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The Demands (Tom Thorne #10)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  2,775 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
The Crime The customers in a London convenience store are taken captive. Among them is young mother, Detective Helen Weeks. She is told her life depends on the co-operation of one of her colleagues - detective Tom Thorne.

The Demand Akhtar is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in prison. He is convinced the death was not an acc
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Mulholland Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jane Fenn
Aug 20, 2011 Jane Fenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Mark Billingham, you made my dreams come true!! When I read Mark Billingham's stand-alone book 'In the Dark', I became really attached to the stubborn, determined and heavily pregnant police officer and heroine Helen Weeks. I couldn't help thinking what an interesting counterpoint she would be if she ever worked with Tom Thorne, hero of Billingham's other books. Then 'Good As Dead' came along.....Helen Weeks is taken hostage by her local newsagent whose son has supposedly committed sui ...more
Mar 16, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
For my money, the TV adaptation of Thorne got so very much wrong, that Billingham's dedication of this book to the team responsible worried me. The humour was missing, the relationship with Phil was totally wrong - hell, they even changed the identity of the killers! So would this first post-TV book reflect the influence of the TV show?

Well, the cover certainly does. No, it's not David Morrissey but it is a silhouette obviously designed to look as much like him as it can without getting into tro
Jo Woolfardis
This is the tenth instalment in the Tom Thorne detective novels and it was the first I've ever read. I've seen Tom Thorne adapted for TV, played by David Morrissey and I absolutely loved that, even though I've read that a lot of people don't think they're particularly true to the books. I didn't find anything particularly wrong with the adaptation, but I have only read one book.

This one starts off with a bang: a quiet shop keeper holds two people hostage in his corner shop, one being a police of
Jun 29, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I am a Tom Thorne fan, and I would read his laundry list and love it. This book grabbed me from the first chapter, good premise, well written (as is the par for Mr B) and I particularly liked the ending.
Not as good as some of the others I've read. I felt the plot was way too out there to be believable.

Over the top plot counterbalanced, to a degree, by several extremely mordant pieces of humour.

Still well worth reading.
David Kovner
A step or two down from previous Billingham books I've read.
Mar 20, 2012 Tyrone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of great quality police procedurals and compelling storytelling.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Mark Billingham is a great writer and his creation, Thorne, a great character. That aside, I did have some reservations about reading this, mainly due to the experience I had with the DVD of the TV adaptation which pretty much everybody i knew had been raving about. Billingham seems to have been involved and was very positive about adaptation. I have to say I didn't like it. It changed important aspects of the books for which i can find no reasonable ju ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Detective Helen Weeks walks into the convenience store she’s been coming to for ages, her mind on her 1 year old son, and the workday ahead, when she’s abruptly taken hostage, along with another customer, by the convenience store owner, Akhtar. This is a man she’s talked to every day for months, exchanging pleasantries, and Helen is baffled as to why he’d want to hold two people at gunpoint. He doesn’t want money. He doesn
Jun 04, 2012 Patricia rated it it was amazing
We are all creatures of habit, and Helen Weeks is no exception. Helen, a detective for the police department and a single mother, stops at a newsagent every morning for her newspaper, gum and some candy. As Helen is paying for her items three boys walk into the shop wrestling with each other and messing with the stock. Javed Akhtar, the owner, chases the boys out of the shop. Helen and the man behind her in the store are shocked when Akhtar locks the door to the shop and pulls a gun on his two c ...more
Kelly Hager
Jun 13, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing
Helen Weeks is a police officer with a young child (he's about a year old). She's also just been taken hostage by a convenience store owner who wants to know what really happened to his son. (His son was arrested in a stabbing case and given a much lengthier prison sentence than he deserved---self-defense and no prior record. Then he committed suicide, or so the authorities say. Javed doesn't believe it.) So he takes Helen and another customer hostage and demands that Tom Thorne find out what ha ...more
Andrew Rumbles
Apr 06, 2012 Andrew Rumbles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Billingham is one of the big names in crime fiction. His cops are human and focussed on doing their jobs well. In this story a visit to a convenience store by a police woman quickly becomes a crisis as the store owner pulls a gun and takes Helen and another customer hostage. Mr Akhtar’s son was taken into custody a year ago and the investigations have determined his death 8 weeks ago was suicide. This resolution is not acceptable to this father. In his heart it does not ring true with the son he ...more
Rebecca Martin
Hmm, I read this as a Kindle ebook (978-0-06-170113-9)entitled, The Demands. It was published on June 12, 2012 on Amazon but seems to have arrived earlier, August '08, as a Mobipocket Reader. I don't know what happened to the original title but it's certainly the same book described as Good As Dead. The book is about a hostage-taking by a grieving and angry father who feels "British justice" is a bitter oxymoron. Suspense is created as the novel swings back and forth between the cramped confines ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Speesh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, british-crime
I can't say where this one figures in Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne series, for good or bad, as it's one of those I've not really paid much attention to getting or reading in sequence. Not like me at all. As with the previous one I read and the other one I have, I've got them on special offer. And because I thought the covers looked good as a series.

