Tuesday, 29 August 2017

5* review - Good Friday by Lynda La Plante


Every legend has a beginning . . . 

During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused - some were not. 

Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can't identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation. 

'Good Friday' is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin's Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It's the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London's entire detective force? 

It is 1975 and Jane Tennison is a detective with the police force, she faces discrimination (at levels we hopefully do not see in these ages?!), and she wants to move on to the more glamorous Flying Squad which she is told is extremely unlikely and is offered the less glamorous Dip squad.

After initial reservations she is quickly thrown into a terrifying situation when a bomb is detonated near to her in Covent Garden tube station causing destruction, fatalities and mass chaos. It set at the time when the IRA were active and fear was widespread.

Jane is unfortunately a witness, identified in the press and therefore in great danger.

She is naive and makes some dubious decisions which do not help her cause to further her career within the highly male dominated force, until she inadvertently makes a major breakthrough which could save the lives of many of her colleagues.

I really enjoyed this book, it is the first of the Jane Tennison books I've read and now I'm itching to read the rest.

It was new to me as I was not born until the very late 70s and I found it interesting reading this time period - it felt strange that people were relying on calling landlines and not sending text messages and emails!

I liked the dynamics amongst the team, and I really enjoyed Jane's character. I did feel like shouting at her a few times when her naivety nearly got her into very deep trouble!

I would highly recommend this fast paced page turner. It has left me eager to read more!

Many thanks to Annabelle at edpr for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review

Good Friday by Lynda La Plante is out now, published by Bonnier Zaffre in hardback. RRP £18.99.

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