Read Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham Online


Detective Inspector Tom Thorne now knows that three murdered young women were a killer's mistakes -- and that Alison was his triumph. And unless Thorne can enter the mind of a brilliant madman -- a frighteningly elusive fiend who enjoys toying with the police as much as he savors his sick obsession -- Alison Willetts will not be the last victim consigned forever to a hideoDetective Inspector Tom Thorne now knows that three murdered young women were a killer's mistakes -- and that Alison was his triumph. And unless Thorne can enter the mind of a brilliant madman -- a frighteningly elusive fiend who enjoys toying with the police as much as he savors his sick obsession -- Alison Willetts will not be the last victim consigned forever to a hideous waking hell.Already an international bestseller, Mark Billingham's "Sleepyhead" is a chilling masterwork of crime fiction -- a boldly original experiment in terror that will beget dark dreams and sleepless nights....

Title : Sleepyhead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061032219
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sleepyhead Reviews

  • Tea Jovanović
    2019-05-17 20:35

    Sjajan autor... ovo mu je prva knjiga u serijalu... Nažalost, nije dobro prošao kod naše publike, što zbog loših korica, što zbog nikakvog marketinga izdavača, a kasnije nisam uspela da mu nađem drugi dom... Ali ne gubim nadu... Britanci su snimili nedavno i seriju Thorne po prve dve knjige serijala...

  • Lisa
    2019-05-11 18:37

    I am afraid to say I DNF this read the character of Tom Thorne for me was too arrogant & pretentious, although the plot had me in it just was dragging a bit, although I was interested if Miss Willits ever came out of the coma that part was interesting but I just thought Tom himself concentrated on other things rather than the actual murders it just didn't go anywhere but you win some you lose some.

  • Mark
    2019-05-19 16:35

    This is the second book that has come into my temporary possession from the 2012 World Book Night (WBN). This one came to me through the good offices of my friend Tracy who picked it up on holiday abroad so it had, since April 23rd 2012, already travelled across an ocean or two. Having read it, my duty is to now make sure its journey continues. WBN is a great way of encouraging people to read and experiment with genre they might otherwise not taste. It’s like Goodreads imposed on the whole world for just one glorious day. And in my case Billingham’s thriller is certainly one I would probably not have chosen myself.It is the story of a disgruntled policeman attempting to catch a serial killer who preys on women although in reality the killings are failures; the killer is actually attempting to ‘enable’ his victims to live on in their ruined bodies, bodies he has purposefully paralysed, to show the weakness of the physical and the over-riding power of the brain. The policeman is divorced, troubled, ‘well ‘ard’ and a big drinker. He is a maverick, Mark Billingham does not have so little self-respect that he uses that word but he as good as shouts it from every other page. Tom Thorne, aforementioned well hard detective, struggles with the opinions and approaches of his superiors, is appallingly dismissive of his juniors and is, as he finds out later in the novel, big on self- obsession.The novel has an interesting format. We have three voices, Tom Thorne’s, the killer’s and the one woman who survived his attentions but who is now living in a seemingly permanent vegetative state. Thorne’s storyline is told in the third person but we drift in and out of his perceptions and see things through his eyes but it is still appears far enough removed to have an authorial atmosphere. The killer’s is hideously entwined with his idea of his ’mission’, it is third person but very personal and therefore it is chilling, horrible and sick . The third voice is that of Alison, the victim. It is 100% first person, it is her thoughts, her frustrations, her hopes and fears and hates. This was a clever concept and it works up to a point but it is Alison’s voice with which I had a bit of a problem. Though she was witty and character-filled, courageous and moving, it did not convince as a girl’s voice. And that was not because of the gutter-nature of quite a lot of her musings. Her language was certainly much more earthy and raunchy then any of Jane Austen’s girls but this is the 21st Century so that would often be the norm; No, it was her use of certain phrases that jarred. Would a girl say ”Putting lipstick on somebody else is like trying to have a wank with your left hand”. Now I await the fusillade of responses of women saying, ’yep, I use that particular image all the time’ but it did not ring true to me. Billingham is witty and clever in his descriptions and in the dialogue he constructs but I am not sure if women characters would be his strongpoint.There are moments of genuine poignancy. I think in particular of some of the dialogue between Thorne and his junior, Holland or again the encounter between Holland,( incidentally a character I felt was a great creation but severely underused, maybe he comes more into his own in future books)and Maggie Byrne. This showed real sensitivity in the writing and added another strata to the novel which took it beyond mere blood and guts and began to move me to forgive Billingham for creating such a cliché ridden hero.He does succeed in ratcheting up the tension and there is one scene which perfectly expresses this . (view spoiler)[ The beginning of Chapter 11 is obviously the next encounter we have with the murderous pervert as he pushes his erection into the backsides of pretty girls on the tube and smells their hair and feels himself growing against her. We squirm and feel uncomfortable being in his head as he enjoys his abusive fantasy and we panic as we assume one of these girls will be the next victim and then the man hides his erection under his coat, gets off the train and goes to work, as he does every day, as a policeman (hide spoiler)]There is a great use of images to encapsulate a person. I defy anyone not to have a picture of this man in your head.”Dennis Bethell’s voice could start a fight at a hundred yards. It was a spilt pint waiting to happen”Maybe you imagine a thug, a bruiser. Well, the reason this man got into so many fights was because, as we find out in the next paragraph, his voice was a high-pitched squeak. Or as Billingham more memorably adds”Somewhere there was an extremely irate cartoon mouse who sounded like Frank Bruno”(Just google him)The subject matter was horrible and there was a tension and fear which kept you on edge throughout. His characters, Thorne’s tendency to seem a bit of a troubled–policeman-painted-by-numbers excepted, had enough of the real to make you interested in them. The identity of the killer himself did not ring totally true. I was not wholly convinced although his reasoning for his actions added another layer to the story. I did enjoy the writing and most of the horror and shock was through the reactions of characters rather than through unnecessarily gory descriptions. The gory pages in murder books sometimes appear rather as lazy writing. Its like the comic who throws expletives around because he/she knows drunken audiences will laugh. Sparse use of such words can have much more powerful effect simply because of their rarity. In the same way, Billingham is talking of horrendously vicious crimes and referencing historical atrocities too. His sparse use of descriptive passages of the blood and gristle hit all the more hard because of that.As to the murderer, well I very rarely guess correctly even in ‘Midsomer Murders’ so my being shocked by the outcome is not necessarily anything Mark Billingham would feel like putting in his blog. Having said all that, this was well written and I did find the tri-angled narration quite interesting even allowing for my caveat of Alison’s rather butch use of wank-images.