It's a good solid Police story. I hesitate to say 'Thriller' as, for me, it doesn't quite get there, despite the set-up. It is a good, well put toget
Diane Dickson
Jan 18, 2016 Diane Dickson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr Billingham is back on form in this one, I thought. I was really impressed with the way that this novel was constructed. The tension began right from the very first and like a separate thread wound in and out of the enthralling and intriguing "who done it." In the event the actual mystery was as convoluted as usual with a nice little twist towards the end.

The characters in this one were particularly well done I thought and I really honestly was totally captured by it and stayed up late into t
Jan 21, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DS Helen Weeks goes into her local newsagents for a bar of chocolate and some chewing gum. Within minutes she and a fellow customer are being held hostage at gunpoint by the owner Javed Akter who believes his son was murdered whilst in prison despite the official verdict being suicide.

Akter insists that DI Tom Thorne reinvestigates what happened and retore justice otherwise he will kill his prisoners.

This was a completely gripping book with action alternating between what was happening inside th
Michele Harrod
Aug 04, 2011 Michele Harrod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, the latest Billingham - these novels are like spending time with a good friend. Tom Thorne is such a fantastic character and as always, Billingham grabs you by the throat in the first couple of pages. Bliss. And having now finished, I was not disappointed. Now I want to find the TV series, Thorne, it will be interesting to see if his on-screen character measures up to my image in my head! A great read.
Aug 27, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another worthy entry in the Tom Thorne police detective series. The book begins with a hostage situation in a London convenience store run by an immigrant whose son has died in prison. One of the hostages is a pregnant police officer. Nothing is predictable. I particularly liked the narrator's omniscient point of view: we know what is going on with the police, AND we know what is going on in the store.
May 24, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A completely brilliant read. A newsagent holds two captive demanding the apparent suicide of his son is investigated by Tom Thorne. Thorne has to find out why the teenager died in the YOI and who would want him to disappear.

This is one of those books you never want to end. I loved Helen, the hostage coping with a desperate situation. It was good to see Thorne back again, minus his annoying girlfriend.
Stan Usher
Sep 18, 2015 Stan Usher rated it really liked it
Not as good as the other brilliant Thorne books I have read by Mark Billingham, but a very good book nonetheless.

For some reason, the ending seems to be a bit rushed, which is unusual for the Thorne series. The characters are as always, well fleshed out, and the plot, although it might be a bit upsetting for some, is definitely hard-hitting. 4/5.
Jane Heather
Mar 01, 2013 Jane Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real page turner. Hated to put it down as it moved along and kept your interest. Mark Billingham is a brilliant writer and captivates his readers into the main character, Det Insp Tom THORNE. You are able to imagine the faces and emotions as you read his books. This book especially did that for me. You felt a bit of sorrow for the hostage taker but knew it couldn't end well for him.
Catrina mccafferty
I'm a little on the shelf with this one I love Mark Billingham and I love Thorne but it felt like something was lacking. The storyline was interesting and I did stay up all night to finish it but I didn't get the same sense of satisfaction I usually do from a Thorne book.
Trev Twinem
ok nothing special bit proceedural not the best in the series
May 16, 2012 Col rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...........This is the 10th in the series of crime novels about DI Tom Thorne and it's the 9th of the Thorne novels that I've read, and from the outset I have to say this is the best of the lot for me!

