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The Demands by Mark Billingham

The Demands Reviewed by Patricia Reid

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 customers.

So begins a situation that is terrifying to the hostages as well as the police attempting to see them released without harm. The hostages are handcuffed to the radiator. Stephen Mitchell, the other customer taken hostage, seems to think that Helen can use her familiarity with Akhtar and her skills as a detective to miraculously rescue them from the situation. But he soon realizes she has no power over Akhtar. Read the rest of this entry »

Death Message by Mark Billingham (Review #2)

Reviewed by Gina Metz

Death Message by Mark BillinghamDeath Message begins with Detective Inspector Tom Thorne receiving a picture on his cell phone of a man who has been murdered. Thorne begins an immediate investigation to determine the identity of the murdered man in the picture, who sent him the message and why it was sent to him.

Thorne continues to receive pictures and the bodies start piling up as Thorne and his team work frantically to stop the killer. Early in the investigation Thorne realizes this case is somehow related to a psychopath he tracked down earlier in his career.

In Death Message, Detective Sergeant Dave Holland is active in the investigation and Thorne also finds time to help DI Yvonne Kitson with a stabbing investigation she is leading. Phil Hendricks, the medical examiner and Thorne’s good friend, is also a lead character in this book. Thorne is also continuing his rocky personal relationship with DI Louise Porter. Read the rest of this entry »