Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Demands- Mark Billingham

The Demands

Mark Billingham

Mulholland/Little Brown, Jun 12 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780316126632

Several months ago, Amin Akhtar tuned himself in to Detective Inspector Tom Thorne for having killed a boy in what he claimed was self-defense. Shockingly, Amin received an eight-year sentence. In a detention facility, someone attacked and injured Amin. He went to the hospital and soon afterward authorities inform the lad’s father convenience store owner Mr. Akhtar that his son died a few months ago from an overdose of drugs.

Despondent Mr. Akhtar believes his beloved Amin was murdered or died from negligence. Already irate over the unfair sentencing, he fails to persuade anyone to probe what really happened to his child. Mother of a one year old, Detective Helen Weeks enters the store to pick up her daily candy bar. Mr. Akhtar holds her and another patron hostage. His demand is that Thorne investigate what happened to Amin.

The latest Detective Inspector Tom Thorne police procedural (see Death Message and Bloodline) is a great thriller, which takes place over three harrowing days. Thorne’s investigation is top rate as reverse engineers the known facts to determine why Amin was at the original crime scene so as to better understand that motive and seek links to his death, if any. The convenience store scene is a fabulous psychological counterpoint to Thorne’s inquiry. Readers will realize how little parents truly know or perhaps choose not to acknowledge about their offspring as Thorne methodically works the case while time is running out on the hostages.

Harriet Klausner

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