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on 1 August 2014
It kind of pains me to do this but I found this a bit boring. I've been a fan of the Thorne series from the start and have read every one. But with this one I found myself looking at the percentages left on my kindle and wishing them to get to 100 quickly. And when the book finished on 94% I was quite happy.

To me there seemed no tension or intrigue, no mystery or thrills. The reason why the crimes were being committed was dull, you knew who was doing the crimes and why they were doing them pretty soon on in the book. And it seemed that a large percentage of the book was Thorne going from one crime scene to another, whilst at the same time trying to justify to his nearest and dearest why he was investigating these crimes.

In this book Thorne has been demoted, so he was not really supposed to be investigating these crimes and was doing it 'on the side'. But that got weary very quickly, as you were always thinking just tell your colleagues. Yes I know he tried at the start, but try again if a serial killer is out there on a killing spree. I know it's not a documentary, but lone copper working out the connection but the rest of the whole police force can't as the bodies mount up? Really? It was kind of explained at the end why the rest of the police did not work it out, but that just felt extremely contrived and a easy cop out to try and justify the whole premise of the book. The team of Kitson and Holland were shoe horned in a bit but never really got involved in the story.

There were a few twists but you could see the majority of them coming, and I guessed who the protagonists would be at the finale and what situation Thorne would likely be in pretty early in the book. So when this happened I was very disappointed as it just felt lazy as it was so obvious, and seemed more like it was written for TV. Having said that I'd feel a bit let down if this was the plot for a 2 hour TV cop show, and to me it was certainly no where near as good as the previous Thorne books.

I know everyone is entitled to an off day, but this book felt that it was written as a contractual commitment based around a rather boring premise, rather than it coming from a really good idea for a crime thriller.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 March 2014
Thorne has been drummed out the Murder Squad for bad behaviour and is now back in uniform, but this doesn't suppress either his instincts or his willingness to bend the rules so when a double suicide raises his, but nobody else's, antennae he starts a one man, off the books investigation. This is what makes The Dying Hours different. Thorne is on his own and although he drafts in help from Holland and Kitson it is given unwillingly as they know what it would do to their careers it is essentially a one man crusade with no back up and yet we are on familiar ground with Thorne ignoring protocol and following his own personal moral compass. I found this to be a very good read. I thought the characterisation was excellent and I enjoyed the various reactions to Thorne's investigation as it all seemed very lifelike. The plot was interesting but I do think more people would have caught on to it sooner so it was a bit unrealistic, but then I don't think this is a plot driven novel as it is more about the characters, their reactions and development. I think this is a great book for series readers, but maybe not the best place to start for new readers.
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on 17 April 2014
A tad disappointed, it has lost the punch of its Tom Thorne heady heights. I felt as if I was reading a part of a a series .. As I guess it now is Which is unfair for anyone who hasn't read the last few books. Previously the Tom Thorne books didn't take your readership for granted . You could pick up any book and get pulled into it as the plot was amazing . This and it's predecessor doesn't . It felt mechanically written And quiet frankly boring in parts . Way too much technical policing info. It felt like a custody suite training Manuel , rather than a thriller. The cynical humour had been missed . I' think it's time for Tom Thorne retire and for Mark Billingham to refresh himself and get his edge back . I won't be buying another Tom Thorne book .
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on 16 February 2015
I've read all of the Tom Thorne novels I love the he has changed over the years, but please I think it's time he was recognised and for all the cases he has solved and that people above him realise this,I hate the way they treat him and I think you should stop making him out to be a wimp.i'm sorry if you don't like this,but it's how I feel.i love your books and I loved this book and can't wait for the next one. He's still young enough to be a father,I think he would make a great dad. I've read your interview and you said when your writing it's like having someone looking over your shoulder and that you care about your fans. Please I hope you don't mind what I've said.big fan.p I would recommend this book to all my friends.
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on 16 May 2016
I do love Tom Thorne and the way everything he does gets him into trouble, such a great character and with every book I've got to know him better.

Mark Billingham brings Tom Thorne to life, the plot line is dark and gruesome but not blood and guts just for the sake of it. The story captures you from the start and I hope Tom Thorne continues to cause mischief and mayhem wherever he goes FOR EVER.

Well done a Mark another fantastic book.

Thanks Karrie
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on 9 October 2017
Love the whole Tom Thorne series and The Dying Hours continues to catch you the minute you get into the first page. I have a little difficulty with the premise of 'going back to uniform in the same rank' as a punishment though. It's all a little 'old world '70's' for modern day policing. That aside though, another great book.
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on 28 December 2016
I have come to expect only the best from Mark Billingham. In this book he meandered all over the place, pondering on the past, the future, the present. Disappointingly little action and surprisingly repetitive in many areas. Not up to his usual standard at all. If you are a major Mark Billingham fan you can skip this one and you will not have missed any of the ongoing plots.
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on 26 July 2014
I have to admit to being an out and out Tom Thorne fan, he is everything you want in a lead character, down to earth, ordinary, firmly rooted in his area and looking on all others with suspicion (as all of us who live on the north side of the river...) and yet with the ability to eventually see through the morass of clues and solve the crime, even if he can't solve his own life problems.
Mark Billingham has turned in another first class thriller with a cliff hanger ending, very unfair!!!!
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VINE VOICEon 15 December 2013
Mark Billinghams is a master storyteller and he has done it again with this book. I really enjoyed this story, you start off feeling quite sorry for Tom as he's back in uniform and discovers that the suicides of various people aren't all that they seem. He then gets even more frustrated as no one will listen to him so he has to take matters into his own hands. What happens when Tom does this then starts to effect his personal and work life, will he be able to find the killer? Well you'll have to read it to find out.
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on 23 June 2016
I read the dying hours a couple of years ago and found the book just as good this time. I am a big fan of Thorne and Hendricks although the latter does not figure much here. This is a story of trial and retribution with an aggrieved Thorne back in u uniform following his instincts and act I g on his suspicions.
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