Rabbit Hole: The new masterpiece from the Sunday Times number one bestseller

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Rabbit Hole: The new masterpiece from the Sunday Times number one bestseller

Rabbit Hole: The new masterpiece from the Sunday Times number one bestseller

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What I would have liked to read, based on the synopsys: a complex, realistic depiction of life and (unnatural) death on a mental health ward, driven by complex, well-rounded characters and suffused with atmosphere, with maybe some sarcasm, darkness and/or social commentary thrown into the mix. Uh huh, a patient is murdered and Alice, as police, decides to work the case from inside. Great premise! Oh, Alice is a wonderfully unreliable narrator! She has memory issues, is paranoid and takes a boatload of meds every day - as does everyone she lives with. The killer could be any one of the residents.

They were meant to be safe on Fleet Ward: psychiatric patients monitored, treated, cared for. But now one of their number is found murdered, and the accusations begin to fly. An acclaimed television series based on the Thorne novels was screened on Sky One in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne. A series based on the novels In The Dark and Time Of Death was screened on BBC1 in 2017.Billingham's picture of the ward and its staff is full of humanity, leaving us with a clear sense that this kind of illness could affect any of us, and the story offers an excellent twist. He gets better and better. * Literary Review *

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy. A gripping standalone thriller from the internationally bestselling author of the Tom Thorne novels. Truly horrid as Alice is the one that tries to save her. Alice is disintegrating and becoming increasingly psychotic (is she really?) Al thinks she’s ok some of the time but at other times she clearly struggles and you really feel for her.Superb . . . Billingham adds tantalizing red herrings throughout. The book’s masterly ending features a heart-stopping chase to apprehend Kieron’s surprising kidnapper. Established fans and newcomers alike will be thrilled.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Cry Baby

The creator of DI Tom Thorne presents a stand-alone whodunit with a most unusual setting: the psychiatric ward of a northwest London hospital. Mark Billingham pens one of my favourite crime series - the Tom Thorne books. But he also writes standalones - the latest is Rabbit Hole.

Alice Armitage is a police officer living in a secure psychiatric hospital. She has been sectioned following a major breakdown caused by the traumatic death of a colleague that she feels responsible for. While she is in hospital a patient is murdered and Alice takes it upon herself to investigate. The story is narrated by Alice who describes her thoughts, ideas and memories throughout. It is during the telling of the story that we discover how unwell Alice is. She is paranoid and delusional, suffers with memory lapses and has huge mood swings. It soon becomes clear that nothing Alice describes can be taken as fact as so many of her memories and experiences are affected by her illness. Is she actually a Police Officer or could she have committed the murder herself even? Ultimately, though, this is a mystery novel, and unfortunately that is the weakest part of the construct. You can’t fairly blame this on Alice. Setting aside her own unfortunate personal problems and delusions, she’s not able to effectively conduct a modern, professional police investigation --- and she has to come to grips with this. You might think that her unique point of view could lead to an unconventional insight that would solve the case. I certainly did and was somewhat disappointed. Considering that the adventures of Lewis Carroll’s original Alice have been interpreted (in the 1960s, at least) as the fantasies of someone who has ingested a surfeit of magic mushrooms, this isn’t so much a psychological thriller as a psychedelic one. With the Alice here as narrator, we often get the feeling that reality is just beyond our grasp. THE AUTHOR: Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001. Mark lives in North London with his wife and two children.



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