Lynda La Plante

Murder Mile

"...a typically gripping novel from a mistress of her craft and one you will devour!"


February, 1979, 'The Winter of Discontent'. Economic chaos has led to widespread strikes across Britain.

Jane Tennison, now a Detective Sergeant, has been posted to Peckham CID, one of London's toughest areas. As the rubbish on the streets begins to pile up, so does the murder count: two bodies in as many days.

There are no suspects and the manner of death is different in each case. The only link between the two victims is the location of the bodies, found within a short distance of each other near Rye Lane in Peckham. Three days later another murder occurs in the same area. Press headlines scream that a serial killer is loose on 'Murder Mile' and that police incompetence is hampering the investigation.

Jane is under immense pressure to catch the killer before they strike again. Working long hours with little sleep, what she uncovers leaves her doubting her own mind.

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This is the fourth in La Plante’s, ‘Tennison’ series where we go back in time and see the beginnings of the steely and determined Sergeant Tennison who we originally met in the stunning ‘Prime Suspect’ TV series which gripped the nation. ‘Murder Mile’ takes place in the tail-end of the winter of discontent and it was only a few more months when Thatcher would sweep in to No.10 and Labour would be out in the cold for eighteen years. It will be interesting to see what La Plante makes of Tennison during the Thatcher years… but back to ‘Murder Mile’. This is a gripping police procedural which has a dash of Christie as the plot is quite involved and has plenty of twists that kept me guessing and second-guessing about the murderer. However, this isn’t Poirot and La Plante studiously keeps to the police procedural, so you learn everything as soon as Tennison does, which makes it a level playing field and made me feel more involved with the story. There is no great ‘reveal’ here, but a team of police officers through checking and re-checking their facts, slowly bring a case against their suspect for these violet crimes. There is plenty of gory details if that is your bag, but La Plante doesn’t go in to too much gruesome detail, so that she appeals to a broad readership. ‘Murder Mile’ is a typically gripping novel from a mistress of her craft and one you will devour!

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