Profile – Detective Inspector Tom Thorne

British author Mark Billingham first introduced readers to Detective Inspector Tom Thorne in 2002’s run away UK hit Sleepy Head. (M) The tenth installment, Good as Dead (M) was published this year.
Profile - Detective Inspector Tom Thorne Billingham is described by Novelist as a writer of intricately plotted and suspenseful stories, typically set in modern England. His novels are gritty and kind of creepy – especially for a former stand up comedian!
When ask if Thorne is a good cop or bad cop, Billingham replies:

“I hope that Tom Thorne is both. He is certainly not always a particularly efficient cop, and in several of the books he makes hideous mistakes that cost both himself and others very dear. You’ll forgive me if I don’t tell you which books those are. Thorne is stubborn and, as his name implies, can be prickly and tough to get rid of. But if he doesn’t know when he’s not wanted, his tragedy is that he doesn’t always know when he is. This has led to a certain amount of… domestic upheaval.”

The series’ popularity inspired a UK television series, Thorne (M), starring David Morrissey in the title role. The Library has the first two DVD releases.
Sleepy Head

Profile - Detective Inspector Tom Thorne His first three victims ended up dead. His fourth was not so fortunate . . .

Alison Willetts is unlucky to be alive. She has survived a stroke, deliberately induced by a skilful manipulation of pressure points on the head and neck. She can see, hear and feel; she is aware of everything going on around her, but she is completely unable to move or communicate. It’s called Locked-In Syndrome. In leaving Alison Willetts alive, the police believe the killer’s made his first mistake.
Then D.I. Tom Thorne discovers the horrifying truth; it isn’t Alison who is the mistake, it’s the three women already dead. ‘An appropriate margin of error’ is how their killer dismisses them, and Thorne knows they are unlikely to be the last. For the killer is smart, and he’s getting his kicks out of toying with Thorne as much as he is pursuing his sick fantasy . . .

A debut novel, Sleepyhead received many great reviews and accolades.

Booklist says  “It’s brilliantly conceived and superbly plotted, with complex characters, deft twists, and an ending that’s both shocking and oppressive.”  
“An assured chiller. Disturbing and thrilling… with memorable characters and bundles of atmosphere. Britain now has its own forensic crime maestro.” – The Guardian
Good as Dead

Police officer Helen Weeks walks into her local newsagent’s on her way to work. Little does she know that this simple daily ritual will change her life forever. It’s the last place she expects to be met with violence, but as she waits innocently at the till, she comes face to face with a gunman.

The crazed hostage-taker is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in youth custody. By holding a police officer at gunpoint, he will force the one man who knows more about the case than any other to re-investigate his son’s death. That man is DI Tom Thorne.

While Helen fights to stay alive, Thorne uncovers a conspiracy as dark and dangerous as any he has ever encountered. As the shocking truth emerges, the body-count rises and Thorne must race against time if he is to bring a killer to justice and save a young mother’s life.


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