Pure Evil - Book Review
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When I first saw the novel, Pure Evil
, on the bookshelves of my local library, I wondered why would I be tempted by a title that suggested such horror.
When I saw that the author was Lynda La Plante, the Queen of British crime drama, it led me to take a second look. Readers of my articles will know that I do not hide the fact that I am a fan of Lynda's work. Not only do I enjoy solving the crimes but I also like the back stories and lives of her lead detectives and I was hoping that this would bring some joy beyond the idea of the 'Pure Evilness' of the plot.
So, after the first three intro pages, I was assured that evilness would await the characters. It centres around a series of runaway teenage girls who go missing in London. They appear to be lured away from railway stations upon their arrival in the UK capital with the promise of a warm place to stay from a welcome, friendly stranger.
The case is assigned to La Plante's Detective Jack Warr. He and his team make a gruesome discovery at the basement flat of seemingly mental health patient Rodney Middleton and his girlfriend Amanda but begin to wonder whether Rodney is using mental health up a cover for more sinister, pathological behaviour.
If that is not enough, this is a story of two cases. The concurrent mystery involves Jack's superior officer, Inspector Ridley, who is being set up and suspected of murder in a completely unrelated incident. So Jack is working independently, after hours and undercover to try and find clues to clear the charge against his boss while also battling the horrors of the Rodney Middleton case.
While the stories are always full of suspense and wonder, it is how the detectives go about their daily lives while solving the crimes that I most enjoy. Jack is married to Maggie, a doctor in the UK's National Health Service and they have a young daughter, Hannah. Juggling busy careers in the midst of the pandemic and with an ailing mother are all additional challenges for the young couple. How much more can Lynda possibly jam into one story I wondered! So in that, these stories lighten the fictional load of the murder scenes and prove that it is not all 'Pure Evil'.
Across the 416 pages, La Plante again delivers another great murder mystery. If you haven't read one of her novels, perhaps give it a try and if you already have, then get ready to enjoy her latest read with the same signature depth of surprise and literary satisfaction.
About Lynda La Plante
Lynda La Plante, a former actress published her debut novel, The Legacy
, in 1987 and became a bestseller. She has since published over 30 books, including the Anna Travis
series, fictional favourites including Widows, Judas Horse, The Red Dahlia
Her latest book, Pure Evil
, was published in 2023 by Simon and Schuster.
82708 - 2023-06-11 06:33:44