  • Lou
    2019-05-17 17:50

    This was my first read of Mark Billingham's novels and his character Detective Inspector Tom Thorne. Nearly ten years on now when this debut was launched and I am guilty of not reading many British authors when it comes to crime and thrillers, I have loved John Connolly and his character Charlie Parker and read quite a few in the series and read maybe one Ian Rankin. I am impressed, the was pace was good and he got me on the perpetrator of the murders I did not see it.This was my first read of Mark Billingham's novels and his character Detective Inspector Tom Thorne. Nearly ten years on now when this debut was launched and I am guilty of not reading many British authors when it comes to crime and thrillers, I have loved John Connolly and his character Charlie Parker and read quite a few in the series and read maybe one Ian Rankin. I am impressed, the was pace was good and he got me on the perpetrator of the murders I did not see it. When it comes to reading this genre I have tended to lean more to across the shores and to the U.S.A talent of writers, the U.K novels have increased in number over the years since Ian Rankin and Billingham's and their are plenty of tastes to satisfy. I wanted to get a taste of Tom's debut appearance before I jumped in to a recent release Bloodline which I received via the publisher's galley pre-release.Tom is a DI(detective inspector) who has his own regrets and has skeletons in the cupboard. He's failed in the past to act swiftly on a case and prevent a murder that haunted him for years that followed it. He has been divorced now five years and finds new love in this story. As he is one the chase of a murderer who's tends to want to inject his victims and drug them his life becomes more complicated and things get personal on this case. So far he is a clean DI no drugs, or excesses in alcohol or bribes. It's refreshing to read about my own turf roads and points of interest I know well compared to reading about the states from their writers which I have yet to visit. Just realized that a British TV drama was made of Sleepyhead i am looking forward to seeing it."He looked out of the window as the train rumbled across the Blackfriars rail bridge. If it was a different world south f the river, it was one with it's own dividing line. South-west was definitely the more gentrified, Clapham and Richmond and, of course, Battersea. There were nice areas of South-East London- he was fond of Greenwich and Blackheath- but, on the whole, that part of the city was a close as London got to a war-zone. south-east..... sarf-east London didn't need coopers, it needed United Nations peacekeepers. At that very minute in Bermondsey and New Cross there were characters propping up bars in dodgy boozers that would have made Slobodan Milosevic shit himself.""Margaret Byrne's house was a five-minute walk from the station. He didn't know the area well but it seemed amazingly calm and suburban, considering that Brixton was two minutes away. Thorne had been on the streets there in 1981. He had never felt so hated. He and many fellow officers had comforted themselves with the thought that it was no more than police bashing. An excuse to torch some flash cars and nick a few TVs. Events since then had made him realise he'd been wrong. Stephen Lawrence had changed everything.""He'd been at many such scenes in the past, far too many, but this was like watching the A-team work. There was a determination about the entire process that he'd seen only once before. There was no gallows humour. There wasn't a flask of TEA to be seen anywhere."

