Unholy Murder

Lynda La Plante. Zaffre (IPG, dist.), $16 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-83877-451-6
Set sometime in the 1970s, La Plante’s middling seventh procedural featuring Jane Tennison as a young cop (after 2020’s Blunt Force) finds the detective sergeant posted to the CID office in the London borough of Bromley, where she moved after becoming a pariah for bringing down a colleague in her previous assignment. There, workers at a construction site where a convent once stood discover a metal coffin containing the body of a nun, and scratch marks on the inner lid indicate she was sealed in the coffin while still alive. As the crime is likely decades-old and the victim unidentifiable, Tennison faces some opposition to investigating vigorously. The plot unfolds glacially, and Tennison becomes involved with a man connected to the case, an error in judgment that predictably threatens her professional reputation. Indifferent prose (after a date, Tennison asks herself, “Could he finally be Mr. Right?”) and a second potential love-interest, also linked to the investigation, don’t help. The solution is a yawner and doesn’t showcase the investigative skills Tennison displays later in her career. Those fond of TV’s Prime Suspect featuring the mature Tennison can safely pass. Agent: Nigel Stoneman, La Plante Global. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/11/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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