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In the Dark

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,773 ratings  ·  103 reviews
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 trigge
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Harper (first published January 1st 2008)
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I had a frisson of excitement reading this book. I live near Lewisham in South East London and large parts of it are set in the area. So there’s the Lewisham centre, there’s roads I walk down and parks I’m familiar with. All very thrilling for the local. Except the Lewisham of this book is not quite the Lewisham I know, Here it’s home to nothing but gangs of drug dealers and juvenile thugs, where violence is only ever seconds away from hitting the streets. Now I'm aware it’s not the most salubri ...more
Detective Constable Helen Weeks and Detective Sergeant Paul Hopwood have a relationship that looks like it will be leading to marriage. Despite the fact that Helen is only 2 weeks away from delivering a child, there are difficulties between them. Paul is showing no interest in joining forces to buy a home together; he also is completely apathetic about the impending birth. As heartless as that seems, he actually has some reason to feel that way—several months earlier, Helen had a brief affair, a ...more
Carl Ingebretsen
Oh boy. Oh man. I'm actually hesitating to put this book here, because this site is called "Goodreads" and this... This isn't even close to a good read.

Let me start off this scathing review right; at the beginning. Hold on a little while longer; I need to get my earbuds. I need some music in order to do this right.

In the Dark by Mark Billingham starts with five gangsters in a car, doing a gang initiation ritual. It ends tragically, though we don't learn how. Oh no. Instead, Mark Billingham - kno
I liked this a lot. However the cover keeps going on about the 'stunning final twist' which kind of implied, to me, that there'd be some huge reveal on or near the last page. There isn't. There's a subtle reveal quite some time earlier. A good one, but not an absolute jaw to the floor, knock you out whopper. And that's fine, because this is a far more rewarding and subtle book than all the blaring about 'Shocking Twists!' would indicate.

I reached the final page and felt deflated by not recieving
Ayesha Chander
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Howarth-Salazar
I can't say I actually enjoyed this book, although I couldn't stop reading! Much of the time, I found the characters and settings depressing and unpleasant - I really couldn't empathise with characters like Easy and even Theo and Javine. Helen was a realistic and likeable character, though. The choice of title was very fitting for the events of the novel, as most of the characters (and the reader) were 'in the dark' about reality for most of the novel. There are many twists and turns in the plot ...more
Loved this book. I have so enjoyed all of Mark Billingham's books, and think that his creation, Tom Thorne, is one of the best fictional police detectives. This particular book is a stand alone book and is not in the Tom Thorne series - although Tom Thorne makes a minute cameo appearance. I expected to like this less than the other books, but found myself loving it just as much. Quite a departure for Mark Billingham to have as his protagonist a female detective on maternity leave - in fact withi ...more
A stand-alone novel from the author of the acclaimed Thorne series.

A driver is forced off the road and into a bus stop. A policeman is dead. His partner, a policewoman, wants to know why, and what he was up to?

A rainy evening in London and shots are fired at a car, causing it to hit a bus stop. What looks like a gang initiation has cost a man his life. A policeman - off-duty cop Paul Hopwood losing his life.

This incident has wide-ranging consequences for a large cast including the shooter, the a
Thomas Bruso
(A non-Tom Thorne novel)

In Mark Billingham's intense, dark crime novel, "In the Dark", the score of vendettas and lies come to a searing head: relationship alter, people die. Blood will be shed.

A shady business deal looms. And a gang turf war begins. The culprit: Sex, drugs and violence. In its brooding, gripping storytelling, Billingham does not relent from the brutal realities of war in North London. The punch in the heart starts off this riveting tour de force thriller with five gunshots. A m
Apr 25, 2008 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any crime fan
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the Tom Thorne series but i think this was to do with the characters not the writing. Set around gangs and drugs, and with a pregnant cop trying to solve the death of her husband, I just didn't warm to any of the characters. In the Dark was an apt title for the book as you are in the dark for the first half of the book.
My first book completely written in english!
Tom Thorne fans, be advised, this is not the same thing! (Thorne does make a quick cameo.) Maybe the goal was to try something new, but it didn't work for me.
- The multiple storylines stay separate too long,
- the characters are way too many yet in many ways so interchangeable
- if you ever wanted to know anything about pregnancy and babies, this is definitely the crime novel for you! (i.e. too much dallying around with stuff that doesn't build the story)

Usually I cannot pause in the middle of a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In The Dark is Billingham's first stand-alone novel and although it was a bit difficult to get started I gave it four stars by the end. When I grabbed this at the library to take on vacation, I assumed that it was the next Tom Thorne novel. Boy, was I surprised, and, initially disappointed. Billingham created a new set of characters that are different enough from the Thorne books but still have the same flavor. He gives you Paul Hopgood, the detective who is a little bent and that appears to be ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
One of the things I absolutely love about Mark Billingham is that even if you read his books in the wrong order, they're still unexpected.

Having recently read his latest, Good As Dead, I realised I'd accidentally missed a Thorne book somewhere. That lead me back to In The Dark, which despite being categorised as a Thorne novel actually contains very little of the man himself, and all of his brief cameo appearances are through the lens of someone not yet very interested in him.

