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ABOVE SUSPICION
by Lynda La Plante
Simon and Schuster, October 2004
400 pages
17.99GBP
ISBN: 0743252535


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Lynda La Plante is the woman behind one of crime drama's greatest creations -- Jane Tennison, star of PRIME SUSPECT. Her new book, ABOVE SUSPICION, attempts to add another female detective to the canon.

Anna Travis is a young, university-educated high flyer, who is called in to join DCI Langton's murder team. A pretty teenager has been found dead, and Langton thinks her death may be linked to the murders of prostitutes. As the team's investigation progresses, the murder team make an astonishing discovery as to who the main suspect might be. Can a household name really be behind these vicious killings?

The inexperienced Anna is plunged straight into the middle of this case which moves from London to Spain to the north of England. Langton seems prepared to cut her some slack to start with, as her father Jack was a high-ranking policeman, remembered fondly by Anna's colleagues. She is the typical loner and appears to have no friends, instead sitting around grieving over the deaths of her much beloved mother and father. She has a gleaming new Mini, of which she is inordinately proud, plus a neat and cosy flat. But there's no mention of friends or lovers.

The colleagues themselves are pretty much in the background, with the exception of Langton. And Anna is more or less a plot device as well. You'll be required to suspend disbelief at one point when the DCI presents her with a shattering piece of news about her family which she accepts with a totally implausible lack of emotion and which is never mentioned again.

The book has more than half an eye on a TV dramatisation, I suspect. What you see on the page is, as you would expect from La Plante, taut and well-plotted, and you'll enjoy seeing how she gets from A to Z. But it needs skilled actors to pad out some under-drawn characters. ABOVE SUSPICION is a page-turner, but above and beyond this lacks much for the reader to get his or her teeth into.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, October 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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