Author: Lynda La Plante
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Publication Date: 24th August 2017
Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
BEFORE ‘PRIME SUSPECT’ THERE WAS TENNISON . 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?
What I Thought:
Good Friday is the third book in the Jane Tennison series by Lynda La Plante. The Tennison series takes the formidable DCI Tennison from the Prime Suspect series back to her beginnings as a new recruit fresh out of Hendon. Good Friday sees Jane become a WDC and move to work as part of the Dip Squad, part of the Met Police who excel in surveillance and are focusing on pick pockets operating around Oxford Street. Within days of her transfer Jane finds herself caught up in a bombing at Covent Garden Tube Station. I read Good Friday without reading the full blurb and I think I probably enjoyed the book more because of that so I’ve whited out some of the text in the About The Book above, feel free to highlight for the full blurb!
For me Good Friday is my introduction to the book version of Jane Tennison, although I knew of the character and had watched some episodes of Prime Suspect, I hadn’t read any of Lynda La Plante’s books and I missed Prime Suspect: 1973 when that aired this year so I was completely unfamiliar with this younger Jane. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, within a couple of chapters I was completely hooked and managed to finish the book within two sittings. While I’m sure there’s certain parts of the book that may have been enhanced with a little bit of additional background knowledge from reading the earlier two books in the series I found that Good Friday worked exceptionally well as a standalone novel, everything I needed to know to enjoy the book was there, I didn’t get the feeling I was missing large pieces of information, although I enjoyed it that much I am keen to go back to the beginning!
Good Friday is set in the 1970s and focuses heavily on the bombing campaign of the IRA. It’s a period of history that I didn’t experience first hand having only been born in the late 1980s, through school and general conversation I’m aware of a lot of the events that happened, such as the Brighton bombings in the early 80s, and I remember the Manchester bombing in 1996 as I had family living in the area at the time. However Lynda does an incredible job of bringing the 1970s to life for me, from the specifics of living through a sustained period of bombings, to the general feeling of life as a female within the police force.
Within the novel Jane deals with a number of changes to her life, requesting a transfer to a different station following her move into CID, and a move from section housing into her own flat, these two things alone would be enough to deal with without being caught up in the middle of a terrorist bombing! I really enjoyed seeing Jane deal with all of this, without wanting to give plot points away it was great to see what I felt was a realistic portrayal of the character at this stage of her career, Jane isn’t perfect, on occasions she lets her emotions get the better of her, she disobeys orders and she makes mistakes, she’s not a supercop, she’s human. That said there are little hints at the competent detective she has the potential to become, little details she picks up on and ideas she thinks of that have been overlooked by others.
Lynda also surrounds Jane with a wonderful cast of characters, from her new colleagues of the Dip Squad and DS Dexter, the handsome ex army bomb disposal expert now working with the Met’s bomb squad, to Pearl, Jane’s new lodger and Natalie, a face from Jane’s past at Hendon, who appears back in her life.
Lynda’s created a wonderful world, that tastefully mixes reality with fiction, in a fast moving plot that will keep you up reading late into the night. Her writing will have you second guessing each of the characters, wondering who has a hidden agenda, and which of them you should or shouldn’t trust. I’m certainly hoping at least a few of them will pop up in future books.
Would I Recommend?
Absolutely! Good Friday is a fantastic thriller! Lynda throws you head first into Jane’s world in the 1970s, and sends you on a journey of discovery, through twists and turns that leave you questioning all the characters and their motives. For me it was a wonderful first insight into the world of WDC Jane Tennison, it was fabulous as a standalone, but I’m sure it will also continue to appeal to established fans of both the Tennison and Prime Suspect series. Me, I’ll be picking up Tennison and Hidden Killers and eagerly awaiting the release of Murder Mile next year!
Want To Buy It?
Good Friday by Lynda La Plante is out now, published by Bonnier Zaffre in hardback. RRP £18.99.
Be sure to check out posts from other people on the tour over the next few days!
If you’ve read Good Friday I’d love to know what you thought! Let me know in the comments!