Synopsis: Someone – a woman or somebody pretending to be a woman, is writing to convicted rapists in prison, befriending them and then brutally killing them when they are released. DI Tom Thorne must discover the link between these killings and a murder/suicide that took place twenty-five years before; a tragedy to which the only witnesses were two small children, now adults and nowhere to be found…How can you escape a past that will do a lot more than just catch up with you? And how can Thorne catch a killer, when he doesn’t really care about the victims?
My Review: Having read the first two in this series in succession, I was looking forward to the third. I really liked the first book, was kind of indifferent with the second and by the time I finished this latest book found myself wanting to get onto book 4! For those that maybe haven’t read the series, the lead character is DI Tom Thorne; a man with a cat called Elvis who supports Spurs and who is obsessed with his very outdated CD collection. I think the majority of fans love Tom Thorne and I have to say that after this 3d book I can see why. He’s a character that you don’t instantly love, but his grim and dark humour, along with a doggedly determined character makes him ‘oh-so’ likeable.
In addition to Thorne I really like his colleague Dave Holland and his friend the pathologist Phil Hendricks. We see Holland battling with his home life and I kind of like the fact we also get background on some of the other characters in a series of books. Both Thorne and Holland are working on a rather bizarre case which some of the public don’t feel warrant that much attention. In this case, the murder of a convicted rapist starts the story off and it doesn’t get much better before too long.
The nice part about this third book is the fact that we see Thorne’s personal life a little more (I like it when the author mixes it up). In addition to the horrendous case he is working on, Thorne tries to lead a somewhat average life outside of these parameters. Of course one murder is not where the story stops and in Billingham style the reader watches as the case becomes more and more complex, and frankly more bloody frightening! I found myself immersed in this book and as I thought I had it worked out. Turns out I was wrong, and it took me 85% of the book before the penny dropped (and only a chapter shy of it being revealed!).
I only have another 8 books in the series before I’m up to date and ready for the 12th in the series due for release in May 2014! In all honesty this series was a slow burner and is right about now making its was up to a rather large blazing fire….roll on book 4!