I read my first Lynda La Plante books earlier this year when I devoured the first three books in the Prime Suspect series featuring Jane Tennison. At the end of that review I made a note to check out her other series featuring Detective Anna Travis.
And I'm glad I did! I picked up Blood Line - the latest - released by Harper Collins's new crime imprint - Bourbon Street Books.
Anna is the new Chief Inspector for London's murder squad. Watching closely over her shoulder is her boss - and former lover - Superintendent James Langton. Anna is still dealing with the death of her fiancee and Langton is not sure she is up to the job. He gives her a missing persons case to follow up on - not a murder. Alan Rawlins has been not been seen for eight weeks. His father is pushing for an investigation, but his live in girlfriend doesn't seem too concerned. No one has a bad word to say about Alan, but there's something just 'off' about the whole situation. As Anna grows more determined to prove Langton wrong about her abilities, she starts to question her own investigative instincts.
Anna reminds me of the Jane Tennison character. Both are strong but flawed characters trying to prove themselves in their chosen profession. They're emotionally wounded, but driven to achieve results. La Plante combines her mystery with excellent character building. The supporting cast members are all just as interesting and not all of them are 'pretty'. The personal and professional tension between Anna and Langton continues to build, with the door left open for this story to continue in future books.
I enjoy British mysteries for the pacing - a lot of them are slower and much more procedural bound, instead of rushing in with guns blazing. I feel like we're right with Anna as she puzzles through the case. And La Plante has penned an excellent plot. I had my suspicions numerous times throughout the book, but until the last few chapters I was never really one hundred percent sure 'whodunit'.
An excellent read for me. LaPlante is now firmly on my 'must read' mystery/thriller list. Read an excerpt of Blood Line.
'Lynda La Plante’s fourteen novels, including the Prime Suspect series, have all been international bestsellers. She is an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and a member of the UK Crime Writers Awards Hall of Fame. She runs her own television production company and lives in London and East Hampton, New York.' You can find Lynda La Plante on Twitter.