Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blood Line

Blood Line by Lynda La Plante
HarperCollins, 10/23/2012
Trade Paperback, 480 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062134325
Anna Travis Series #7

Still reeling from the death of her fiancĂ©, Detective Anna Travis has thrown herself into her new role as the chief inspector for London's murder squad. When Scotland Yard's missing persons bureau is unable to locate the son of a court employee, the superintendent—James Langton, Anna's former lover turned sometimes friend—urges her to take on the suspicious assignment.
But is this new investigation purely a missing persons case—or a full-blown murder inquiry? An ominous pool of blood with no locatable victim leads Anna on a desperate hunt for a man who has disappeared without a trace. With no body, and increasing pressure to make an arrest, Anna becomes obsessed with the smallest details of the case. Now, one man has vanished, a killer may be loose on the streets, and, as Langton looks on, Anna Travis may be losing control of the investigation—and of herself.

My Thoughts:
Blood Line by Lynda La Plante is the seventh novel in the Anna Travis series. In this case a missing person's report turns into a complicated murder investigation. DCI (Detective Chief Inspector ) Anna Travis heads the investigation.  Alan Rawlins, a mechanic, is missing. After reporting his son as a missing person, his father, an employee of the court system, prods Scotland Yard into looking at it as a murder investigation - but there is no body and little obvious evidence to support this supposition. Alan's fiancĂ©, Tina Brooks, seems unconcerned that he is missing and may believe he ran off with a girlfriend. 
What began as a few inquiries into a missing persons case soon turns into a ever-expanding murder investigation as everything and everyone may not be exactly what they claim. Evidence pointing to foul play and Alan's secret life begin to add up. At the same time Anna is struggling with her personal emotions and trying to not allow them to get in the way of the investigation.
Obviously, Lynda La Plante is an accomplished writer of mysteries and especially police procedurals. Among her accomplishments, she writes the "Prime Suspect" series which stars Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison and airs on the PBS program Mystery! in the U.S.A.) Blood Line follows suit as a methodical, step-by-step procedural, so at times it felt as if new evidence and information were slow to emerge. Even though you know right from the opening prologue that someone has died, you don't know for sure who it was, until the end.

This procedural novel published under the new HarperCollins Bourbon Street Books label, which is exciting. (Look for more upcoming mystery titles under this new imprint!)
 I enjoyed the slow-pace working through the investigation step by step, but I can see where some people might want a quicker pace. 
Highly Recommended - especially if you enjoy police procedurals

Lynda La Plante’s fourteen novels, including the Prime Suspect series, have all been international bestsellers. She is an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and a member of the UK Crime Writers Awards Hall of Fame. She runs her own television production company and lives in London and East Hampton, New York.
Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and TLC for review purposes. 
The first blow to his head made his body lurch sideways, striking his face against the bedside cabinet. opening
The small dapper man in the navy pin-striped suit had been waiting in the Hounslow police station reception for over an hour. He had not complained, but sat patiently reading his newspaper. when Anna Travis eventually walked into the room he folded the paper. pg. 3
Anna found it strange that Tina was so unemotional - helpful, yes, but she showed no signs of distress. Everything was very mater-of-fact. She had left the room to return with Alan's address book and passed it to Anna.
"He didn't have that many close friends, and we didn't really socialise that much as we were saving up..." pg. 15
"It's all too neat," she mumbled to herself. She closed her eyes, picturing the flat. It was as if there was deliberately nothing out of place. If there had been some kind of altercation or an argument, something that had forced Alan Rawlins to take off, maybe all evidence of it had been tidied away. According to Tina nothing unusual had happened apart from Alan returning home from work that Monday morning with a migraine. pg. 22
"He has been missing for almost two months, isn't that conclusive proof that he is dead?" pg. 33
"He’s dead, isn’t he?" Paul said, staring straight ahead as Anna drank from her bottle before screwing the cap back on.
"We don’t know that. What we need to do is find someone who saw the other side of Alan Rawlins, because so far I think it’s all too good to be true. No one is that perfect. He will have secrets – maybe dark ones." pg. 54

1 comment:

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm a big fan of "methodical" and "step-by-step" - I love it when I can follow along a solve a case with the main character.

Thanks for being on the tour!