Jane Tennison must navigate the salacious world of theatre to solve a brutal murder in the heart of London’s West End, in the brilliant new thriller from the Queen of Crime Drama, Lynda La Plante.
Things can’t get much worse for detective Jane Tennison. Unceremoniously kicked off the adrenaline-fuelled Flying Squad, she now plies her trade in Gerald Road, a small and sleepy police station in the heart of London’s affluent Knightsbridge.
With only petty crime to sink her teeth into, Tennison can feel her career slowly flatlining. That is until the discovery of the most brutal murder Jane has ever seen: Charlie Foxley has been found viciously beaten to death with a cricket bat – his throat cut and he has been disembowelled.
As a big-time theatrical agent, Foxley had a lot of powerful friends – but just as many enemies. And alongside her old friend DS Spencer Gibbs, Tennison must journey into the salacious world of show business to find out which one is the killer, before they strike again.
I am not the biggest fan of Lynda La Plante’s writing style – it’s a bit blunt for me – (no pun intended) – I am more lyrical waxing and poetic prose, but boy can she write a cracking good story. Not for the fainthearted, Blunt Force is chock full of dodgy characters, murder, drugs, prostitution and screaming ex-wives.
Just when Jane Tennison was getting bored in wealthy Knightsbridge, the brutal killing of Theatrical Agent Charles Foxley takes place right on her patch. This is my first Jane Tennison book (not my first La Plante) and I have never seen Prime Suspect, but it didn’t take me long to find out about her previous job (with the Sweeney), why she left and who her friends were.
The story rattles along – there’s also a side story going on related to her time with the Sweeney – and all sorts of interesting minor characters – Elliott, and Mandy Pilkington to name but two, and plenty of red herrings. I was hoping for a bit of romance and humour. More of the latter than the former – even some of the darker characters have their moments of fun.
We were left hanging with one part at the end, but then I have the feeling that Jane has opened a nest of vipers and we will see them in the next book.
Many thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Born and raised in Liverpool, La Plante trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where her fellow students included Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt and Ian McShane. After finishing her studies, she began her career as an actress appearing with the Royal Shakespeare Company in a variety of productions, as well as popular television series including Z-Cars, The Sweeney, The Professionals, Bergerac and Rentaghost.
Whilst filming The Gentle Touch with Gill Gascoigne, La Plante wrote a treatment for a TV series based on a botched bank robbery. Widows was commissioned by Verity Lambert of Euston Films for Thames Television. It became one of the highest rating series of the early 1980s.
Following the overwhelming success of Widows, La Plante became a sought-after crime writer and subsequently signed her first book deal with Pan MacMillan. Her debut novel, The Legacy, was published in 1987 and received both critical and best-seller success. Her second, third and fourth novels came soon after – The Talisman (1987), Bella Mafia (1990) and Entwined (1993) – all of which became international best sellers.
In 1990 La Plante started working on her next television project, Prime Suspect, which was released by Granada in 1991. Prime Suspect starred Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison, airing in the UK as well as on PBS in the United States.
Lynda La Plante was made a CBE (2008) for services to Literature, Drama and Charity.
She is a member of The Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame and is the only lay person to be made a fellow of The Forensic Science Society.
She lives in London and New York with her son Lorcan and Cockapoo Max.
For more information about Lynda please visit her website…