  • Victoria
    2019-05-09 20:37

    Unfortunately this book failed to excite me at all. It wasn’t wonderful, it wasn’t terrible - it was just... average. The plot was straightforward and without any complexities, despite some strange elements to the murders themselves. I had hoped that the title character of this series would stand out in some way, but I did not find him to be particularly sympathetic at all. His obsessive nature was off-putting, and it was difficult to muster up any positive emotion for him whatsoever. The cartoonish ending - complete with the villains full explanation of motive! - fell flat for me and added to the rather inauthentic vive I received from the entire book. It never felt “real” or even all that difficult to solve the mystery. For a debut to a series, it simply failed to intrigue me to continue on with it.

  • Amy
    2019-05-21 20:39

    What woman doesn’t want to be known for just her mind? Most women would bend over backwards to find a man who could appreciate what she was thinking, not what she was wearing or how full her bra was. Being waited on hand and foot doesn’t seem like such a bad idea either does it? People to feed you when you are hungry, bathe you and adjust your bed when the pillows need fluffing? Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? You can have all of this and more.All you need is a night out, in England, with a creepy sorta guy. Surprise! The next thing you know, you are laying in bed suffering from a stroke which leads to a condition called “locked in syndrome”. Poor, poor Allison. She was the one who made it. She was the one who lived. Allison could have died from the stroke induced on her, but instead she is trapped in her body not able to move, talk, or breathe on her own at first.Thorne, a local detective comes in thinking he has a serial killer to catch, only to learn early on that he has a serial wacko on his hands. This guy is not out to kill his victims. He simply wants to put them into a stasis, where the only thing that is able to be used by the women are their brains. Everything in their lives are provided for, the criminal thinks he is doing these women a favor. The women have people to wait on them hand and foot, they will never have to lift a finger again, besides, they couldn’t even if they wanted to…Thorne is a typical novel detective. The funny thing is that, in the novel, he seems to point out how he seems to ooze out the stereotypes of the typical detective. I find it amusing that the author points out Thorne’s un-uniqueness in the story. Every time our typical detective gets close to honing in on the perpetrator, something seems to slip through the cracks, and Thorne is left standing holding his own…notebook. The back and forth game goes on and on until finally the stakes are raised. Thorne has about thrown in the towel. The games are tearing him apart mentally. Now is not the time to give up, there are many lives on the line now and Thorne is the one who needs to finish the ordeal. Blood will be spilled, but whose and how much is the final question.Creepy is all over this book. The mental processes needed by the antagonist to do to these women what he does is just insane. Trapping someone in their own mind is horrifying! We get to hear a bit from Allison in the book, these passages, to me are the most interesting parts of the book. For a girl in an almost coma, the girl’s got a sense of humor! It seems that Billingham really enjoyed himself the most when he was writing from her point of view. These parts seemed too short in my opinion.There were several parts of the book that seemed to drag on that I couldn’t figure out why he had put them in the book. I know background is always important to have, but sometimes too much background is tedious. Some of Thorne’s information could have been omitted or maybe condensed. The one thing I was definitely glad to see not drawn out was the gore in the book. Yes, there are killings. Yes, there is death. Yes, there are MULTIPLE deaths. We understand what happens in messy killings, and we were given plenty of details, but it wasn’t anything I was going to be throwing my lunch up over. For a debut book, it showed a great sense of maturity as a writer. The imagination can fill in a great deal with the right lead from the author, and Billingham filled that role perfectly.Get out some fish and chips and go on a serial whacko chasing adventure with Thorne. Your dentist won’t hate you just for imagining you are in England.

