#GoodFriday #LyndaLaPlante #BlogTour

Today I am thrilled to be on the Blog Tour for one of the most famous writers in Crime Fiction! Thank you so much to Bonnier Zaffre for inviting me to join the tour and for the advanced copy of Good Friday

But, as this is a review of a crime novel, perhaps I should begin with my dark secret, my guilty confession and a hidden truth which will affect all that you read from this moment onward and force you all to reconsider your opinion of me..... This is the first Lynda La Plante book I have read. SShhhhh!! 

I know. Shocking. However, in my defence, I am completely hooked -I've just bought the first two books in the Tennison series prior to Good Friday and can not wait to make my way through the Prime Suspect collection. That is beauty of discovering a writer when they already have an impressive back catalogue - you can binge on their books like it's a box set! 

Anyway, on with my review. Why did I enjoy this book so much?

Good Friday is set in the 1970s. A world without mobile phones, social media and one where the work place is fuelled with sexism. When the book opens, Jane Tennison, our protagonist, is faced with comments and judgements just because she is a woman and is also up against the challenges of working in the police force as a female. The novel is not overtly out to make a political comment or moral judgement about the role of women, it is just capturing the social context of the story but it immediately makes the reader feel sympathetic towards Tennison and want to see her fight against the obstacles in her way. The sexism and attitude of the police towards women - and also the attitude of other women and Jane's family which also reflect prejudice - permeates the novel. It does challenge the reader to think about attitudes to women and it does add another dimension to Tennison's character. Tennison has more to prove and more to overcome. La Plante's writing places the reader very firmly in the 70s and she evokes the social setting very effectively. 

I think the other thing that struck me was the relevance of the story. Although no longer living in fear of an IRA terrorist attack, terrorism, bomb threats, attacks at tube stations and organised events are still very much a threat to our society and lives and therefore readers will be able to engage with the storyline whether they remember the IRA or not. As Tennison and the police force investigate the terrorism in Good Friday and race to prevent further destruction, the scheming, hating and planning of the perpetrators is recognisable as is the fear, urgency and pressure on the police force. La Plante also explores the level of infiltration that individuals and groups go to in order to carry out their devastating acts of terror and this behaviour remains the same today. I also thought the way La Plante portrayed the characters - their calculated befriending, their exploitation of trust - to be very compelling and again, something that readers will relate to or find resonating in contemporary society. Although the novel is gripping enough on its own, the echoes and parallels are hard to ignore. 

I liked Jane Tennison a lot. She's a great character. I felt sympathetic towards her and wanted her to do well. She's keen, trying hard, wants to do the right thing and is led by a sense of justice. She cares for people and perhaps her emotional involvement with people makes her more vulnerable but as this is a kind of prequel series, I am intrigued to see how her character develops with her time on the force. I'd like to see her toughen up a bit but given the social context and Jane's position, her character worked for me. I did find her parents a little annoying - they were quite suffocating but perhaps this is also a reflection of the social context and attitudes to women at the time. It's interesting to see how much we take our independence for granted; here we see how hard Jane has to fight for independence and to gain respect for her decisions in her personal life as well as professional. 

The characterisation in the novel is very good. The attitudes of the male police officers is well handled and there are plenty of characters who will provoke reactions from the reader. There are also a few characters who not only take advantage of Jane's trust, but perhaps also take advantage of the reader and so we have to look out for hints and clues and keep a more objective counsel throughout the book. Of course this also adds a few twists and turns and raised the tension and suspense. I also thought the character of Pearl was very well created. I did not like her!! La Plante's screenwriting experience is obvious in her ability to make these characters so alive and vivid. 

This police procedural is set over 40 years ago and there is no mention of mobile phones, social media, advanced technology and all the impressive gadgets we see in crime fiction today which I found really refreshing. I loved that the police had to use land lines which might then be engaged or how convoluted it was to try and get hold of the key person in the heat of the moment! There was still a huge sense of urgency, drama and excitement throughout the whole police investigation and La Plante has clearly researched this side of the story in immense detail. It felt so convincing and I thought the whole story and the whole investigation was very well executed. 

