Friday, 21 September 2012

Book review: Deadly Intent by Lynda La Plante

Deadly Intent (Anna Travis Mystery, #4)Deadly Intent by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At the beginning of Lynda La Plante's Deadly Intent this book was a four. As the case continued, it stuck to a four, but by the end I was so fed up with the case and frustrated with the characters that I went down a star.
The case starts with ex-policeman Frank Brandon being shot in a squat. The whole case spirals, with several dead bodies, all linked in some way to Alexander Fitzpatrick a drug baron who disappeared over ten years ago.
Alongside the complicated case, is DI Travis' personal relationships which seem to get more ridiculous by the second. But more about that later.
The actual case is good, exciting, lots of evidence and strings that all seem to knit nicely together as the book steams along. I'll admit, this book certainly has the 'pull', as one chapter ends you just want to start another. I read most of this book when I was travelling and it was a welcome friend on the long train journeys.
The book gets three stars for the case and La Plante's writing, which is quite tense in places. I can't really put my finger on it, but there is something that keeps you reading.
What really fell down for me was DI Travis, all the characters really. I found Anna whiny, she complained about everything, even when it was well deserved. She made bad choices and had no appreciation for her colleagues. To be honest, apart from Gordon, I felt no affection towards any of the characters. This was my first Lynda La Plante novel, so I didn't know anything about Travis' relationship with Langton, but when we meet him, I can't see the attraction. He's an arse to her. Her relationship with Pete, the Lab Tech is just as bad. He introduces her to drugs and despite asking him to stop taking drugs, he still does and she doesn't show any reaction to this.
The last quarter of the book is mainly interviews, and by this point I was ready to give up. The last chapter really got my goat. As their search for Alexander Fitzpatrick is drawing to a close, she makes a decision. Personally I think she made the right decision, although her bosses do not. After getting told off, and possibly demoted by Langton she goes home and manages to talk herself into believing she'd made the right one. Despite her telling off and everything else, she risks it all and agrees to go on a date with someone who was at one point a suspect in the case! And at that point I was considering going down to two stars!
Anyway, after my long rant, it's up to you. I personally am in no hurry to read another Lynda La Plante, especially an Anna Travis novel, but if you like your lead a fluffy female officer with a string of bad relationships, then pick this book up.

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