Post Script: Tennison – Lynda La Plante

A police procedural at it’s best!

Tennison Lynda La Plante Cover


Lynda La Plante

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781471140518



From the creator of the award-winning ITV series Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren, comes the fascinating back story of the iconic DCI Jane Tennison.

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…


My View:

I predict this will be a number one seller!


In March 2014 Lynda La Plante announced that she was returning to writing about the character she created in the Prime Suspect series which later was adapted for a very successful TV series of the same name; anyone who is over the age of thirty will immediately recognise the name DCI Jane Tennison and the name of the first victim in this series, Della Mornay.


So it goes without saying that a new book – a prequel to this series based on Jane Tennisons’s early career and life will be immensely popular. I jumped at the chance of reading and reviewing this book knowing I would be in for a treat. I wasn’t disappointed.


This is a wonderful introduction to the character many of us are already familiar with- Jane Tennison. In this book we meet WPC Jane Tennison as she embarks on her probationary period with the Metropolitan Police based at Hackney – a very violent and rough part of London at the time. The 1970’s is a time of immense change in the world in general – feminism is speaking loudly to all the world, though not necessarily being heard or embraced by all – especially not by those in such strong empires of male power – such as the police force – Jane experiences firsthand sexism, discrimination, exploitation and bullying on a daily basis. The world of policing is rapidly changing in many other areas – forensic science is forging ahead, DNA profiling is making its presence felt and crimes scenes are being read in ways not considered in the past. Criminal behaviour (on the force and in the street) is also changing – gangs are more organised, harder drugs are being touted…bribery and corruption are the norm. Jane enters a world that offers her no favours, that does not recognise her talents or her ambition but slowly her determination and intelligence is making a mark. This is the world that shaped Jane into the DCI will all grew to know and love in Prime Suspect.


By the way – I also loved the music references in this novel – especially those of Janis Joplin and The Moody Blues, the couple of tracks mentioned in the novel are favourites and instantly take me back to a different time.


Tennison is a fast moving, engaging and satisfying read. I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series. Enjoy.


15 thoughts on “Post Script: Tennison – Lynda La Plante

  1. I’m also a reader of crime fiction so will put this on my list. I was around and “in the business” in the 70’s and experienced first hand the beginnings of women in police work. I have used several women characters in my fiction both for good and not so good and yes, they have come a long way.

  2. Oh, now this does sound interesting, Carol! I liked Prime Suspect very much, and Dame Helen Mirren was fantastic in the main role. You’ve reminded me, too, that I’ve yet to do a spotlight on one of Lynda La Plante’s books. Something I should rectify.

  3. Ah, I didn’t realise she’d done a new one, when we were talking about this earlier. Sounds intriguing! Really can’t fit it in right now, I’m so far behind, but I’ll put it on the list for sometime in the future… great review! What was the Moody Blues song?

  4. Pingback: First Tennison review! | Lynda La Plante CBE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.