by Lynda la Plante (Simon & Schuster) ISBN: 978 0857 201812
Inspector Anna Travis, still haunted by the murder of her fiancé, takes on an investigation that, on the surface, looks like a missing person’s case. Alan Rawlins was a loving son and boyfriend. He wouldn’t just leave his life behind without a trace, would he? His elderly father suspects foul play; that his girlfriend has something to do with his sudden disappearance.
When evidence of blood is found in Alan’s flat, it’s clear this is a murder investigation – and the case is blown wide open for Anna. As the story unravels, it becomes clear that Alan’s life was far from perfect. Family secrets, clandestine lovers, this victim was living the classic double life.
Not only does Anna have to sift through a web of subtle, seemingly irrelevant clues and forensic evidence, she has her superior, James Langdon, second-guessing her every move. Langdon doesn’t believe she’s worked through her own recent bereavement and it could be affecting her judgement.
La Plante, creator of a string of successful novels and television dramas, writes with a compelling sense of immediacy. What she lacks in style, she makes up for in a cracking good story and a brutally fast pace. It’s crime entertainment at its best – like a really good episode of Law & Order.