A Novelby Mark Billingham
The latest thriller from internationally bestselling author Mark Billingham, a standalone with a hint of the legendary DI Tom Thorne
Alice Armitage is a police officer. Or she was.
Or perhaps she just imagines she was.
Whatever the truth is, following a debilitating bout of PTSD, self-medication with drink and drugs, and a psychotic breakdown, Alice is now a long-term patient in an acute psychiatric ward.
When one of her fellow patients is murdered, Alice becomes convinced that she has identified the killer and that she can catch them. Ignored by the police, she begins her own investigation. But when her prime suspect becomes the second victim, Alice’s life begins to unravel still further as she realizes that she cannot trust anyone, least of all herself.
“Winner of this month’s contest for Most Unreliable Narrator (sorry, no prize) is Alice “Al” Armitage, who woozily guides readers down Rabbit Hole, a novel of suspense by English author Mark Billingham . . . a one-of-a-kind narrative and a finale that resolves most matters but preserves a measure of tantalizing ambiguity.”—Wall Street Journal
“British author Mark Billingham takes a break from his 17-novel series about DI Tom Thorne for his fifth standalone novel, which grippingly explores Det. Constable Alice Armitage’s psychotic breakdown after witnessing her police partner’s murder . . . The novel expertly delves into daily life in a psych ward where drugs and routine rule over treatment, and Rabbit Hole’s stunning finale puts a new spin on Al and the plot.”—Shelf Awareness
“As Alice launches her investigation, we listen to the raucous banter between residents, none of whom takes Alice’s quest seriously, and we gradually realize that finding the killer is only an entrée into the real mystery here, which is taking place inside Alice’s head. Resting his award-winning Tom Thorne series, Billingham delivers a confoundingly compelling psychological thriller that, unlike many in the genre, doesn’t slight the psychology.”—Booklist
“The creator of DI Tom Thorne presents a stand-alone whodunit with a most unusual setting: the psychiatric ward of a northwest London hospital . . . A great premise generates some powerful episodes.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Mark Billingham might just as well have titled this brilliant novel “One Fell out of the Cuckoo’s Nest”. The pain and torment of mental illness is never downplayed—except by the patients themselves—and the depiction of day-to-day life on the ward feels distressingly accurate… It is a gripping, twisting murder mystery and a blackly comic indictment of the way we treat psychological illness to- day… At the very least it should reach the shortlist of this year’s Booker prize.”—Times (UK)
“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 deeply compelling read.”—Harriet Tyce
“The most cunning, complex, claustrophobic mystery with delicious echoes of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”—Louise Candlish
“Billingham creates the dark, claustrophobic world of the psychiatric ward with immense skill and heart.”—Eve Chase, author of The Glass House
“More than just about any book I’ve read, I HAD to know how it would all come together.”—Linwood Barclay
“Follow Alice—plucky, resourceful, lovable and infuriating—down the Rabbit Hole in Billingham’s fast-paced and twisting thriller.”—Paula Hawkins, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Girl on the Train
“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
“How much tighter can Billingham turn the screws before his climactic twist? . . . Expertly grueling.”—Kirkus Reviews, on Cry Baby
“Cry Baby is the perfect prequel to send us back to revel in Tom Thorne’s twenty years. As if we needed reminding how good Mark Billingham is.”—Val McDermid, on Cry Baby
“Mark Billingham is a master of psychology, plotting and the contemporary scene.”—Ian Rankin
“A fantastic thriller, combining a gripping plot and lead characters of remarkable depth…Readers who grab this one but aren’t familiar with its predecessors will be seeking them out. A series to savor.”—Booklist (starred review), on Their Little Secret
“The twisted plot unfolds gradually, with a maximum of suspense. Billingham never strains credulity in this thoughtful page-turner.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Their Little Secret
“With each of his books, Mark Billingham gets better and better. These are stories and characters you don’t want to leave.”—Michael Connelly
“Mark Billingham has brought a rare and welcome blend of humanity, dimension, and excitement to the genre.”—George Pelecanos