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Good As Dead (Tom Thorne Novels) [Hardcover]

Mark Billingham
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 13.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Aug 2011 Tom Thorne Novels (Book 10)

The Hostage

Police officer Helen Weeks walks into her local newsagent's on her way to work. Little does she know that this simple daily ritual will change her life forever. It's the last place she expects to be met with violence, but as she waits innocently at the till, she comes face to face with a gunman.

The Demand

The crazed hostage-taker is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in youth custody. By holding a police officer at gunpoint, he will force the one man who knows more about the case than any other to re-investigate his son's death. That man is DI Tom Thorne.

The Twist

While Helen fights to stay alive and the body-count rises,Thorne must race against time if he is to bring a killer to justice and save a young mother's life.

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Good As Dead (Tom Thorne Novels) + From The Dead (Tom Thorne Novels) + Bloodline (Tom Thorne Novels)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (18 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847444199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847444196
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Billingham is one of the UK's most acclaimed and popular crime writers. A former actor, television writer and stand-up comedian, his series of novels featuring D.I. Tom Thorne has twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year Award as well as the Sherlock Award for Best British Detective and been nominated for seven CWA Daggers. His standalone thriller IN THE DARK was chosen as one of the twelve best books of the year by the Times and his debut novel, SLEEPYHEAD was chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade. Each of his novels has been a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.

A television series based on the Thorne novels was screened in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne and series based on the standalone thrillers IN THE DARK and RUSH OF BLOOD are currently in development with the BBC.

Product Description


A rollercoaster of a read... confirms Billingham's status as one of the finest crime writers around Daily Express Taut and tense, with an unusually sympathetic hostage-taker The Times

Book Description

Thorne is back, and bigger than ever

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
126 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good As It Gets 9 July 2011
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
The last Mark Billingham book I read was In The Dark, which I found a refreshing and successful change for the author, both in writing style and in taking the focus away from his regular character DI Thorne. It wasn't a change that was to everyone's taste however, so while I was slightly disappointed to find that Good As Dead is back more or less to the standard procedural of crime investigation with Tom Thorne back in the driving seat, that's still not a bad place to be, demonstrating as it does the author's strong authentic characterisation and awareness of the contemporary issues relating to police investigation. Often that's in relation to the difficult areas of race, social, political and internal police affairs, but Billingham also introduces a few interesting touches of its own here in what turns out to be an intriguing case.

At the start however, Good As Dead seems like it's setting up a fairly standard situation, when the Indian owner of a cornershop, seemingly fed-up with the daily hassle and abuse he has to put up with from young kids, cracks and barricades himself into the shop, holding a couple of hostages at gunpoint. One of the people being held is police officer Helen Weeks (introduced in In The Dark), and it's no coincidence either. The man, Mr Akhtar, is actually upset about the death of his son Amin, who recently died in a prison cell. Akhtar doesn't believe the official verdict of suicide and he's going to hold the siege for as long as it takes for DI Thorne, who was involved in the original case, to find out the truth behind his boy's death. Time is of the essence and, looking into the matter, Thorne - with help from his regular team of officers - indeed finds that something isn't quite right about the case.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant installment in Thorne series 21 Jan 2012
DS Helen Weeks goes into her local newsagents for a bar of chocolate and some chewing gum. Within minutes she and a fellow customer are being held hostage at gunpoint by the owner Javed Akter who believes his son was murdered whilst in prison despite the official verdict being suicide.

Akter insists that DI Tom Thorne reinvestigates what happened and retore justice otherwise he will kill his prisoners.

This was a completely gripping book with action alternating between what was happening inside the shop, the responses of the hostage negotiators and Thorne's investigations. It was impossible not to feel sympathy with many of the characters as they were all well rounded and believeable. I had no idea how the book was going to end and it was only towards the end that Thorne's investigations dominated the storyline.

Brilliant installment in the series- can't wait for the next one now!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 21 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought this was quite good - a worthy addition to the series, if not, perhaps, the best of the bunch.

The setup seems a rather ho-hum affair: a shopkeeper suddenly snaps and shuts down his shop with two hostages held at gunpoint within. His price for their freedom: proof of his son's murder, not suicide, at a local Young Offenders' Institution. Tom Thorne to deliver.

At first, there appears to be little at stake, but the bodies do indeed begin to mount up, and the pacing is perfect.

What makes this especially stimulating reading, though, is its exposure of the casual corruption we imagine pervades the top of the British establishment, and what somebody else in a different context once called the banality of evil: it certainly is banal, but it is also, just as certainly, evil.

A novel seemed to start unpromisingly in fact gathers steam and powers towards a terrific climax.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Review of Good as Dead 28 May 2012
Once more Mark Billingham is to be commended for the absolute readability of this finely woven story for me he has steered clear of falsely pushing Thorne into an atypical behaviour, and has faith in the readers that we will understand the dialect and speech used which is as usual delivered powerfully
This is a masterful story a real page turner and yes I found myself unable to put it down until I had finished, I just can't wait for the next outing from the masterful story-weaver.
At the start though, "Good As Dead" look as if like it's planning a somewhat standard state of affairs, when the Indian owner of a corner shop, apparently sick and tired with the day after day aggravation and aggression from a gang of youths.
I found the story captivating the description of all the characters is simply outstanding and Mark makes sure that Tom Thorne is not a hero, but a man attempting to do a demanding job.
" Good as Dead" has a couple of things that facilitates its ascent to being one of the best woven crime thrillers I have read.
This is the 10th Tom Thorne book and the progression shows no slowing down or tiredness the growth of the Tom Thorne character over the last few books is great and to keep to this intensity of superbly woven stories is a demonstration of the gift that this master story weaver mark Billingham has.
To finish I cannot recommend Mark Billingham's books enough and I await the next instalment with great excitement.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting story 30 Aug 2011
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Mark Billingham is a new author for me and, if this book is anything to go by, one I'll return to in the future. I found this a gripping story from the very start. It has the feeling of happening in real time as the siege progresses and the hostages start to interact with their captor. The characters are well-developed and clearly defined. As the pressure builds up on Tom Thorne to fulfill the hostage-takers demands the pace of the book quickens and the outcome is in the balance. I liked the interesting forensic details that added to the authenticity of the outcome, but I didn't predict how the story would end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another great read!
Tom Thorne never disappoints and neither does Mark Billingham. Gripping and plays on all emotions as well. Fully recommend you read it.
Published 1 day ago by Mrs. A. M. Mcelhinney
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Tom Thorns at his best ......
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent read.
Published 19 days ago by Lucia of Tilling
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 20 days ago by Patricia Relton
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read as ever.
I have read all of Mark,s books and this was slightly different but still interesting and compelling reading. A really good read and I look forward to the next book.
Published 25 days ago by Alison Wilkin
3.0 out of 5 stars New to Mark Billingham.
Found the story a little restricting somehow, I prefer Peter James or Peter Robinson, Banks and Grace are broader characters I feel.
Published 1 month ago by Christopher Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph of black humour and crime writing combined
Mark Billingham's ability to capture the good and bad in people and still make me like the characters is wonderful. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. R. Houldsworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Thorne
One of the best Tom Thorne books yet. Mark Billingham plots are becoming more spellbinding. The detective improves with age
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. J. E. Kitson
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably entertaining
Totally overblown but quite entertaining. Another of the Thorn books, amazing that he's still in the police. Just as we'll there aren't real police officers like him.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good novel
I always enjoy Mark billinghams novels. This was no exception. The plot was fast paced and held my interest from start to finish.
Published 2 months ago by Esther Boland
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