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?
Last month I fell in love with the Tennison. Back then I had only read one book but I knew I would become an absolute fan of the series. Now I’ve read all three and I can honestly say I can’t wait for book four. I love how Lynda La Plante crafts her stories and it feels like I’m part of Jane’s team and I’m helping her investigate. This third installment, Good Friday, is about a bombing, a deadly explosion caused by the IRA. Unfortunately, Jane Tennison was there when it happened and she’s now part of the investigation: she has to protect a witness… and herself.
I love the way the characters come to life in La Plante’s books. Given that most of the guys are chauvinistic bastards (what did I expect, it’s the 70s!), she manages to make some of them stand out, and I’m almost rooting for them to become better people. Jane is lovely, I love how she’s not the typical badass detective (yet!), as she’s still kind of innocent and makes mistakes. But she has lots of potential. She sees things others don’t. And, unlike some of her colleagues, she cares.
The relationships are not the most important part of the story, but I nevertheless loved Jane’s interaction with both Church and the nurse, as well as Stanley. As for the personal storylines, Jane bought her first flat, got a new flatmate and she also became a bit infatuated with DS Dexter, although I was kind of wishing she didn’t. However, I really liked how it all turned out and I hope the next book is as equally engaging as this one.
Another aspect I enjoy about Tennison’s books is that not everything is about the “twist”. I think most of us were able to figure out who the bad guy was, but I didn’t care at all. I was so immersed in the story I just wanted to keep on reading. There are too many things going on. There isn’t just a case. There are various storylines going on at the same time and there isn’t anything simple about them.
Don’t miss this series if you’re looking for a police procedural that is both unique and thrilling until the very last page. These books are not just about the cases, but about police dynamics. I love it.
ARC, Bonnier Zaffre 2017