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In the Dark

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,172 Ratings  ·  120 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
...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Harper (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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F.R.
Oct 08, 2012 F.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Scott
Oct 27, 2010 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
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Maddy
May 22, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
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
Jul 28, 2013 Carl Ingebretsen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sandra Grauschopf
It's a little hard to evaluate this book on its own merits, because the cover was absolutely screaming with how amazing a "final twist" was. It was mentioned in the description on the back, and in three blurbs on the front and back cover alone. Inside, in the reviews, were even more hints about the incredible, mind-blowing final twist. A twist that even the most experienced crime novel readers will never see coming.

(view spoiler)
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Margaret
Apr 26, 2016 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2016-challenge
This book is a stand alone thriller. Except it really isn't. The main character is DC Helen Weeks, who becomes a major character in the Tom Thorne series later on.

Helen is heavily pregnant when her partner goes out on a night out to farewell a retiring fellow police officer and is killed by a car at a bus stop, when the car is shot at by gang members.

But is everything what is seems? Confused and grieving, Helen's cop sensors still pick up that something is wrong. She sets out to find out the tru
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Ayesha Chander
Jan 11, 2010 Ayesha Chander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sue
Feb 21, 2012 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lynn
Jul 21, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty surprised by this book. It took about 100 pages to set up the central mystery and I worried it would never take off. After the first section, all three main character stories were compelling. After 350+ pages I still wanted more. This is a standalone novel, but some characters will appear in the next Tom Thorne mystery.... it's good I want more.
Krait
Mar 29, 2014 Krait rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Well, enjoyable as far as books of this genre go. Some lame elements include the pregnant mom deal, and what I would deem a rushed ending after the "twist" (which actually came as no surprise to me in spite of a blurb on the cover to the effect that the critic will "guarantee even veteran crime fiction aficionados won't see coming"). What was the killer's motivation? What was the real relationship between Paul and Frank? These and other questions are left unanswered. We can hazard guesses, but s ...more
Andrés Franco Medina-Mora
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Olivermagnus
It turns out this was a great title for this confusing mess of a mystery because I was in the dark most of the time. The book opens with a car crash. A driver is forced off the road and into a bus stop where a man is killed. His partner, a heavily pregnant policewoman, wants to know why. What was he doing just before he died and was he even the man she thought she knew. The only character I even remotely liked was Theo, the young gang member who has dreams of bettering his life and escaping from ...more
Eadie
Jan 16, 2016 Eadie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Description
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 aging gangster planning a deadly revenge, and the pregnant woman who struggles desperately to uncover
...more
crimethrillerhound.co.uk
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
...more
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 Thomas Bruso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(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
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Linda
Apr 25, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Fi
Dec 02, 2015 Fi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having quite enjoyed the previous two Mark Billingham books I'd read, I was expecting to settle down for another good read. I don't know if it was because this isn't a DCI Thorne book (although he does briefly appear), but this wasn't a patch on the others.
There was a plot (of sorts), even one or two surprises, but basically it was so disjointed that it was almost like two - maybe three - books had been combined, and not very well combined at that. Thinking that it had to get better, I persevere
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Soho_black
Feb 12, 2015 Soho_black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, used-to-own
I've been a fan of Mark Billingham and his DI Tom Thorne character since his debut novel. Like many series do, though, I did feel that a couple of the more recent novels suggested that Billingham was running out of ideas of things to do with Thorne. So it was a minor relief that his latest novel "In the Dark" was to be a standalone one, even if early optimism was dulled by the rather clichéd tagline "...it's where fear lives", which didn't seem quite in keeping with Billingham's normal style.

Lat
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Nuno
Feb 12, 2012 Nuno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book completely written in english!
Stephkay
Jan 19, 2014 Stephkay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Tweedledum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin
Mar 26, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
Janine
Jan 26, 2009 Janine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, thrillers, crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexandra
Sep 15, 2011 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Hazel
Oct 28, 2012 Hazel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen
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
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T.J. Cooke
Jan 30, 2013 T.J. Cooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Michael
Apr 19, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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Dan
Aug 05, 2012 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
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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.
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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.” 1 likes
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