In 1972 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where criminality thrives. We witness her struggle to cope in a male-dominated, chauvinistic environment, learning fast to deal with shocking situations with no help or sympathy from her superiors. Then comes her involvement in her first murder case. No one witnessed the savage beating of a tragic young girl who, the post-mortem reveals,was pregnant when she died. The murder enquiry is soon running cold…
As soon as I finished this book, I went on and purchased the second one. It was that good! And I’m so happy that the third installment is releasing soon, as I couldn’t be more excited. I think I’ve found yet another favorite series to follow.
Tennison tells the story of Jane Tennison from the Prime Suspect TV show. However, this new series is based on Jane’s first years in the police, back in the 70s. I admit I’ve never watched the original show, but I did watch some episodes of the new one (Prime Suspect 1973, which has now been canceled). I was really enjoying it and that’s why I decided I needed to give the book a chance as soon as possible.
Jane Tennison is young and inexperienced. She has to deal with sexism in the police station and, in addition, older officers think she has no idea of what she’s doing. I really loved that Jane wasn’t always tough and unbreakable. She was sweet and naïve and she fell in love and made some mistakes. This is actually like a “coming of age” book except that it’s set in a police station. Jane learns a lot during her first months as a probationer and she deals with plenty of bad stuff. However, she is always passionate about her job and I particularly enjoyed reading about how different Jane and her family were. Her family wants her to settle down and get married and she’s only thinking of murders.
Another thing I think you should know: the book is REALLY LONG. Like more than 600 pages. I wish it had been shorter, yes, I always do, but Tennison was still extremely engaging and it was an amazing story overall, so I can’t complain. I loved it. However, there was something that caught me by surprise. There are two cases in this book and one of them is solved at approximately 70%. I didn’t realize there were going to be two different cases, which I think was a weird decision but the result was solid anyway.
My favorite thing about this book? Lynda LaPlante wasn’t afraid to take risks. And no, I don’t mean about the cases. I don’t think the “mysteries” were particularly unique, but I was completely shocked by the time I reached the ending. There was so much going on and I didn’t expect it would all end that way. Police procedurals don’t usually end like that.
I hope I’ve intrigued you…I hope you want to read it 😋
Simon & Schuster UK, 2015