  • Anna
    2019-05-01 18:36

    The premise to this is very good. As with most mystery-thrillers, a serial killer is on the loose, but in this case, he doesn’t actually mean to kill. He wants to induce his victims into a locked-in syndrome coma, but when the procedure goes wrong they end up dead, much to his annoyance. Oops, poor psycho. The ‘right’ victim survives in hospital, attached to a ventilator and feeding tube, only able to communicate through blinking, but with a fully conscious mind.The book didn’t live up to its potential for me. Nothing particularly happened, and the only character development was that of the locked-in victim; this was well done though, as through her thoughts we witness her coming to terms with her situation and find a way to beat the killer. A reflective thriller as opposed to a procedural, suspenseful or action one, which although didn’t fully deliver for me, I liked enough to want to read #2, Scaredy Cat.Buddy read with Jemidar :-)

  • Susan
    2019-05-16 17:52

    This is the first book featuring D I Tom Thorne. When Alison Willetts is found in a deliberately induced coma, it seems that her survival is not the mistake. The mistake was the three young women previously found dead and Alison's case the first the killer got right. Thorne must investigate and soon finds himself involved with Alison's doctor, Anne Coburn, despite the fact that one of her closest and oldest friends is his prime suspct.There was much I liked about this book. Thorne is a typical outcast maverick - with personal and professional baggage, including the shadow of a fifteen year old case that hangs over his career. His obsession with one suspect threatens to cloud his judgement, but when there are more killings he knows that, ultimately, he is the only one who can stop the murders. I thought the pages giving us Alison Willett's view of events were really interesting and moving. There were a few moments that seemed a little contrived or unlikely, but overall this was a good read and I will certainly continue with the series.

  • Siobhan
    2019-05-25 19:53

    Whilst I am a lover of this genre I can honestly say that for some reason I have never been attracted to the Thorne series for reasons I’ve never been entirely sure of. In fact, had it not been for the fact that a family member gave me the book to read I probably never would have picked up the book. I know that there is a rather large Thorne fan base out there, but for me, after reading it, I can honestly say that I am not part of that group.When offered the book by aforementioned family member I was warned the book was exceptionally slow with the only action happening in the last two chapters. Of course, this left me starting the book with very low expectations. Many times this has happened, whereby people tell me to expect the worse, only for me to love the book much more than expected. Sadly, this time, I had to agree with what I was told. Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was only the last two chapters that held any real action I will say that the book was not the best paced – it wasn’t the slowest book I have ever picked up and yet at the same time it was very far away from being the quickest.Moreover, I was warned that it was easy to work out. Something I also had to agree with. Whilst there were many red herrings thrown in there (some which grew to be annoying due to the apparent obsession) it was easy to work out where events were going pretty early on into the book.Another thing that got to me after a while was the fact that there seemed to be less focus on the actual police work than on other details when I compared it to other books in this genre. The crime itself seemed to take a backseat compared to other aspects of the book – such as a possible love life, negative emotions towards others, and the events in Thorne’s past. Whilst I have no problem with such things appearing in books – I welcome them, in fact – I felt as though after a while the crime seemed less important and was just something that was there.Overall, all of these things put together, leave me unwilling to continue further into the world of Thorne. I may be one amongst few but sadly I simply did not enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed other crime series.

  • Robert Beveridge
    2019-05-13 20:50

    Mark Billingham, Sleepyhead (Avon, 2001)What is it about British mystery authors cranking out excellent first novels? Nicci French, Mo Hayder, and Minette Walters have all waltzed down the pike in the last decade and taken the world by storm. Now you can add Mark Billingham to the list.Billingham's first novel, Sleepyhead, is about a truly twisted individual, even more twisted than Hayder's birdman-this one's dead bodies are failed experiments. What he's really after, he gets in Alison Willetts, a girl who is mysteriously left at a hospital suffering from what is known as locked-in syndrome, a type of stroke that leaves the victim fully conscious, but paralyzed and unable to communicate. The police find an ever-growing string of bodies as the killer attempts to duplicate his handiwork.Very well-paced for a book of its length, and very readable. Billingham knows where to put all the twists and turns. The characters are a little more wooden than one would expect, and a bit more predictable, but then mystery readers have been spoiled recently. (Odd, because Billingham has one of his characters remark early on that he doesn't fit the policeman-on-television stereotype; perhaps we're just used to that these days?) Still, this is a fast, fun read with some excellent twists. *** ½

