Mark Billingham’s hard-boiled Tom Thorne novels are a favorite of mine. So it took me a while to get to this older stand-alone of his, and I was not disappointed. His talent for mixing a blend of humanity and dimension to his books is intact in In the Dark.

The book opens on a rainy London night, when a gun is fired into a car, which swerves onto the pavement and ploughs into a bus stop. At first deemed a gang initiation gone wrong, the reality as it unfolds in actually far more sinister and one the reader doesn’t expect at first.

Three lives will be impacted: the young man who pulled the trigger; an aging gangster plotting for revenge; and a pregnant woman two weeks away from giving birth, who finds herself enmeshed in lives she wants nothing to do with–and which will impact her future and that of her unborn child.

How their lives become interwoven, the secrets that are uncovered, and the bodies mount up. This writer will fully engage you in everyone’s stories. His plotting is worth the read alone. Check him out.

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