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Seriously Good Crime Thriller: Read an extract from Murder Mile by Lynda La Plante

August 20, 2018

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It’s February 1979, and economic collapse has led to widespread strikes all across Britain. The country is in a state of chaos, with rubbish mounting on the streets; it’s a desperately difficult time for the country,

and everyone is feeling the pressure – especially Jane Tennison.

Now a detective sergeant, Tennison has been posted to Peckham CID, one of London’s roughest areas. It isn’t long before she realises that rubbish-littered streets are the least of her problems – there’s bodies littering the streets, as well – two in just two days, to be exact.

The only link between the victims is the location, found within walking distance of each other near Rye Lane. Before Tennison can connect the two murders, a third murder occurs in the same location, and the public are quick to react. Headlines claim that there is a serial killer loose on ‘Murder Mile,’ and that police incompetence and corruption is hampering the hunt.

Tennison begins to feel the pressure, and is determined to prove the media, public, and her male-dominated workforce wrong by finding the killer. But it’s no easy feat. Working long hours withlittle to no sleep, what Tennison uncovers is so twisted that it makes her doubt her own mind…

The fourth edition in the bestselling Jane Tennison thrillers, Murder Mile is absorbingly twisty in its plot, with wholly captivating characters. Set at the height of ‘The Winter of Discontent,’ Tennison, who in this prequel to Prime Suspect is only just beginning her police career, is limited by the available technology of the time. Little access to forensics adds a psychological layer to the book that really enhances the narrative.

Plante’s careful construction of Tennison’s character is remarkable – even this early in her career, she is strong, intelligent, and unapologetically determined. It’s refreshing to read such a powerful female lead in a genre that typically favours male protagonists.

Lynda La Plante knows how to write a captivating thriller. Her immaculate attention to detail transports the reader to another time, making the novel as much a piece of historical fiction as it is a seriously good crime thriller. Incredibly nuanced and layered, the writing in Murder Mile masters the conventions of multiple genres to deliver a novel that is both emotionally and intellectually stimulating.

If you enjoy historical fiction or crime fiction that not only gets your heart racing, but also celebrates powerful women who defy social expectations, then we strongly recommend Murder Mile.

About the author:

Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing – and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series Widows. Her novels have all been international bestsellers.

Her original script for the much-acclaimed Prime Suspect won awards from BAFTA, Emmys, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society. Tennison was adapted by ITV and broadcast in March 2017 in the UK.

Lynda is one of only three screenwriters to have been made an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Best Writer Award in 2000. In 2008 she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Literature, Drama and Charity.

Purchase a copy of Murder Mile here 


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