  • Jemidar
    2019-05-02 15:39

    This is not your usual crime thriller as the killer is not actually trying to kill his victims and the women who die are his 'mistakes.' It's an interesting premise because by having a victim who survives with 'Locked In Syndrome' it allows the reader to experience the helplessness victims of crime feel when somebody else makes decisions about the worth and value of their lives. Alison's story is told with humour, courage and compassion which IMO lifted this story above the ordinary tale of cop versus killer. While not perfect, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read and I would recommend it to fans of flawed detectives and twisted serial killers who also are interested in the victims journey.Buddy read with Anna :-).

  • Linda Shubeck
    2019-05-02 22:56

    A terrible book. The characters are not believable. Worse yet, we are provided with the thoughts of the victim (who cannot speak or move). These portions of the book are so awful that it left me wondering if the author knew any women at all. I know, extremely negative but the book was truly awful. I would give it a negative rating in "black holes" (as opposed to stars) if that were only an option.

  • Dipanjan
    2019-04-29 21:44

    "Sleepyhead" was first experience with the work of Mr. Billingham. This book introduced me to Tom Thorne, a DI in London. It's a serial killer novel. The twist promised was what had made me buy this book. Rather than actually trying to kill his victims, the perpetrator is trying to paralyse them by pinching a spot in their neck for nearly two minutes in an attempt to cause a stroke in the victim's brain stem. If done perfectly, the victim cannot do anything more than blink even though their brain is entirely functional. Unfortunately, the book did not live up to the expectations of the promised twists. In fact, that was the ONLY twist in the tale. Though the MO of the perp is unique it adds no thrill or suspense or thrills to the story at large. Considering this as the first book, I would give the author a "benefit of doubt". But I would probably think twice about picking up the next one in the series. However, if there is at least 80% validation of "promise of a good time" by other readers, I may just read "Scaredy Cat" on a long haul flight. There is weakness in execution of the story-telling. Stifling amount of details (which is unnecessary) dragged many portions of the plot. The characters were not really that well sketched, the relationships not well-defined. There is practically no brain work in catching the killer. Somehow things just happened and people just did what they thought what they should do. Also, in some places, the narration just bordered dangerously close to incoherent progression and/or continuity. Overall, very disappointed and it actually put me to sleep whenever I tried to drudge along through the book. This book achieved one objective, it turned me into a "Sleepyhead".

  • Vicii
    2019-05-04 22:57

    I have to say firstly that I got this copy free from Amazon (as part of a promotion and this was my choice from 5 options). I'm so pleased that I choose this book as it's just my kind of read when it comes to detective novels.It had me guessing right to the end as to who the "killer" was and I did the usual of changing my mind a couple of times, but essentially I was convinced that same as Thorne... good job I'm not a detective in real life!I'll definitely put Mark Billingham on my "follow author" list and this should help to even up my tally between fantasy and thrillers as I seem to have too much <> fantasy on my to-read shelf at the moment. (It's not really that there is too much, it's just that it needs a bit more balance!)

  • Christine
    2019-04-28 17:36

    I read this years ago and it was one of those books that stays with you. Mark Billingham is a fantastic author and has created a brilliant detective in Tom Thorne.

  • Best Crime Books & More
    2019-05-18 16:03

    Mmmm, I feel very torn with this review and I will tell you why. Having never read any of the Thorne series of books by Mark Billingham, I decided to make a marathon catch up session and start with his debut novel Sleepyhead (released in 2001). The synopsis sounded pretty amazing and I started the book with anticipation. The reason I say I am torn is because I have really conflicting emotions. The story, writing and plot was flipping amazing and it took me no time to devour the book. On the other hand I am still undecided about how I feel about Tom Thorne.As this is a debut, I know it takes time but for some reason I just didn’t get to grips with him that much. He is a D.I who takes his job seriously and in this current book it seems we are getting to know Thorne and the demons that he is battling (due to an earlier case). When Alison Willetts is found alive, following three murders, Tom finally feels like this is the break they needed. Sadly, and one of the most interesting elements of this book, is that although Alison lived, she has been left with ‘locked-in syndrome’. Alison knows exactly what is going on and is fully functional, she just can’t communicate. This in itself made a refreshing change to read about as it’s something that is scary and also something I’ve not read about before. The other thing I loved about this was that I spent literally the whole book questioning everything. Were my suspicions right? Was Throne wrong? Was he losing his marbles? Who else is shady? Yep, pretty much the standard thought process for many I would imagine. That alone is always a bonus as it feels like you are as in the dark as the D.I. I wouldn’t say this book was particularly gruesome, but there is an element of ‘fear’ about it. You know that shiver down your back type of fear you get? Yep, that one! Overall for the first in the series and his debut, it was a corker. The fact that I am 13 years behind everybody else means I have some serious catching up to do, and I have to say I’m rather looking forward to it!

