This time Anna Travis is enlisted to uncover the mystery of a young woman who is found brutally murdered and dumped at the perimeter of a motorway service station. In trying to discover the identity of the woman, they hit a series of brick walls that leads to high tension, frustration and, most disturbingly, more bodies. Just when the case looks like it might be becoming cold, Anna gets a message from a former nemesis; Cameron Welsh. Anna helped put Welsh behind bars, but now he insists that he can help and he will only speak to her. Much as she wants nothing to do with Welsh, Anna must put her feelings to one side in order to solve a murder, but it soon emerges that Welsh’s help comes at a high price.
I have to say that I’m really not sure about this book. It is only the second that I have read by Lynda La Plante and they have both been from the series that features Anna Travis, which may well be my problem. There is something about her that I find tedious. Anna is the typical underdog woman trying to make it in a man’s world, but rather than willing her to succeed I find myself wishing she would just get a grip. La Plante writes her heroine as a strong willed character, who can fight her own battles, but one who has a softer side that her colleagues rarely see. La Plante explores this softer side much more in Blind Fury and, as she did, I found myself warming to the character much more. She seemed at times a lot more human and much less arrogant, which I found less frustrating to read. Unfortunately this new persona is short lived and so my annoyance with the character prevailed.
I also found the story a little predictable. The format of the book is exactly what you’d expect from its kind, with suspense and tension a plenty. But I there were quite as many twists and turns as I’d have liked and this is what lead to the predictability of the outcome. Not only that, but there were a couple of red herrings in there that I just didn’t think were believable or plausible in the context, which added to the predictability of the story.
Having said that, I didn’t dislike the book and I did read it, quite happily to the end. La Plante writes characters (aside from Anna Travis, obviously) quite well and I enjoyed her descriptions of people and the imagery that they gave. She was particularly successful in portraying Cameron Welsh as the cold and calculating killer that he is. She writes him in a way that makes him clever and disgusting all at once.
I also think that La Plante writes relationships between the characters well. Anna’s relationship with her boss James Langton is interesting to read about; it provides an oasis in a desert of doom and gloom. The relationship has evolved so that the two characters are more equal and Anna is no longer the pining young girl that she has previously been portrayed as.
Overall, I would say that this is an average thriller book. It certainly wasn’t as good as the other of La Plante’s books that I’ve read (Silent Scream), but it was readable and enjoyable for the most part.