Book - 2001
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His first three victims ended up dead. His fourth was not so fortunate...

Alison Willetts is unlucky to be alive. She has survived a stroke, deliberately induced by a skilful manipulation of pressure points on the head and neck. She can see, hear and feel and is aware of everything going on around her, but is completely unable to move or communicate. Her condition is called Locked-In Syndrome. In leaving Alison Willetts alive, the police believe the killer made his first mistake.

Then D.I. Tom Thorne discovers the horrifying truth; it isn't Alison who is the mistake, it's the three women already dead. "An appropriate margin of error" is how their killer dismisses them, and Thorne knows they are unlikely to be the last. For the killer is smart, and he's getting his kicks out of toying with Thorne as much as he is pursuing his sick fantasy. Thorne knows immediately he's not going to catch the killer with simple procedure. But with little more than gut instinct and circumstantial evidence to damn his chief suspect, anesthetist Jeremy Bishop, his pursuit of him is soon bordering on the unprofessional. Especially considering his involvement with Anne Coburn, Alison's doctor and Jeremy's close friend.

Thorne must find a man whose agenda is terrifyingly unique, and Alison, the one person who holds the key to the killer's identity, is unable to speak...
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, c2001
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780802121509
Branch Call Number: Suspense F Bil
Alternative Title: Sleepy head


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rb3221 Oct 13, 2016

A good but not great crime thriller. The story unravels rather slowly as something keeps slipping through the cracks for Thorne.
Billingham alternates his viewpoint throughout the book between Thorne, the killer and Alison. Alison is the victim with the 'locked-in' syndrome and can only blink and I very much enjoyed the short chapters giving her perspective.
Overall a good read and I will continue on with the next book in the series, Scaredy Cat,

Sep 12, 2015

Very creepy and well-written, and a good introduction to DI Tom Thorne and his cohorts.

Dec 26, 2014

The theme is simply to dark for me. Being left locked in your own mind is a living death. Something about that villain creeped me out. I have Billingham's next book reserved. Perhaps that will be a better read for me. Serial killers a better read?

May 10, 2014

Very good Brittish based crime thriller. The story is about a detective who is convinced that an anesthestist is responsibe for putting a young woman in vegetative state; although she has an active mind and can hear, see and understand. She finally learns to communicate by blinking with the help of a doctor and the dective then tries to get some clues that will incrimate the man. The story is told through several main characters including the detective, victim and the perpetrator - although he/she's identity is in doubt until the end. Very descriptive writing on the part of the characters and the scenes; very vivid. You feel the pain the characters go through and are transported into the story with references to London streets. Being an American the lingo takes getting used to, but it's well worth it . A very well written story. Highly recommend.

Jan 28, 2014

Book 1 Tom Thorne novels

tomato Jun 13, 2010

This is a super thriller!


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