Since being introduced to Billingham about eighteen months ago, I have enjoyed his work, particularly the novels in the Tom Thorne series. Lazy Bones is the third book focusing on the work of DI Thorne, so how does it compare to its predecessors?
Lazy Bones opens with the murder of Douglas Remfry, a convicted rapist recently released from prison. As DI Thorne and his team are investigating, the killer strikes again, and the second and third victims are also rapists. The team are struggling to find leads, but when Carol Chamberlain rejoins the police force to investigate an old murder case, she uncovers the identity of a potential suspect, whose mother was the victim of a rape whose perpetrator was never convicted. Can Thorne find the suspect before he strikes again, and will Thorne put his own life in danger?
As the third instalment of the series, the reader is now becoming more familiar with Thorne and the long standing members of his team, such as DC Holland, and the pathologist, Phil Hendricks. As a result, I found I was more aware of each character's strengths, weaknesses and quirks, and was more able to connect with them. This heightened my interest in the storyline and encouraged me to keep reading.
Billingham has clearly researched Lazy Bones thoroughly. As the victims are mostly convicted rapists who have served prison sentences, it is inevitable that the investigation would begin in prison. Whilst some of the stories retold reinforce the stereotypical view of what life in prison is like, it is clear that other events, such as some acts of violence (including a rather gruesome sounding incident with the lid from a tin of peaches) could happen in real life. The level of research helps to immerse the reader in a world with which they may not be familiar, and encourages them to turn pages.
I love a twist at the end of novel, and Lazy Bones has one. Whilst I had been able to predict the outcome of the investigation in part, there were other aspects that I did not see coming at all. This increased the tension as the novel reached its conclusion, and meant that at times, I was reading literally open- mouthed and the ending stayed with me for some time afterwards.
Lazy Bones is the best book in this year's challenge so far, and it is my favourite Tom Thorne story so far. I am looking forward to continuing this series later in the year.
Lazy Bones is available from Amazon.