The more Thorne novels I read, the more I'm a little uncertain about them before I start. I've loved reading these since I first read "Sleepyhead" many moons ago and I guess my uncertainty is that I might suddenly find it all a bit too familiar, a bit predictable, now that I'm 7, 8, 9 novels in. Th
Feb 27, 2017 Thejelman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A miscarriage of justice leads to a dangerous hostage-taking situation and Thorne must solve the puzzle under the pressure of a ticking clock. It’s fast-paced and the plot is as well-crafted as ever. On this occasion however I think Billingham’s characterisation lets him down. The villains are sadly predictable and the author (normally so adept at creating multi-dimensional characters) allows himself to be readily drawn into caricature. It’s a three-and-a-half from me for a slightly disappointin ...more
Mar 19, 2012 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good as Dead by Mark Billingham – Tom Thorne’s 10th outing - is a rip roaring police crime thriller that places the reader smack bang in the middle of a non-stop thrilling ride as we follow Thorne’s attempts to placate a hostage-taker with nothing to lose. Reading the book in two days Billingham has this natural authorial ability to grab the reader by the scruff of the neck and once hooked he sits back and just lets his narrative do the talking, this is a very fluid and quick read. I was mesmeri ...more
Joop Liefaard
Feb 21, 2013 Joop Liefaard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Mensen zijn vaak gewoontedieren en dat is met politievrouw en alleenstaande moeder Helen Weeks niet anders. Iedere ochtend als zij naar haar werk gaat, koopt zij in de krantenkiosk van Javed Ahktar een pakje kauwgom, een reep chocola en de krant voor onderweg. Op een ochtend veroorzaken drie opgeschoten jongens problemen in de kiosk en de altijd zo goedaardige en rustige Javed gaat door het lint. Hij sluit de kiosk en de rolluiken en gijzelt Helen Weeks en een tweede toevallige klant onder bedre ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Luca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Thorne is back, the highlight of many a crime fiction readers year, and is on top form in 'Good As Dead'. As superbly written as the previous novels in the series, it's a rip-roaring tale which takes place over the course of three days. This ensures the pace never has time to drop, as Thorne races against time to discover the truth about a young boys death and appease the boys father holding two people hostage at gunpoint.

This is the 10th Tom Thorne book (Eleventh if you include the cameo in
Nicole Bonia
Jun 21, 2012 Nicole Bonia rated it it was amazing
In Mark Billingham's The Demands, Detective Sargent Helen Weeks is a new mom whose life has already been touched by personal violence with the murder of her child's father. When teenage thugs harass a local newsagent, Javed Akhtar, she hesitates when it comes to getting involved- hoping he can resolve the issue without her help. Little does she know that the newsagent, a grieving father, has an agenda of his own. It involves holding her and another customer hostage while demanding that Detective ...more
Nov 08, 2011 Midnight rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story brings together the author’s DI Tom Thorne character from the very successful series of novels and DS Helen Weeks who featured in the central role of the standalone novel ‘In The Dark’ - which also featured Thorne albeit in a small cameo role. This is the tenth in the actual DI Tom Thorne series.

Javed Akhtar believes his son, Amin, did not kill himself while he was serving time in a Young Offenders Institute, that he would never kill himself and Javed feels the truth has been covered
Gloria Feit
Jun 11, 2012 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it
This novel is the 10th in the Tom Thorne series featuring a British cop of a different stripe. His approach to solving a crime is to achieve a conclusion by any means. And, in this book, he shows no mercy.

It begins when D.S. Helen Weeks enters her local news agent’s shop to buy her customary candy bar and ends up, along with another customer, as a hostage to the proprietor, who then demands that Thorne find the murderer of his son. Some months before, Thorne had been the arresting officer when t
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Also writes as Will Peterson with Peter Cocks.

Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.
More about Mark Billingham...

Other Books in the Series

Tom Thorne (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Sleepyhead (Tom Thorne, #1)
  • Scaredy Cat (Tom Thorne, #2)
  • Lazybones (Tom Thorne, #3)
  • The Burning Girl (Tom Thorne, #4)
  • Lifeless (Tom Thorne, #5)
  • Buried (Tom Thorne, #6)
  • Death Message (Tom Thorne, #7)
  • Bloodline (Tom Thorne, #8)
  • From the Dead (Tom Thorne, #9)
  • The Dying Hours (Tom Thorne, #11)

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