Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802121509, 389pp.
Publication Date: July 9, 2013
His first three victims ended up dead. His fourth was not so fortunate...
Alison Willetts is unlucky to be alive. She has survived a stroke, deliberately induced by a skilful manipulation of pressure points on the head and neck. She can see, hear and feel and is aware of everything going on around her, but is completely unable to move or communicate. Her condition is called Locked-In Syndrome. In leaving Alison Willetts alive, the police believe the killer made his first mistake.
Then D.I. Tom Thorne discovers the horrifying truth; it isn’t Alison who is the mistake, it’s the three women already dead. "An appropriate margin of error" is how their killer dismisses them, and Thorne knows they are unlikely to be the last. For the killer is smart, and he’s getting his kicks out of toying with Thorne as much as he is pursuing his sick fantasy. Thorne knows immediately he’s not going to catch the killer with simple procedure. But with little more than gut instinct and circumstantial evidence to damn his chief suspect, anesthetist Jeremy Bishop, his pursuit of him is soon bordering on the unprofessional. Especially considering his involvement with Anne Coburn, Alison’s doctor and Jeremy’s close friend.
Thorne must find a man whose agenda is terrifyingly unique, and Alison, the one person who holds the key to the killer’s identity, is unable to speak...
Praise for Sleepyhead:
"Who would have thought a stand-up comedian could write a British police procedural as good as those produced by crime queens Elizabeth George and Ruth Rendell?"USA Today
"Brilliantly conceived and superbly plotted, with complex characters, deft twists, and an ending that's both shocking and oppressive. A must-read."Booklist (Starred review)
"Billingham's flawless plotting and the steadily increasing sense of fear combine to make this one of the best debut novels of the year. Going from 0 to 60 in record time, his next book is on my must read list."The Rocky Mountain News (Grade: A)
"A new twist to the twisted mind of a psychopath - an exciting debut novel."Baltimore Sun
"Billingham's turn as a novelist, might be his most successful career move."Pittsburg Tribune-Review
"A sensational debut."Toronto Globe & Mail
"An assured chiller. Disturbing and thrilling. . . with memorable characters and bundles of atmosphere. Britain now has its own forensic crime maestro."The Guardian
"A terrifically stylish debut novel."The Independent On Sunday
"There’s not much you can fault Sleepyhead on. Disturbingly original."Time Out (UK)
A brilliantly dark and different new crime novel."Manchester Evening News
"After reading only the first few pages of Sleepyhead I had my first nightmare in years. I woke up in the early hours shaking and sweating..."Birmingham Post
"Sleepyhead is the kind of novel that has you checking the locks and shutting the windows."Ireland On Sunday
"With Sleepyhead, Billingham leaps to the upper echelons of British crime fiction in a single bound."John Harvey, author of the Resnick series
"Don’t make any plans for the weekend when you buy it - because you won’t be leaving the house until it's finished."FHM
"Ideal for those who like big goosebumps to go with their glowing tans."Elle (UK)
Praise for Mark Billingham:
Billingham is a world-class crime writer and Tom Thorne is a wonderful creation. Rush to read these books.”Karin Slaughter
Billingham is one of the most consistently entertaining, insightful crime writers working today.”Gillian Flynn
Billingham’s books are as compulsively readable as Michael Connelly’s.”George Pelecanos
With each of his books, Mark Billingham gets better and better. These are stories and characters you don’t want to leave.”Michael Connelly
Mark Billingham is one of my favorite new writers.”Harlan Coben
Morse, Rebus, and now Thorne. The next superstar detective is already with usdon’t miss him.”Lee Child