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.
Whenever suspicion arises in a murder inquiry that it may be the result of an honour killing, the tasked investigators have a dual mission. One, to find out the identity of the murderers, and two, to determine who it was that arranged for the killings to be carried out. The practice of honour killings might still continue, but publicly the communities deny their occurrence.
Still on compassionate leave and grieving at the loss of her partner, Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner knows she needs help to find out who ordered the hit that was probably meant for herself. Two men were involved in the murder of Susan, and it is two men she was tracking in her previous work with the Honour Crimes Unit. DI Tom Thorne is just the sort of person Tanner knows won't let cultural sensitivities get in the way of a murder investigation.