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In The Dark by Mark Billingham

I have always enjoyed detective novels, mysteries and crime thrillers. Mark Billingham is an English crime novelist and stand up comedian. If you ever have an opportunity to hear him speak, take it.

I first read a Mark Billingham novel when I was studying creative writing in Stirling, Scotland. That book, Sleepyhead is a remarkable debut novel. One of the books I read recently was In The Dark.

The Blurb

A rainy night in London. Shots are fired into a car which swerves on to the pavement, ploughing into a bus stop. It seems that a chilling gang initiation has cost an innocent victim their life. But the reality is far more sinister...

One life is wiped out and three more are changed forever: the young man whose finger was on the trigger; an ageing gangster planning a deadly revenge, and the pregnant woman who struggles desperately to uncover the truth. Two weeks away from giving birth, how will she deal with a world where death is an occupational hazard?

In a city where violence can be random or meticulously planned, where teenage gangs clash with career criminals and where loyalty is paid for in blood, anything is possible. Secrets are uncovered as fast as bodies, and the story's final twist is as breathtakingly surprising as they come.

The Review

A handgun is fired at random and strikes a car which swerves into a bus stop. An unsuspecting bystander is killed. The truth about the shocking incident will form a thread between the characters, and you can be sure that nothing is what it seems.

In the Dark is the most powerful and unflinching crime novel yet from this terrific author, Mark Billingham. It is a gripping journey into the modern urban darkness where violence is both indiscriminate and meticulously planned, and youth gangs take on established criminals for rule of the streets. I found the book really easy to read. It was a real page turner. If you enjoy this genre, it is definitely well worth reading.

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 a BBC series based on the standalone thrillers IN THE DARK and TIME OF DEATH was shown in 2017.

Mark is also a member of Fun Lovin' Crime Writers. Performing alongside Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville, Doug Johnstone and Luca Veste, this band of frustrated rockers murders songs for fun at literary festivals worldwide.

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