I would highly recommend Good Friday. It is well written, the characters are well crafted, easy to picture and easy to hear through the authentic dialogue. It's a very accessible, readable police procedural with a well controlled story line. It's dramatic and exciting and well worth a read! Like I said, I'm off to read Jane Tennison's story from the start and can't wait to catch up with the entire Prime Suspect series!

GOOD FRIDAY by Lynda La Plante is published by Bonnier Zaffre on 24th August 2017.


Good Friday would make a good choice for any book club. It gives me huge pleasure to welcome Lynda La Plante to my blog today to answer a few questions about her reading!

BiblioManiac’s Book Club
If you are / if you were in a book club, which book are you / would you most like to read /discuss at the moment and why?

I think it would be Ripper by Patricia Cornwell.   I know it is non-fiction but I think it would provoke a lot of discussion, especially if the rest of the group were crime readers and were interested in forensics.  I cannot believe the amount of research Miss Cornwell carried out; it is simply remarkable.  

If you could ask a book club one question about this book what would it be?
Do you agree with the author's findings? Has she identified Jack the Ripper? 

If you could invite any author / fictional character to your book club who would it be and why? Which book would you like to chat about with them?

It would have to be Raymond Chandler, I am such a huge fan.  Unfortunately, we never got to meet, and I wasn't able to tell him what a genius I think he is.  I'd ask him how he came up with the titles for his books, everyone is brilliant. 

Which three books or authors have been the biggest influence on your writing?

I think my acting career had the most influence.  If I'd not been acting, I'd not have starred in crime series like The Professionals, Minder or The Gentle Touch. This lead to me having a go at writing a script, which was called WIDOWS.  In fact, I've just re-written the novel of WIDOWS, and it will be published in June next year, see www.lyndalaplante.com for details and follow me on twitter @laplantelynda.  

Which book are you desperate to read this year?

I've just read The Late Show by Michael Connelly (I'm a huge fan), and I'm already eager to read his next one!  Hurry up Michael! 

Thank you so much Lynda for answering my questions!

And now, here's a few questions on Good Friday to help start a Book Club discussion!

Bibliomaniac's Book Club: Good Friday

1. What struck you most about the setting of the 1970s in this novel? What shocked or surprised you?

2. How does the attitudes towards Jane and women in the work place increase the tension in the novel?

3. Although it is not strictly an historical novel, the novel is set in the past. What challenges do you think the author faced from setting her novel in the 1970s? How might it be easier or harder to write  this compared with a novel set 150 years ago?

4. What do you think are the key differences between Jane Tennison and a female police detective in a police procedural set in the 2010s?

5. How did you feel towards the male police officers in this novel? Which did you like or dislike the most and why?

6. What was your reaction to the female characters in the book? Which did you like or dislike the most and why?

7. If you were to cast actors for a new Television adaptation of this novel, who would you cast as Jane and why? What about some of the other characters?

8. Is this your first Lynda La Plante novel? If not, which have you read and how do they compare? If so, will you be reading more?



Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing - and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series WIDOWS.

Her novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed PRIME SUSPECT won awards from BAFTA, Emmys, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Writer's Award.

Since 1993 Lynda has spearheaded La Plante Productions. In that time the company has produced a stunning slate of innovative dramas with proven success and enduring international appeal.

Based on Lynda's best selling series of Anna Travis novels, Above Suspicion, Silent Scream, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream have all adapted into TV scripts and received impressive viewing figures.

Lynda has been made honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Writer's Award 2000.

On 14th June 2008 Lynda was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List (Writer and Producer for services to Literature, Drama and to Charity).

On 3rd October 2009, Lynda was honoured at the Cologne Conference International Film and Television Festival with the prestigious TV Spielfilm Award for her television adaptation of her novel, Above Suspicion.

Books penned by Lynda La Plante include: The Legacy, The Talisman, Bella Mafia, Entwined, Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood, Cold Heart, Sleeping Cruelty, Royal Flush, Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia, Clean Cut, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream, Blind Fury (this entered the UK Sunday Times Bestsellers List at number 1 having sold 9,500 copies in its first two weeks), Blood Line, Backlash, Wrongful Death, and Twisted, which have all been international best-sellers.

For more recommendations and reviews follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or via my blog bibliomaniacuk.blogspot.co.uk or website bibliomaniacuk.co.uk


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