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    Review of LAZY BONES by Mark Billingham (see his website)

    William Morrow, June 2004

    Detective Inspector Tom Thorne and his Serious Crimes unit gets called in when a recently released rapist is found murdered--and raped. There are plenty of leads--at first--but all dry up leaving Thorne with little but busy-work. But when another convicted rapist is also found murdered, with the same method, it starts to look like a serial killer is at work. The only thing is, half of the police force, and more than half of the population of London, thinks that the killer just may be a hero. Thorne doesn't think about heros, though. He thinks about doing his job--and finding a bit of distraction that doesn't include his Alzheimer-suffering father.

    Author Mark Billingham (see more reviews of novels by Billingham) does an excellent job portraying the frustrations and methodical grunt-work of a modern police force. Each of the cops involved in the case has their own issues--Thorne is afraid to commit to his growing relationship with a girlfriend, another struggles with his wife's pregnancy and the changes that is making in their life while another finds new meaning when she is called back to work on cold cases. Waiting for lucky breaks, shaking down informants, and hunting for long-lost data takes up much of their time.

    Billingham reveals the evidence slowly, letting the reader know a bit more than any of the detectives involved, but teasing us with what we don't know as well. His strong writing hooked me as a reader and drove me through the book.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 6/11/04

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