The Burning Girl
By Mark Billingham
(Avon, Mass Market Paperback, 9780060745271, 400pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
List Price: $7.99*
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Once burned . . .
By rights, the horrific schoolyard crime should have been laid to rest twenty years ago. An alleged perpetrator confessed and now is growing old behind bars. But the case still haunts ex-Detective Chief Inspector Carol Chamberlain -- and she has asked DI Tom Thorne to uncover a disturbing truth that lies buried in the ashes.
A series of brutal gangland slayings -- each victim found with an X gouged into his back -- has Thorne plunging into the fires of a deadly turf war, as he attempts to tie together the threads of perplexing crimes separated by decades. But time is rapidly running out in his search for a copycat who revels in blood and pain -- because the body count keeps rising . . . and someone has carved an X into Tom Thorne's front door.
Mark Billingham is the author of nine novels, including Sleepyhead, Scaredy Cat, Lazybones, The Burning Girl, Lifeless, and Buriedall Times (London) bestsellersas well as the stand-alone thriller In the Dark. For the creation of the Tom Thorne character, Billingham received the 2003 Sherlock Award for Best Detective created by a British writer, and he has twice won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. He has previously worked as an actor and stand-up comedian on British television and still writes regularly for the BBC. He lives in London with his wife and two children.