Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: Prime Suspect

Lynda La Plante's Prime Suspect is the quintessential crime thriller. Jane Tennison is a woman investigator trying to gain the respect of her male colleagues, and, quite frankly, just get in there and be able to do her job in a workplace that is overtly hostile and unwilling to let a woman do what they consider to be a man's job. Written in the early nineties, it often feels like the sixties in terms of their derogatory comments about women, but then again, I never worked on a murder squad in Great Britain, so I can't comment on the realism factor, can I?

What I loved about the book was that the crime was interesting and you were kept on your toes -- is the prime suspect the guy or not? -- the entire time. What was a little strange to me was that I hated every single character for almost the entire book. I didn't even like the main character, the woman investigator we are supposed to be rooting for, until about 20 pages before the conclusion, when all of a sudden all of the characters become either bearable or likable. It was an interesting phenomenon, but not something to make me dislike the book. It was certainly not something I ever remember happening while reading a book, so I guess that can be good, right? 

I also really liked the Brit-speak and all the fun lexicons, and liked that while it was there, it was not overwhelming for an American reader -- it's all easy to figure out based on the context if you have never heard one of the words before, so it's not like anyone's talking over your head or trying to confuse you. The one thing I have to say I disliked was the way she sometimes would have a very short paragraph, page break, short paragraph on someone else, page break, paragraph on someone else, page break, and on and on and on. I have read a handful of people say it felt like they were reading an episode of Law & Order, but to me it would be like watching Law & Order and hearing BONG-BONG every ten seconds for a solid five minutes. It made me want to bash my head in at times. But at the end of the book when the action gets intense, it totally works, so if you think that's the way a crime novel SHOULD be written, then this is the book for you.

All in all, it's not my favorite book I've ever read, and it's not even my favorite crime/thriller/mystery novel, but if you are the type of person who loves the genre and reads a book a day, I would highly suggest this book. There are also two more Prime Suspect novels that follow Jane Tennison past this book, so if you like it, you have plenty more to read!

This book was reviewed for TLC Book Tours. If you'd like to read what other people had to say about this and the next two books in the series, click HERE to see the full schedule of reviewers.


  1. I read Prime Suspect and immediately contacted my local library for the other two books. Alas, all they have are the tv shows...

    1. Drat! We'll have to make some British friends so we can get our hands on them!

  2. I heard that "bong bong" noise in my head too. I hate that.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one for the tour!


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