In the Dark Hardcover – 1 October 2008
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- Hardcover : 370 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061432736
- Product dimensions : 15.24 x 3.07 x 22.86 cm
- Publisher : HarperCollins (1 October 2008)
- Language: : English
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From the Back Cover
A Deadly Crash
A rainy night in south London. A gun is fired into a car, which swerves onto the pavement and plows into a bus stop. It seems that a chilling gang initiation has cost the life of an innocent victim. But the reality is far more sinister. . . .
A Dangerous Quest
One life is wiped out and three more are changed forever: the young man whose finger was on the trigger, the ageing gangster planning a deadly revenge, and the pregnant woman who struggles desperately to uncover the truth. How will she, two weeks away from giving birth, now cope in a world where death is an occupational hazard?
A Shocking Twist
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, nything is possible. Secrets are uncovered as fast as bodies, and the story's final twist is as breathtakingly surprising as they come.
Mark Billingham's first stand-alone thriller, In the Dark is his most powerful novel yet. Gritty, fierce, and moving, here is a must-read for anyone who likes their crime fiction unflinchingand unforgettable.
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Unfortunately, despite the great plot I did not find this novel gripping - it was easy to put it down and I could find other things to do than pick it back up (that's my measure of a good book - nothing gets in the way). I think, for me, most of the problem lay in the alternating points of view, not because of them per se but because the change happened within the chapters and with no warning (in the Kindle edition there is often no space between paragraphs to let you know of a change) so I found myself re-reading parts to keep up and I also felt I just got into a meaty bit and the point of view changed. It was hard to empathise with characters in bite sized chunks.
To sum up. I admired the plot for its cleverness but didn't like the execution which didn't draw me in.
Personally I didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as the Thorne stories. Nobody in this book is having a remotely good or uplifting time. The jokes are very few and far between. To me it all felt very claustrophobic - even the attempts by one character to escape are doomed to failure. Other readers may react to this book differently and enjoy the "grittiness" but I would not rush to buy a sequel. Thorne does appear in a cameo role, but to me this added little and seemed like it had been tacked on at the last minute.
In all other respects this is still Mark Billingham at his best, it's well written, the story flows well (with the usual twists) and the characters seemed believable to me.
If you like down to earth stories, there's every chance you'll enjoy this book. Just don't expect it to be another Thorne.
In the dark is a stand alone read but slots into the series and explains Helens history.