Asked to investigate the spate of cat killings around the London area, Tom Thorne is, initially, nonplussed. With further thought, however, he begins to wonder if there could be more to this case than meets the eye. Could this be a killer’s first step towards the taking of a human life or have they already begun their reign of terror? Working, once again, alongside Nicola Tanner, she has another case of her own to investigate – the murder of a young man and the links to the drug Spice. With few clues to help them, Thorne and Tanner will soon find themselves in danger as they try to prevent an escalation in both cases.

Tom Thorne is, by far, one of my favourite fictional detectives and I always look forward to the next book in the series. In The Killing Habit, we see Thorne tasked with trying to stop a serial killer before they begin, working on the theory that many serial killers start their ‘career’ by killing animals. He soon has another theory, wondering if the cats could be getting killed in the ‘down time’ between the human kills. This was a fascinating story line and even though I did work out who the killer was, I did enjoy the thrilling culmination.

The other main plot is very topical in several ways. We see the problem of drugs in prison, in particular the rise of ‘Spice’, which has become much more prevalent in recent years. It is easy to see how difficult it is for these men who, desperate to become clean on their release, find that they are indebted to the dealers from their time inside and so find themselves involved in further criminal activities.

The Killing Habit is another great read although it didn’t have the same impact as the previous book in the series,  Love Like Blood. Also, I wasn’t quite sure about the ending: I do enjoy a good twist, but I think I would have preferred the story to have been tied up neatly.