Sleepyhead) featuring London Det. Insp. Tom Thorne offers a twist on the serial killer subgenre. Brooding, melancholy Thor"/>

SCAREDY CAT

Mark Billingham, Author . Morrow $23.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-621300-2

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. (June 17)

Reviewed on: 05/12/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 978-1-4055-0019-7
Ebook - 978-0-06-193271-7
Ebook - 978-0-06-193266-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 448 pages - 978-0-06-193268-7
Ebook - 100 pages - 978-0-06-193265-6
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-193264-9
Hardcover - 370 pages - 978-0-316-85953-0
Paperback - 370 pages - 978-0-316-85954-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 434 pages - 978-0-06-103220-2
Book - 978-1-4676-7122-4
Paperback - 411 pages - 978-0-7515-4886-0
Paperback - 417 pages - 978-0-8021-2149-3
Compact Disc - 690 pages - 978-1-62231-290-0
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