Author: Lynda La Plante
Released: August 23rd 2018
Murder Mile is the fourth book in the series by Lynda La Plante. That being said, you really could just jump in here if you really wanted to; I did. I had no problem understanding what was going on, and a lot of the context I was missing out on was either hinted at or flat out stated later.
The series itself is actually a prequel series, showing Jane Tennison in her earlier years. To be honest I’m pretty shocked that I hadn’t ever read any of the series before now. Based on this one book it seems like they’re solid mysteries, so they’re worth looking into.
This particular book is set in 1979, and that’s something that’ll become important to remember later. You’re going to see a lot of attitudes typical of the time, as well as a few specific events that were widespread at that time.
Warnings first: Being that this is a mystery, and that the main character is an investigator, it’s probably no surprise that she deals with violent cases. There are a few graphic murders here (all are described after the fact) with strangulation coming up as well as concerns of rape. There are also some homophobic comments made throughout the book, but it all comes from characters we’re not meant to like to begin with, so I suspect that was done to solidify that part.
Jane Tennison is an investigator who is very good at her job, unfortunately it seems like nobody else is willing to acknowledge that, least of all her superiors. Feel free to read into that however you’d like, but their reactions to her make it pretty clear why they feel that way.
I love how absorbed I got in this mystery – it’s been a while since I picked up a mystery that I truly felt compelled to finish all in one sitting. So that was a really refreshing change for me. It was well written, well thought out, and while there was a bit of a surprise ending, I was mostly okay with it (especially as the surprise pertains to the conclusion, not the criminal’s revelation).
What I really enjoyed was taking all those tropes about the “good ‘ol boys” police clubs and threw them out the window. Actually, La Plante did more than that. She actively showed how toxic those attitudes could be, personally and professionally, and how it can affect the very cases these people were working on.
I’m so glad that I gave this series a chance, though I’ll have to confess that I didn’t realize this was the fourth book in the series when I picked it up. If I had I likely would have never given it the chance I did – so for once I’m happy for that little mistake I made. I’m clearly going to have to go through and read the rest of Lynda La Plante’s books – I’ve been craving a mystery series exactly like this, so I couldn’t be happier with my most recent discovery.