Mark Billingham's Sleepyhead was called "an exceptional debut" by George Pelecanos, lauded for its "strong ... display of macabre creativity" by the New York Times, and singled out by USA Today as featuring "some of the creepiest serial killers to be found between the pages of a book." Now Billingham returns with Scaredy Cat.
It was a calculated, vicious murder. The killer selected his victim at Euston station, followed her home on the tube, and then strangled her to death in front of her child. At the same time the dead woman is found, a second body is discovered at the back of King's Cross station -- killed in identical fashion. It is a grisly coincidence that eerily echoes the murders of two other women, both stabbed to death months before on the same day.
Introduced in Sleepyhead, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne sees the link and comes to the horrifying conclusion that it is not one serial killer the police are up against: it is two of them. Now each time a body is found, Thorne must live with the knowledge that somewhere out there is a second victim, waiting to be discovered. But while the methods might be the same, the killers are very different -- one submissive and terrified, the other ruthless and in control. To stop them both, Thorne must catch a man whose need to manipulate is as great as his need to kill; a man who will threaten those closest to Thorne himself; a man who will show him that the ability to inspire terror is the deadliest weapon of all.