  • Helen
    2019-05-22 20:46

    I'd been meaning to get around to reading Mark Billingham for a while, the couple of books I have had been waiting patiently on the heap as I've worked my way through my respective piles of bought and borrowed books .. I so wish I'd moved Sleepyhead nearer to the top of the pile, this is the best British crime-thriller I've read since the Stuart Macbride series!Superb pacing, totally engrossing plot and didn't let on who the bad guy was until the penultimate chapters. I also thought the insights into what one of the victims was feeling and thinking was a brilliantly unique plot device, very well done and often moving and poignant.Very much looking forward to reading the other Billingham novels in mount to-be-read, in fact they've just moved up to much nearer the top of the tower!

  • Margaret
    2019-05-05 14:41

    In this, the first, Tom Thorne novel, Mark Billingham is gently sorting out his characters and where they will go.Someone is drugging and inducing strokes in women, not to kill them. The killer considers the dead ones failures, but to leave them in a coma.An interesting concept and the book plays out really well. I am glad, though, that Mark dropped the idea of Thorne mentally talking to the victims. That was weird and didn't gel with the character.A good read, but by no means the best Tom Thorne novel. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

  • Gary
    2019-05-02 19:54

    The first in the series featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne.A promising start to this series and I was entertained enough to want to read more.The plot was interesting and slightly unusual, the characters were well developed and hopefully this will only improve as I read more of the series.

  • NoellaVan Looy
    2019-05-19 18:47

    Ik vond dit wel een goed boek.Verschillende meisjes worden vermoord, door hun halsslagader dicht te knijpen, maar dan is er één meisje dat het overleeft, al leeft ze zowat als een plant. Volledig bewust, maar ze kan niet bewegen, na een tijdje kan ze een beetje met haar ogen knipperen.Dan blijkt dat het niet zo is dat dit meisje gered is, maar dat het juist de bedoeling van de dader was dat ze op deze manier zou verder leven. En dat de andere meisjes dood zijn, komt enkel omdat hij zijn techniek nog niet genoeg geperfectioneerd heeft.Hoewel reeds tamelijk vroeg in het boek een verdachte aangewezen wordt, die ook tot het einde verdacht blijft, doet dit niets af aan de spanning. We volgen Thorne, de politie-inspecteur, in zijn gedachtengang als hij bewijzen tegen de verdachte zoekt, en dit is best wel spannend. En het verhaal heeft dan toch nog een onverwachte afloop.

  • Marina
    2019-05-07 16:46

    3,5/5 enjoyed this and looking forward to reading the others is this range.

  •  Olivermagnus
    2019-05-05 19:47

    We are introduced to Detective Inspector Tom Thorne in the first book of the series, 2001's Sleepyhead. Thorne is all about his job, an obsession that's left him with a reputation in the Metropolitan Police for being an awkward bastard and someone who it's best not to associate with too much if you have any care for your job. His latest case is a serial killer whose MO is to target women in their homes, drug them and then give them strokes by kinking an artery in their necks. Except the fourth victim, Alison Willetts, has survived the procedure and is currently hooked up to a ventilator in hospital, unable to speak or move, a casualty of locked-in syndrome. Thorne finds a note underneath his car windshield wiper from the killer, explaining "practice makes perfect". Thorne now realizes that Alison Willetts wasn't a mistake, she was the first success. I understand there's a TV series based on these novels (currently twelve) so maybe it translates better in film. I didn't care of Thorne, who I thought selfish and manipulative. I don't plan to read any more in the series, unless they fit in with a challenge I'm completing. I didn't care for any of the characters, other than Alison, who whose thoughts we hear at the end of each chapter. The book was difficult to follow and it was a chore to finish, especially when I have much more interesting books in my TBR pile.

