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Lazybones - Mark Billingham
Member Name: freediveheaven
Lazybones - Mark Billingham
Date: 15/07/04, updated on 15/07/04 (91 review reads)
Advantages: solid whodunit
Before reviewing the book a bit of background about the author. Mark Billingham is actually a stand up comedian and a TV writer although there is no evidence of the former in his literary endeavours.
This book is a reasonably formulaic serial killer piece of crime fiction however it does have a slight twist with all of the victims being convicted rapists and therefore there is the opportunity to explore the morals of seeking to track down a killer who is removing from society people who have committed violent crimes. Both police and civilians within the book use the phase, ?just reducing the re-offender statistics? in order to prompt a debate on how such crimes can be viewed by public and police alike.
The central character is DI Thorne; here we have the standard image of a policeman who is obsessed with his work, living alone in north London after a failed marriage, single because of his work and his own failure to balance his work and social life. It is a familiar character, replicated in other books and TV shows like Morse of an individual who cannot leave his work at the office.
The book opens with a letter written to a prisoner who is on the point of release from a female named Jane. A few days later the now released prisoner, Remfry is found murdered in a hotel room. Another murder follows in a similar setting and the connections are obvious. Each victim is a convicted rapist, the method of death, strangulation, is the same, each victim has been raped and finally each had been in receipt of letters and carefully posed pictures from Jane. In addition on each occasion the murderer phones a florist to order a wreath for the victim. It is with the first recipient of this call Eve that Thorne begins to form a relationship.
Throughout the book there are also flashbacks originally telling the story of a rape in 1975 of a woman
by a work colleague, it details the acquittal of the rapist and how the victim and her husband become the accused, both suffering a mental breakdown which see the husband kill his wife and eventually commit suicide, these flashbacks at the start of each chapter eventually move to the future and provide the thoughts of the killer as the story progresses.
As the book progresses two themes persist. The first is the difficulty Thorne and his team have in feeling any pity for the victims, it is only there sense of duty that drives them on as the investigate finds one lead after another coming to a dead end. The second theme is around Thorne relationship with Eve and his inability to make an effort, essentially he is lazy with regards to relationships and it is from this that the title of the book is derived.
This is the first piece of work that I have read by Mark Billingham. His previous two titles are Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat however you do not need to have read either of these books to enjoy this one, as there is only one reference to these in this novel. His next book entitled The Burning Girl is also previewed in the paperback version of Lazy Bones.
This was not a gripping read but one well worth looking into, it had enough in it to keep me wanting to turn the page and start the next chapter, at 454 pages in paperback it is a good two days reading. The RRP is £6.99 however I would certainly look out for this one when it is discounted at your local supermarket or when buying your three for two at Waterstones. I will certainly look to catch up on his previous works.