Above Suspicion – Lynda La Plante

Don’t give me that look, thrillers are literature too.

You may have seen the adaptations on ITV, but seriously read the book as well – there is so much that they couldn’t fit in. Particularly about Travis and Langton.

For years, the bodies of prostitutes killed the same brutal way – and apparently by the same brutal man – have been piling up. But this time the victim is an “innocent” girl with the “face of an angel”, the killer’s MO is changing and that can only mean trouble; which makes it a great first day on the Murder Squad for DS Anna Travis.

This is an annoying compelling novel, and I mean annoyingly. It’s the kind of you-know-exactly-how-it’s-going-to-end-but-you-want-to-how-stops-your-life-for-the-day book that just pushes pleasant bookish addiction into irritating inconvenience. Particularly as if you actually read the words on the page in front of you, and you notice it’s not particularly well-written, cliché-ridden and well, a bit obvious. I don’t insist on Holmesian feats of amazing plot twists, but I like not to see what’s going to happen at twenty paces.

The making, or salvation, of the novel is the slightly screwball relationship between Travis and Langton. I have to admit it’s probably the only reason I stuck it through to the end – having already seen the adaptation, the relationship is really the only thing which changes dramatically.  Having said that, towards the end their relationship just starts to hit too many false and contrived notes – the way the book ends is such a fake, soft-focus girl-power moment it undermines all that went before.

3 out of 5. Twi-hard with a vengeance, ’til next time. (Seriously people, I need a better sign-off – answers on a postcard!)