|Hidden Killers (Tennison 2) by Lynda La Plante|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The second book in the Tennison series follows the career of the young Jane Tennison, of Prime Suspect. I hadn't read the first book in the series but this read well as a stand alone, although it does give away quite a lot of what happened in the first book.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 512/13h27m||Date: October 2016|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster|
|External links: Author's website|
Coming to the end of her probation WPC Jane Tennison knows that she would like to work in CID, only there's some resistance. It's never quite said, but you have a suspicion that it might come down to the fact that she's a woman. But being female has its advantages when a decoy is needed to entrap a man who has been attacking women and Tennison finds herself walking the local park area dressed up like a prostitute and wearing a blue rabbit-skin coat. She is attacked and only just rescued in time, but suffers nothing worse than a cut lip and a fright. It seems as though this is the man who has been attacking women, but is he also responsible for the rape of a young girl?
When I think back over television crime series, one stands out above all others: Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren. DCI Jane Tennison was one of the first female Detective Chief Inspectors in the Metropolitan Police. Fighting the institutionalised sexism within the force was as demanding as the job itself. More than once I wondered how she got to that position and screenwriter Lynda La Plante has obliged with Tennison in 2015 and the sequel, Hidden Killers in 2016. Now I hadn't read Tennison before picking up Hidden Killers - there's nothing on the cover to suggest that it's number two in a series - but I didn't find any difficulty in reading the book as a stand alone. If you are planning on reading both books you might be better to read Tennison first, as it doesn't give away what happened in specific cases, but you will know who's not going to be in the next book.
La Plante perfectly captures Tennison's innocence and naivety and we see it gradually eroded as the story progresses. Even though the man in front of her sexually attacked her she can't quite believe that he's also guilty of the rape of a teenager. She's willing to believe that superior officers in CID might have made a mistake, or to be trying to fit him up for the rape. To begin with she's not much of a team player, tending to go off and do her own thing without saying what she's doing. La Plante's great skill is that we see Tennison gradually maturing as a person and as a detective.
What doesn't change is the casual sexism in the force and to be fair, it wasn't just in the police force that these attitudes were prevalent at the time, but it was pointed up when women were facing the same danger as men but being treated as lesser beings. It was good to look back and realise that attitudes have changed - to some extent.
It was a good story with some twists I wasn't expecting and I was gripped right to the end. La Plante is also good on how the police service really works and there was a feeling of authenticity. In addition to reading the book I also listened to an audio download (which I bought myself) narrated by Julie Teal. I was impressed by her range of voices and whilst the male voices might not have had quite the depth that there would have been from most male narrators I was never displeased by what I heard and nor was I in any doubt about who was speaking. I'd happily listen to more from Teal.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.
If you'd like to read another female detective, there's always DI Grace Fisher.
You could get a free audio download of Hidden Killers (Tennison 2) by Lynda La Plante with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Hidden Killers (Tennison 2) by Lynda La Plante at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Hidden Killers (Tennison 2) by Lynda La Plante at Amazon.com.
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