Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review: BLIND FURY by Lynda LaPlante

Pub. Date: July 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Format: Paperback , 512pp
ISBN-13: 9781439139301
ISBN: 143913930X

Description (from the publisher):
When the body of a young woman is discovered close to a highway service station, Detective Inspector Anna Travis is brought on to the team of investigators by her former lover and boss, Detective Chief Superintendent Langton. As more evidence is uncovered, the team realizes that they are contending with a triple murder investigation—and no suspect.

But then a murderer Anna helped arrest years ago makes contact from prison. Cameron Welsh insists that he can help track down the killer, but he will divulge his secrets only to Anna herself. Does he really have an insight into another criminal’s mind, or is he merely intent on getting into hers?
The team soon realizes that they are dealing with a killer whose deviousness has enabled him to commit horrific crimes, yet remain undetected for years. As the case draws to a close, Welsh’s obsession for Anna fuels a terrifying rage that will have disastrous consequences for Anna, who finds herself staring into the face of a desperate personal tragedy.

MY RATING:  4.5 Stars out of 5 -- Lots of suspense, rich details, an engaging heroine - Thoroughly enjoyable.

MY THOUGHTS:  oooooo! I had fun with this book! When I received an offer to review Lynda LaPlante's BLIND FURY, I didn't initially jump at the chance. I wasn't familiar with the author's work (or so I thought!) and BLIND FURY is the sixth novel in the Anna Travis series (not a problem at all!).  But it is the season for reading thrillers, and I do love British fiction, so . . . First I took a closer look at the author and discovered that she wrote the original Prime Suspect series (famously produced by Granada Television and starring the incomparable Dame Helen Mirran) as well as several other bestsellers. That was enough for me -- I LOVE the Prime Suspect series. It wouldn't be the first time I've plunged into the middle of a series, and I think that if a series novel is really good, it won't matter if you've read the previous titles.

As it turns out, BLIND FURY is one of the best thriller/police procedurals I've ever read. The characters are complex and interesting; the suspense is non-stop. But what really ranks it as a cut above the competition, is that I came away a bit more knowledgeable about British history. I generally consider the thriller genre to be a guilty pleasure -- as much as I love to indulge, I don't usually feel intellectually nourished. When I want a mystery with some substance, I turn to the likes of Peter Robinson or James Lee Burke. While LaPlante's book isn't so philosophically loaded, it did shine a light on an aspect of Bristish society and history of which I was unaware; specifically, the immigration of Poles during the period of WWII. (Sychronistically, stories of Polish immigrants are central to two other books currently on my nightstand -- 22 BRITANNIA ROAD by Amanda Hodgkinson and THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU by Rosie Alison. Isn't the world a funny place?!) In the case of BLIND FURY, Detective Inspector Anna Travis must consult with a convicted serial killer to determine who is responsible for a string of murders in which several of the victims are young Polish women.

Oh, wait a minute! Our heroine has to rely on help from a convicted serial killer? Hasn't that already been done? Sure, but not like this. Although the actions of the murderous Cameron Welsh result in this being a pivotal novel in the series, he's no Hannibal Lector, so readers shouldn't assume that they've met this character before.

Bottom line? I loved this book. I was completely engaged throughout -- 512 pages flew through my fingers. I like the flawed and damaged heroine, Anna Travis. I'm glad I can backtrack through the series and watch her make her way up through the ranks; and I'm really glad that the seventh book in the series, BLOODLINE, was recently released in the UK so I can find out where she's going!
About the author (from the publisher):
Lynda La Plante's fourteen novels, including the Prime Suspect series, have all been international bestsellers. She is an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and a member of the UK Crime Writers Awards Hall of Fame. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2008. She runs her own television production company and lives in London and Easthampton, New York.

Click here to visit the author's website.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in order to provide my honest opinion.


Michelle said...

I just wanted to let you know I'm a new follower. My blog is if you want to check it out.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, it sounds like this book would make your heart pound! I'll have to look for it.

Zibilee said...

I tend to shy away from books in this genre due to their predictability, but it sounds as if this one is not predictable at all, and is very suspenseful. I can imagine that I would love reading this and you've given it such an outstanding review that I am thinking this is one that I should not miss. Great review! I will be looking for it!

Wanda said...

When 512 pages can go flying through your fingers, you know you have a winner in your hands!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

Wow! Your enthusiasm shines through! As a big thriller fan myself, I know this one needs to go on my to-buy list now! Thanks for the review!