Monday, September 16, 2013

Wrongful Death by Lynda La Plante : Review

Six months after the body of Josh Reynolds, a London nightclub owner, was found and determined by police and coroner to be a suicide, DCS James Langton tasks DCI Anna Travis to review the case. Reynolds died from a single gunshot wound to the head, the gun held in his right hand. But details are emerging that suggest someone else may have fired the gun...

As soon as she wraps up the case, Langton tells Anna she can join him at the FBI Academy in Virginia for training. Meanwhile, a Senior FBI Agent, Jessie Dewar, crime scene expert, is seconded to Anna's team as part of her research and immediately the competence of the original investigation team is questioned.

Star Rating


I received this book from Simon & Schuster for an honest review.

Surprisingly, as a lover of crime fiction, this was the first novel by Lynda La Plante that I have read and it definitely won't be the last. This was an extremely detailed and exciting read that followed the investigation of Anna Travis and her team as they worked to discover what really happened to Josh Reynolds on that fateful night. Was it suicide or murder? What secrets would unfold as the closed suicide case became a homicide investigation?

Lynda La Plante has told this thrilling mystery story in enormous detail with many references to the particulars of crime investigations. Throughout the book, the reader is exposed to an array of evidence including blood splatter patterns, finger prints, interviews and CCTV footage. All this contributes to the realism of the plot and helped me to form opinions and theories in my mind. The book had many twists and turns and I kept changing my mind all the way through as to who I thought may have murdered Josh Reynolds. I would make a terrible detective!

The story was very reminiscent of recent popular series such as Dexter and Luther and the characters involved were very likeable and real. I was particularly drawn to the relationships between Detectives Travis and Dewar and later on between Travis and Bane as their relationship blossomed at the FBI training camp.

At a grand total of 500 pages I did at times find myself struggling and found the detail included quite draining. However, there was a welcomed break in plot roughly halfway through the book as Detective Anna Travis left for America to take part in the FBI training course. Here, she set upon a new case to discover what happened to a missing school girl and this subplot added an exciting twist to the story.

Lynda La Plante made good use of rhetoric and questioning in her writing to make the reader feel involved in the case and part of the discovery. I was eager to find out who killed Josh Reynolds and why and found myself with that end of 'Cluedo' feeling upon my discovery.

I am giving this book 4 stars as I feel the story could have been told in less pages and sometimes in less detail. However, for all crime lovers out there with a strong interest in police investigations this is a must read.

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