Jim's Books

Clean Cut

Lynda La Plante

Clean Cut
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Buy book: UK

ISBN: 9781849834353


Dedicated, intuitive and utterly obsessive, DCI James Langton is ruthless in his pursuit of a gang of illegal immigrants, killers of a young prostitute. When he is horrifically, almost fatally injured by one of them, it falls upon DI Anna Travis to put her own career on hold as she nurses him through his intense frustration and desperation to bring his would-be murderer to justice. Then Anna is assigned to a different case, the brutal killing of a quiet, studious woman whose body was discovered by her daughter returning home from school. A senseless attack with no obvious motive or immediate suspect. Until, chillingly, the case becomes unexpectedly linked with Langton's and Anna finds herself under similar threat from those who almost destroyed his career and his life.

Reviewed on 26th February 2014

The third Anna Travis book has an interesting structure, with the main central crime story bookended by two soap opera sections - more character-driven emotional parts of the story. The plot itself is quite complex and ties together a number of threads in a way that seems rather implausible.

The soapy parts of the story are actually interesting, and Travis certainly gets a lot more character action than your typical alcoholic divorcee detective (which she isn't). She has a surprisingly authentic relationship and manages to balance it well with her career in a way that makes her a perfectly believable character.

The main plot is complicated, and at times I found myself getting confused by the wide array of characters and trying to understand the relationships between them. I've recently begun to wonder whether there's worth in mapping out the characters and relationships in books I read so that I don't get lost, and this is certainly one that might have benefited. To an extent I think this confusion is a plot device to make the reader sympathise more with the central character.

I did enjoy reading this book, although I felt it was a little long and things were dragged out more than was necessary. The balance of personal life and career was good, but I felt they could have been mixed together a little more. The next book is on my shelf and waiting.

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