cover image Above Suspicion

Above Suspicion

Lynda La Plante, . . Touchstone, $14 (392pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-7685-6

La Plante's gripping thriller (after Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood and the Prime Suspect television series) launches the crime-fighting career of another brainy, sexy female homicide detective, fledgling London copper Anna Travis. As the bright and eager young daughter of recently deceased Detective Chief Superintendent Travis, Anna is hired by Detective Chief Inspector Langton, whose murder team has been completely outfoxed by a serial killer with a trail of six murdered prostitutes dating back 12 years. Anna joins the team just as they identify the corpse of a younger victim with no history of prostitution, a casualty that Langton takes as a sign of the killer's escalating blood lust. Further investigation reveals handsome up-and-coming film actor Alan Daniels as a potential suspect, and Anna and Langton widen their inquiry to include Daniels's past movie locations in the U.S., following a trail of victims to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Suspense builds and circumstantial evidence continues to pile up, but absolute proof eludes Anna and Langton as the sociopathic suspect attempts to turn his seductive powers on Anna. With crime lab authenticity, a sympathetic heroine and an affecting undercurrent of May-December romance between Anna and Langton, this spellbinder spirals down to an edge-of-the-seat denouement. (Jan.)