In Good As Dead, th
I will start by saying that I am a big fan of Mark Billingham books. I have read the first 7 of the Tom Thorne series and enjoyed every one of them in a different way. I also love the style of writing of this author. He does short, snappy chapters and has a "blokey" style that works for his stories and the characters. I like the way he throws a load of characters at you in most of his books and you almost learn about them backwards at times, I mean you start in the middle of their stories and th ...more
If somebody could explain to me what I did with my common-sense I'd be very grateful. I have this list of favourite authors, and a tendency to hoard their books. Makes no sense whatsoever when I think about it, but IN THE DARK got caught in the daftness and lurked on the shelves here for much much longer than it should have.

A standalone novel, IN THE DARK is a thriller with an unexpected scenario and an interesting twist. As the blurb outlines, there's a car crash in the night. A driver is force
T.J. Cooke
I first came across Mark Billingham via his excellent Sleepyhead, the introduction to the D.I. Thorne series. I'm sure it's well reviewed here. But I'm always more interested when a crime fiction writer tries something 'stand alone'.

This book gives us more of an in-depth look at London's criminal hinterland and is not for the faint-hearted! A selection of newsreel clips of the last few years will give you the same incidents of drive-by shootings, drug deals and gangland crime, but it won't give
Apr 19, 2009 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English Mystery Fans, Lee Child fans and police procedural fans.
Recommended to Michael by: Saw a write up in "Deadly Pleasures"

Billingham's first stand alone novel begins with five teenagers riding in a car on a hot August night in London. Their purpose is to find a car to shoot at in a gang initiation.

A woman sees the teenagers car without its lights and flicks hers, not knowing that this is the manner in which the teenagers targets are chosen. Shots are fired, the car crashes into a bus stop and off duty police officer Paul Hopoewood is killed.

Paul's girlfriend, Helen Weeks, is also a police officer. They are expec
This is a standalone book following heavily pregnant Helen Weeks as she copes with her husband's death and finds out more about his life. It all centres around a car crash where a gang shoots into a car which swerves off the road and into a bus stop, hitting and killing Helen's husband Paul.

In terms of plot, it's really quite disappointing. It's well structured, with the crash happening as a prologue then the first part of the book set before the crash. However, for a "thriller" it's pretty low
Though I usually enjoy books by this writer, this novel didn't really engage me. The plot line was reasonably good and the characters were interesting in a minor sort of way, but none of them truly engaged me. Helen, the heroine, left me cold. As a heavily pregnant, very recently bereaved woman, she was a strangely unconvincing character, facing down villains and doing detective work that, by implication, was apparently beyond the police who were investigating her partner's murder. I found her v ...more
IN THE DARK was the first book that I got to review for HarperCollins. Woo hoo! I told the HarperCollins dude that I had a soft spot for mysteries, so I got this one as well as another into my hot little hands.

This mystery is the story of a cop who may or may not be crooked and his very pregnant girlfriend, whose baby may or may not be his. After a gang-related "accident," the mystery begins.

When I first started this one, I thought I was going to hate it. The mystery as such doesn't start until
I've read the first four or five Thorne books and this is the first stand-alone of Mark Billingham's I've read. I wasn't bowled over. It was a bit too blokey for me, despite Helen Weeks being one of the main characters. I admit I'm not keen on reading about gang culture, so this was never going to be a novel I was going to rave about. Still, it kept me hooked sufficiently to read to the end, as I was eager to know how all the different story strands fitted together.
Steve Horsfall
This was my first Mark Billingham novel, having not yet read any of the Thorne series (I do intend to). It took me a few chapters to adapt to the writing style as it reads more like a movie script than a standard novel but as the plot takes hold and intrigues, it is this style that adds weight to the book and really does work. The plot itself is multilayered in presenting many different perspectives on the seemingly straightforward death of a police officer. Of course it is not straightforward a ...more
This is a gripping thriller that is very difficult to put down. The book tells the story of a death that appears to be one thing (a gang initiation shooting), but is something else altogether. The author is not afraid to humanize all of his characters - from Helen, the pregnant cop trying to solve the mystery of her fiance's murder to Theo, a gangbanger who might decide to change his life. The characters and situations were compelling and readable and I empathized with just about all of them, ev ...more
Michelle Douglas
What a fantastic book.
A stand alone book although Thorne does put in an appearance or two.
I would really love to find out more about the characters in this book....hint,hint Mr Billingham.
I don't want to give anything away but I would thoroughly recommend this book.It is well constructed and set at a decent pace and you are drawn into the world of Theo,Frank and Helen
Phil Brett
Not read a Billingham which I haven't enjoyed. This includes how he uses London as almost an extra character. People may be interested in my blog on London a crime fiction centre.
Jane Fenn
I enjoyed this book, however, I found it quite hard work to read, at times. I felt connected to both Helen, the heavily pregnant woman whose partner is killed in a tragic 'accident', and Theo, who is the perpetrator whose actions appear to have led to this accident. However, unlike the Tom Thorne novels, by Mark Billingham, I never really connected with the the supporting characters. I also found the plot quite complex as I'm not always good at remembering the names of characters when there's lo ...more
Clinton Sweet
Did this guy even study English at school? Worse grammar than someone using MSN. Two dimensional characters. Didn't care for Helen or the plot or any single page I read. Complete waste of time. Can't believe the front page claimed "a twist"
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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...
Sleepyhead (Tom Thorne, #1) Scaredy Cat (Tom Thorne, #2) Lazybones (Tom Thorne, #3) The Burning Girl (Tom Thorne, #4) Bloodline (Tom Thorne, #8)

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“He was a big man; fifty or so, with greased-back grey hair and an expression that looked as if it had been kicked into position.” 0 likes
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