Once burned . . .
By rights, the horrific schoolyard crime should have been laid to rest twenty years ago. An alleged perpetrator confessed and now is growing old behind bars. But the case still haunts ex-Detective Chief Inspector Carol Chamberlain -- and she has asked DI Tom Thorne to uncover a disturbing truth that lies buried in the ashes.
A series of brutal gangland slayings -- each victim found with an X gouged into his back -- has Thorne plunging into the fires of a deadly turf war, as he attempts to tie together the threads of perplexing crimes separated by decades. But time is rapidly running out in his search for a copycat who revels in blood and pain -- because the body count keeps rising . . . and someone has carved an X into Tom Thorne's front door.
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A contract killer is carving his way through North London's criminal underworld, leaving a bloody X on his victims' backs and taking Billy Ryan's gang down one thug at a time. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne and his team know there's a turf war going on, but who's attempting to take over Ryan's racket isn't quite clear. When DCI Carol Chamberlin comes out of retirement to work on the cold case squad and asks Thorne for help solving an old murder, the past and present catch up in what looks like a continuation of a twenty-year-old gang war. And when someone carves an X in Thorne's door, a fuse is lit that stretches from the eponymous burning girl of the title--Chamberlin's old case--to the gang war that's lighting up the London sky. It's a clunky plot that relies on telling more than showing, slowing down the pace and makeing it difficult for the reader to care about any of the principals involved--either the victims or those who seek justic for them. Billingham has written better thrillers (Lazybones, Scaredy Cat), but this one doesn't live up to their promises. --Jane AdamsAbout the Author:
Mark Billingham is the author of nine novels, including Sleepyhead, Scaredy Cat, Lazybones, The Burning Girl, Lifeless, and Buried—all Times (London) bestsellers—as well as the stand-alone thriller In the Dark. For the creation of the Tom Thorne character, Billingham received the 2003 Sherlock Award for Best Detective created by a British writer, and he has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. He has previously worked as an actor and stand-up comedian on British television and still writes regularly for the BBC. He lives in London with his wife and two children.
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Book Description Avon, 2006. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060745274
Book Description Avon, 2006. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060745274