Source: Review Copy
BEFORE PRIME SUSPECT THERE WAS TENNISON.
Every legend has a beginning . . .
During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not.
Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.
‘Good Friday’ is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin’s Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It’s the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London’s entire detective force?
Good Friday is the first book by Lynda La Plante which I have read. Although this is book number three in the early Jane Tennison series, I didn’t have any trouble getting into the storyline. If you are new to Lynda La Plante as well, I would definitely recommend giving this series a go.
Jane Tennison is just starting out in her career in the metropolitan police and she is keen to make her mark. Set in the mid-seventies, London is on high alert, fearing a new attack by the IRA every day. Jane transfers to the dip squad with the hope of being promoted to the bomb squad in just a few short months. But a few days after her transfer, Jane is caught up in an IRA attack at Covent Garden Tube station. She becomes a vital witness as she and another victim are the only two people to have set eyes on the bomber. But as the police try to track down the attacker, it becomes clear that something much bigger is being planned; can Jane stop this new threat and save more lives from being lost in time?
Lynda captured the tension and the fear that the police and the public must’ve felt during the IRA attacks on London. I didn’t grow up during this time period, so I didn’t experience the terror that was felt on the streets of the capital, but I have heard horrific stories from that time.
It must be really interesting for a writer to go back and explore their character’s former years. Lynda sets her novel at a time when a career in the police force was very difficult for a woman to achieve, and we do see examples in this book of the prejudice that women in the force faced. Jane however soldiers on and we see a brilliant and determined character emerge in her. I am yet to read Lynda’s previous books set later in Jane’s career, so I am interested to see where Jane will go from here. Perhaps it is a good thing that I have started with these books, set earlier in Jane’s career, as this will give me more of an insight into her background for when I come round to reading Prime Suspect, which is where it all began.
Good Friday was thoroughly enjoyable. An addictive, suspense filled read.
Publication date: 22nd March 2018
Print length: 416 pages