Published on 11 February 2016 by Hodder and Stoughton
A killer that the police are calling ‘Billy Dead Mates’ is murdering pairs of best friends, one by one.
Before they die, each victim is given a small white book…
For months, detectives have failed to catch Billy, or work out what the white books mean. And then a woman, scared by what she’s seen on the news, comes forward.
Stand-up comedian Kim Tribbeck has one of Billy’s peculiar little books. A stranger gave it to her at a gig she did a year ago. Was he Billy, and does he want to kill her? Kim has no friends and trusts no one, so how – and why – could she possibly be Billy Dead Mates’ next target?
This is the next chilling novel from the queen of psychological crime – a literary puzzle set to unlock the dark side of the mind . . .
I’m a huge fan of Sophie Hannah. I just adore the Culver Valley series or as I call it ‘Simon and Charlie’. It is everything I want from a read; clever, articulate, hilarious and utterly addictive. The latest instalment The Narrow Bed is no exception.
It’s not easy describing the story. We have a killer lurking and murdering pairs of best friends. He has been termed ‘Billy Dead Mates’ by the police. There is the absolutely hilarious comedian Kim Tribbeck, who we see has caught the attention of Billy. Kim is dealing with the up coming death of her grandmother on a cancer ward, in a witty humorous and inappropriate way. Simon Waterhouse, our exceedingly clever detective constable is on the case. There is a lovely character Sondra Halliday, a devout feminist who pops up and makes her feelings clear on the ‘Billy Dead Mates’ case. She was chillingly real. And Charlie manages to get herself involved in the case, as well as doing a bit of sister stalking on the side. Who is Billy? That is the question. And will the police ever catch him?
Sophie Hannah is a genius in quirky British crime. She is top of the class. Her characters are all a bit weird, perhaps reflecting the eccentricity of us all. Let’s face it, there is no such thing as normal. I think you either get it and love it. Or it goes a bit over your head. The plot for me was a dream. I could completely relate to the motives of our killer. I adored Kim Tribbeck and her lovely comic take on everything. The opening chapters had me laughing and cheering. I would buy Kim’s book ‘Origami’, if this all was real. And I am a little bit in awe of the super intelligence of Simon Waterhouse. He just susses things out, with total clarity, while everyone around him scratches their heads.
Wonderful. If only I didn’t have a long wait now, til the next Simon and Charlie adventure! If you like intelligent crime, Sophie Hannah is a must read.
Thank you to the publishers for my lovely review copy!