Most people hear best-selling British author La Plante's name and think of embattled Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison (as played by Helen Mirren) of Prime Suspect fame. While the author's last novel, Royal Heist, was a crime caper, here she returns to the familiar (and beloved) police procedural. In this sharp and fast-paced book, twentysomething Anna Travis is a literary descendent of Jane Tennison. Assigned as a rookie detective to her first murder investigation, Anna experiences a different police climate then her progenitor did. The murder team to which she's assigned is trying to find a serial killer who has moved from preying on prostitutes to killing an "innocent" young woman. Driven to succeed and alternately challenged and charmed by her new boss, Chief Inspector Langton, Anna has her work cut out for her-especially when their prime suspect takes a personal interest in her. Though the mystery is not all that gripping, the cat-and-mouse game between cop and killer is. And as always, La Plante excels at involving readers in the inner workings of a police investigation. Recommended for public libraries.-Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
La Plante's gripping thriller (after Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood and the Prime Suspect television series) launches the crime-fighting career of another brainy, sexy female homicide detective, fledgling London copper Anna Travis. As the bright and eager young daughter of recently deceased Detective Chief Superintendent Travis, Anna is hired by Detective Chief Inspector Langton, whose murder team has been completely outfoxed by a serial killer with a trail of six murdered prostitutes dating back 12 years. Anna joins the team just as they identify the corpse of a younger victim with no history of prostitution, a casualty that Langton takes as a sign of the killer's escalating blood lust. Further investigation reveals handsome up-and-coming film actor Alan Daniels as a potential suspect, and Anna and Langton widen their inquiry to include Daniels's past movie locations in the U.S., following a trail of victims to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Suspense builds and circumstantial evidence continues to pile up, but absolute proof eludes Anna and Langton as the sociopathic suspect attempts to turn his seductive powers on Anna. With crime lab authenticity, a sympathetic heroine and an affecting undercurrent of May-December romance between Anna and Langton, this spellbinder spirals down to an edge-of-the-seat denouement. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.