  • Mark
    2019-05-13 19:56

    An original story line involving characters that I really liked that had dimensions to them rather than the card board personality cliche's that some books have. Yet there was something irritating about this book that I can't quite put my finger on. I tend to read quite fast yet despite really enjoying this book it seemed to take me an age to read. For reasons I can't explain this book couldn't seem to hold my concentration for more than about 10 pages at a time, Especially for the first half of the book. It's not as if the book was hard to follow but maybe the method of writting just wasn't as fast flowing as i'm used to. In places the book did seem to explain in too much detail things that I thought didn't really need explaining at all. All in all a good read but I think I'll give the rest of the books in this series a miss.

  • Jim
    2019-04-25 22:43

    A serial-killer mystery with a twist. A young woman is in a coma, a victim of a botched murder attempt committed by a murderer who has already killed several other women. However, DI Tom Thorne realizes that the young woman's survival in a coma isn't a mistake, rather her fate is what the killer intended. The women who died were failed experiments.This is a creepy, suspenseful mystery, with strongly-written characters. Mark Billingham did a good job of keeping me guessing to the end. As a general note, unlike a lot of mystery writers, this author doesn't dump a lot of information in at once. Too many writers make up for faults in their plots by having two characters sit around and talk about the case. Other times, this information dumping takes the place of exposition. I like the fact that Billingham lays everything out as part of the story.

  • Ainsley
    2019-05-23 16:40

    With the exception of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels, I'm not much of a reader of this particular genre. I picked up Sleepyhead because I caught part of the TV series on HBO. I wanted to like this book, and at parts I did find myself caught up in the story and really enjoying it, but then Billingham would lose me again. I simply neither believed in nor cared for his lead character, Tom Thorne, and I found the relationship that Thorne develops in this story completely unconvincing. The most interesting character to me was Allison, the victim with locked-in syndrome, and I find it intriguing that the most convincing writing in the book was in the short segments written from her point of view.

  • Martin Sharp
    2019-04-27 14:41

    I was given The Burning Girl a while ago and really enjoyed. I thought it made sense to go back to the beginning with Thorne, Holland, Hendricks et al and I'm delighted I did!The story revolves around a series of seemingly unconnected deaths, all put down as stroke victims. Nothing to get excited about until a smart doctor realises that a survivor was deliberately attacked and put in to a coma-like status that leaves her mind perfectly functioning, but her body effectively dead. Locked-in.Thorne has a main suspect and does everything he can to prove it.....but is he letting his professional judgement slip??

  • Andrew
    2019-05-12 15:48

    I am not sure why I haven't tried this series but I will definitely be reading more as it was a cracking example of a good crime genre novel. Yes it has all the classic modern crime detective cliches such as a loner cop, broken marriage, tough as nails , with a drink issue, a problem with personal relationships, and a penchant for referencing music , but I loved the plot, was drawn into the character and was hooked to the final page and I guess that is why I read crime fiction to sink into a great story and character driven page turner.

  • Joe Stamber
    2019-05-19 22:42

    A new series and a new protagonist for me. I've seen Mark Billingham's novels in the stores and decided to give him a try when "Sleepyhead" came up as a Kindle Daily Deal. I wasn't disappointed. Tom Thorne is a great character. Sure, the damaged cop with a ton of baggage has been done before, but not always as well as this. Thorne is endearingly human, with all the faults and weaknesses that go with it. The plot is fascinating and Thorne has an able supporting cast. I was pleased to see that there are plenty more in the series to go at. An excellent read for readers of British mystery/crime.

  • Eadie
    2019-05-05 17:05

    I found the writing style a little awkward at times and find that I had to read slowly in order to concentrate on what the writer was trying to convey. The characters were all unlikeable and the police and doctors in the story were all unprofessional. The plot was good but the novel would be better if executed by a better writer. Not much suspension until the very end which had a good twist and a surprise. I will probably not be reading any more of Billingham's books as there are far better writers with far better books out there to read.

  • Maggie
    2019-05-26 17:37

    Having recently discovered Detective Tom Thorne I thought it would be interesting to go back to his debut. I was not disappointed an excellent introduction to the series providing a good starting point for the development of the characters. The plot was engaging and unusual and followed twists and turns - however I did manage to guess the twist. Still a fan of Tom Thorne and 10 books left to read the summer is looking good!