cover image Judas Horse

Judas Horse

Lynda La Plante. Zaffre (IPG, dist.), $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-78576-980-1

La Plante’s so-so sequel to 2020’s Buried starts more strongly than it finishes. Like many a maverick cop, Det. Sgt. Jack Warr, of the Metropolitan Police, has a “reputation for doggedly following his instincts, regardless of how dubious that course of action seemed to everyone else.” Because he can think like a crook, his boss tasks him with catching a burglar who has terrorized a London neighborhood for five years. Warr’s quick apprehension of the thief leads to a similar assignment after the police in the Cotswolds ask for help. Their beat has been plagued for years by burglars targeting wealthy residents, whose desire for privacy makes them uncooperative. Soon after Warr arrives in the area, a married couple are hit by the burglars, who use a laser to break into their home’s safe and victimize their autistic adult son. More violence ups the ante. Nothing about Warr, who’s so consumed by work that he forgets the naming ceremony for his first child, breaks any molds. The psychological depth La Plante brought to her Jane Tennison books is absent in this routine police procedural. (Mar.)