The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham

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The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham

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Buy The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An unpleasant subject - violence to animals - handled with great care and sensitivity. It's an absolutely brilliant story too. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: June 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0751566949

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The police take cases of the killing of animals very seriously: it's not only devastating to the owners of the animals, but violence to animals is one of the factors associated with later violence to humans. DI Tom Thorne could understand why he's been asked to look into the killing of hundreds of cats, spread over quite a wide area and a reasonably long period of time. The cats are not only killed, but dismembered and laid out. It strikes Thorne that it might be that the cat killer has already moved on to killing humans and it's not long before DI Nicola Tanner has linked several cases which might be of interest to the homicide team.

Tanner has another big case to tackle as well, but when she thinks she has someone in the frame for the murder the person she's about to charge tells her a story which leads her to doubt that he's guilty. Instead of charging him she begins to investigate how mobile phones and drugs are getting into prisons and she's particularly interested in the activities of a woman they call The Duchess.

I thought long and hard about reading this book, worried that I was going to meet graphic descriptions of cruelty to animals. That would have been taking my pleasures more than a bit too sadly but I was finally swayed by the thought that this is Mark Billingham and he's never let me down before. I'm glad that I took the chance, not least because fact has haunted the fiction, much as it did in Love Like Blood. At the time that he was writing The Killing Habit an individual known originally as the Croydon Cat Killer but now simply as the UK Cat Killer is at large and has been responsible for the deaths of four hundred animals. Billingham knew that the Met would be very keen to solve this case before it escalated into violence against humans. It will remain to be seen whether or not real life will mirror fiction.

It's a very good story though. I read it far too quickly - finally finishing it at 2.45 in the morning. I was not going to put the book down until I knew what happened. Part of it's down to the characters of Thorne and Tanner: they support the story rather than overwhelming it and whilst they've both got obvious personal lives, the book is about murders and not about Thorne and Tanner. There's an excellent feel for how it is in today's police forces: too few officers and a lot of emphasis on how much everything costs.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag. I can't wait for the next one.

If this book appeals we think you'll enjoy Insidious Intent: (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Book 10) by Val McDermid.

Buy The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham at Amazon You could get a free audio download of The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Killing Habit (D I Tom Thorne) by Mark Billingham at Amazon.com.

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