Murder Mile (Jane Tennison 4) by Lynda La Plante
|Murder Mile (Jane Tennison 4) by Lynda La Plante|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A reasonable if rather predictable read - but still very readable.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: August 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
It was February 1979 in the strike-ridden 'Winter of Discontent' when a body was discovered in Peckham. It was to be the first of two bodies in two days, but the first - that of a young woman - would remain unidentified for some time. The second - an older lady - was found in the boot of her car by her son. Jane Tennison has been promoted to Sergeant and finds herself in the midst of an investigation hindered by press articles about police incompetence and pressure to get a quick result. Four days later and another body to add to the count, the police have named their suspect, but Tennison has her doubts.
It's a good story with plenty of action and it's definitely very readable, but I found the plot somewhat simplistic and predictable. As it developed I'd think 'oh, so and so is going to happen next' - and thirty or so pages later it would come to pass. By the time we got to the end of the book I'd second guessed every major plot twist and got them all right: my strike rate is never that good!
The evocation of location is excellent: Lynda La Plante has the Winter of Discontent' perfectly, with bin bags of rubbish piled all over the place and rats searching through them. Peckham was a deprived and tough area and La Plante uses the location well. Characterisation is good, although there is an over-reliance on Tennison being put down or patronised because she's a woman, to the extent that I found it annoying. Yes - it did happen (I was doing a traditionally-male job at the time and I know exactly what it felt like) but it does give a one-sided impression. Tennison is more than just an underestimated woman - even though she does seem to be the only person with any brains in the book.
Murder Mile is a reasonable if not great read. I finished it in a couple of days, but without any great feeling of enjoyment. I'd just finished Broken Ground by Val McDermid - a five-star cracker - and Murder Mile didn't come to anywhere near the same standard. Read it if you're following the series.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
This was the third Jane Tennison book for me: the best of them has been Hidden Killers, the second book in the series.
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