' Guardian
It was a vicious, calculated murder. The killer selected his victim at Euston station, followed her home on the tube, strangled her to death in front of her child. At the same time, killed in the same way, a second body is discovered at the back of King's Cross station. And this grisly event eerily echoes the murder of two other women, stabbed to death months before on the same day.
It is DI Tom Thorne who sees the link and comes to the horrifying conclusion. This is not a serial killer the police are up against.
This is two of them - and two killers are way more deadly than one . . .
Read what everyone's saying about the heart-racing Tom Thorne series:
'Literary superstar' Mail on Sunday
'Ground-breaking' Sunday Times
'Mark Billingham gets better and better' Michael Connelly
'A cracking read . . . I couldn't put it down!' Shari Lapena
'A damn fine storyteller' Karin Slaughter
'Twisted and twisty' Linwood Barclay
'One of the most consistently entertaining, insightful crime writers working today' Gillian Flynn
'The next superstar detective is already with us. Don't miss him' Lee Child
Billingham's second thriller (after Sleepyhead) featuring London Det. Insp. Tom Thorne offers a twist on the serial killer subgenre. Brooding, melancholy Thorne heads a team of detectives who are alerted to the death of a young mother brutally strangled as her three-year-old son looks on. The body of a second murder victim, strangled in the same manner, turns up the same day, and Thorn and his team surmise they have a serial killer on their hands. The first half of the book deals with Thorne's discovery that there are really two killers at work and introduces the childhood backstory of the murderers. The second half picks up speed as the actual hunt commences. Billingham is adept at creating believable characters with ordinary and not-so-ordinary personal problems, then weaving them into the plot in surprising ways. At times, though, he pushes too hard to make Thorne's colleagues quirky: "Thorne stared at the figure in black fleece, with shaved head and a startling collection of facial piercings. Phil Hendricks was not everyone's idea of a pathologist, but he was the best Thorne had ever worked with." Thorne's gloomy internal musings on death and guilt tend to slow things down, but Billingham's handling of the plot is deft, fair and scattered with enough red herrings to open a fish and chips shop. When the mastermind behind both sets of killings is revealed in a dramatic denouement, readers will give the author his due and settle back to wait for the next installment of this dependable series. 5-city author tour.
This is the best detective story I've read in ages. A truly gripping plot with strong characters . I was totally engrossed and read the complete novel in two days. Thorne is equally as captivating as Morse, who in his day was undoubtedly the best, but who as now been replaced by Thorne for the 21st century. Billinghams knows how to get to ones gut, to bring a story to life and captures the evil perpetrated in modern times. (Although this is fiction, sadly these disturbing things do occur)
Billinghams research must be painstaking, but we, the reader, benefit from the accuracy and detail. Try Sleepyheads or The Dying Hours if you want to be entertained.
All the books written by Mark Billingham are excellent. I can't recommend them highly enough.