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Lifeless Paperback – Import, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
Book 5 of 12 in the Tom Thorne Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Time Warner Paperbacks; New Ed edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751536164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751536164
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,263,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Billingham can really write a story worth reading. Stumbled upon this series with the inimitable DI Thorne and his sidekick Hendricks quite by accident on Netflix as TV shows. Got hooked and went immediately to Amazon Kindle to download other books. Confess I have raced through them (though I do savor the plots--complicated and intriguing--and especially the characters and their interactions.) Also love to be taken all over London and its environs as it is one of my favorite cities having worked and lived there for a time. This book is as good as the previous one, and I am certain now (as certain as I am of Billingham's clear talent) that the next one will be every bit as good. Once I catch up to the most recent book out, I will be like a lot of other readers, anxiously awaiting the next installment.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not as good as his first three novels featuring DI Tom Thorne; Sleepy Head, Scaredy Cat and Lazybones. Although the potential was there with the very believable Gulf War storyline it never quite hit the spot. Yes there were murders but really it could have just been an account of what it's like to live on the streets of London - which I have to add, was sensitively and well conveyed.

DI Thorne, who is such a likeable maverick, really holds the story together, liasing between the homeless world and the police. Even so, I still found my attention wandering and needed to re-read paragraphs. It wouldn't put me off reading another of Billinghams books though because I know he's capable of better stuff.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be too long and quite boring. Tom Thorne undercover living on the streets was considerably less interesting than Tom Thorne working on a murder case as a police detective. To me the homeless sections were played out too long, particularly because they didn't reveal enough clues to make the whole undercover thing worthwhile for the cops, and it became an exposé of homelessness. I longed for more scenes with Holland and the other cops.

The plot of the book in itself was OK, and the climax in the tunnel was a good choice as far as Thorne doing his thing to bring the bad guy to justice, but then further action ensued that just wasn't necessary. It smacked of trying too hard to add some danger. Thorne, mourning his father and feeling guilty, is less enjoyable (of course) than tough Thorne out busting criminals, so I hope the next book shows him back to being himself.

This is an adequate book in a fairly good series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the fifth Tom Thorne novel and it sees him struggling both at work and in his personal life. After the death of his father, Thorne has been struggling to come to terms with his loss and finds himself shunted into a miserable desk job for which he has no interest in or patience with. When a colleague sounds him out about a string of violent murders of homeless men, on the streets of London, Thorne rashly suggests that he go undercover.

Once on the streets, Thorne begins to search for a link between the victims and eventually discovers something in the past which has led to the killings. However, apart from the actual crime story, this is also an exploration of why people end up on the streets. When Thorne muses that many people are literally two pay cheques away from ending up homeless, it is no exaggeration, and the author does a good job of portraying the life of the homeless in London – the boredom, the discomfort and the fear. I have to say that the character of Thorne himself is what makes me return to this series and I find him more likeable every time. Well plotted, with a good cast of characters, this is a well above average crime series..
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Format: Hardcover
DI Tom Thorne of the London Metropolitan Police is not a hero. He's not even an anti-hero. In fact, he can be a very unpleasant sod, even to the few colleagues he actually likes. But when it comes to unraveling a killer's background and motivation, there are few better. Unfortunately for Thorne, in his last case he went considerably beyond the bounds of professional conduct, and while he seldom indulges in guilt, he's been wearing a hairshirt for awhile. Add to that the fact that the case involved organized crime and he's not at all sure whether the death of his Alzheimer's-ridden father in a house fire was really an accident or retaliation from the mob, and Thorne's gradual downhill slide may be picking up speed. When several homeless men -- "rough sleepers" as they're known in London -- are kicked to death, Thorne talks his boss and his boss's boss into letting him go undercover to try to gather intelligence. As Thorne makes cautious friends with some of the drunks, druggies, and mentally ill with whom he spends his days and nights, information does indeed bubble to the surface -- as much, it has to be said, through the efforts of the staunchly loyal (and recently promoted) DS Holland and the other coppers as by any breakthrough of Thorne's. In fact, Thorne is fitting into the homeless community a little too well. In fact, it's clear that if he doesn't get himself sorted, he could well end up on the streets for real. The author not only builds a thoroughly believable procedural plot, he also draws a convincing portrait of the side of a large city its more fortunate inhabitants either do not or choose not to see -- never mind that many of them are only two paychecks away from sleeping in doorways. The crux of the plot revolving around the murders, however, which has to do with wartime atrocities by a British army tank crew, never quite comes together. Or maybe it's just a bit too dryly retailed to compete with the domestic, present-day side of the story.
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