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Publisher's Summary

Tom Thorne's career is on the skids. Depressed by the recent loss of his father, berated for overstepping the mark on his last case, he's been 'encouraged' to take leave. It's a fairly dire situation. But not as dire as the situation for London's homeless. Three vagrants have been found murdered in the last month. Were they just random jetsam, or were they targeted for a reason?

With his deputy, Dave Holland, as his only contact, Thorne is seconded to the streets. Not as a policeman, but as one of life's rejects. It fits: he looks the part, and feels it as well. In this twilight netherworld he finds a society with its own rules and its own moral code. And the word on these streets is that the killer is a cop.

©2005 Mark Billingham (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks

What listeners say about Lifeless

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Far from Lifeless

One measure of really good whodunit is that you should "get it" a satisfying time before it is all spelt out for you. This one really worked for me. It is an engrossing book which got me intrigued from the very first. The main character is suitably flawed but sympathetic in the Bosch/Rebus tradition and the audio book has great atmosphere with music and sounds that add, for once, not distract. The feature I liked the best was the tough but compassionate treatment of the London homeless that is at the core of the book; it treads the tightrope between bleeding heart and bleeding heartless very successfully.
Essentially it's a great, if quite dark, mystery book with a strong plot and well developed characters who really make you care about what is going to happen to them. I don't often take abridgments but at 6 hours this leaves a very full meal of a book which is well worth the credit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andy Parsons
  • Andy Parsons
  • 10-23-05

Far from Lifeless

One measure of really good whodunit is that you should 'get it' a satisfying time before it is all spelt out for you. This one really worked for me. It is an engrossing book which got me intrigued from the very first line. The main character is suitably flawed but sympathetic in the Bosch/Rebus tradition and the audio book has great atmosphere with music and sounds that add, for once, not distract. The feature I liked the best was the tough but compassionate treatment of the London homeless that is at the core of the book; it treads the tightrope between bleeding heart and bleeding heartless very successfully.
Essentially it's a great, if quite dark, mystery book with a strong plot and well developed characters who really make you care about what is going to happen to them. I don't often take abridgments but at 6 hours this leaves a very full meal of a book which is well worth the credit.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for blueskythinker
  • blueskythinker
  • 01-08-07

Thorne on the streets

I've read a couple of Mark Billingham's earlier books and love the tortured character of Tom Thorne. This audio version of Thorne sounds just as I'd imagined him. In this book he is working undercover on the streets of London and the full grimy detail of what that involves is laid bare.
The story is gripping and draws you in as all good crime fiction should. I found the musical interludes a little distracting although they do provide a good breaking point as there are no chapter breaks.
I don't normally go for abridged books but this one works well. I look forward to the next book from Billingham.

1 person found this helpful

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  • maggie scott
  • 08-17-20

good listening.

a great novel. absolutely could not stop listening. spent most of last night listening. had to find out the ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-22-20

Brilliant narrator

Robert glenister the best narrator of Mark billingham he is brilliant at bringing his books to life disappointed when authors try to do it themselves

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan Everitt
  • 04-30-20

Gripping from Page One.

Very moving indeed, one of his best. Mr Billington's research is excellent and it shows.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Wendy
  • Wendy
  • 02-01-20

Ditch the musical interludes!

As always Mark Billingham’s characters engage the listener, as did the story.
But the narration seemed too much on one level for me, with a tendency to become monotonous.
The musical interludes seemed amateurish, adding nothing to the tension and, I thought, rather pointless really.

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Profile Image for Danielle SS
  • Danielle SS
  • 07-31-19

Didn’t like the music!

Not as good previous books and the music really did put me off. Great narration as usual

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for MjB
  • MjB
  • 06-29-19

Great story, pity about the music

I've enjoyed the Tom Thorne books and this was no exception. Robert Glenister is a great narrator. What ruined this audio book for me was the insertion of a supposedly 'suspenseful' piece of music every so often. It was so jarring that I found it ripped me out of the immersion in the story that I'd felt before. A shame, because it was otherwise a very good story.

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  • toomes
  • 12-17-17

as ever an excellent enthralling listen

deeply absorbrbong full of plot twist and deviate just asvyoh think you know who ??

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S.G.T
  • S.G.T
  • 03-23-17

Brilliant as always but..

Great story, as always from Mark Billingham and perfectly interpreted and read by Robert Glenister. The only thing I found really off putting and distracting were the 2 pieces of short incidental music, one of which always made me think the theme tune to Crossroads was about to kick in 😱