Sleepyhead -Mark Billingham

I have several of Mark’s books, including his latest which I purchased at Bloody Scotland but, decided to read this one as it is the first in the Tom Thorne series. I liked Thorne as he’s a believable detective – human with real feelings as well as failings and not attempting to be a superhero. The story features a serial killer with a difference in that the perpetrator doesn’t actually want to kill his victims but leave them in a coma suffering from locked- in syndrome. This is only achieved once meaning that the ones who die are failures! The killer does this by using a delicate procedure placing his hands on the victims carotid artery in the neck to induce a stroke. Of course, the killer is taking a risk as there is always a chance that a survivor may eventually be able to point the police in the right direction. I thought the idea was well researched and didn’t guess who the killer actually was until the revelation at the end of the book. Thorne had a prevailing idea of a suspect all through the book which hooks you in, but, keeps you guessing at the same time. The series is based in London so I recognised many of the locations from my cabbing days in the city. I found this book to be an enjoyable page turner so am looking forward to reading more in the series.

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