The creator of Jane Tennison from the much acclaimed "Prime Suspect" series, Lynda La Plante has written her eighth novel featuring Detective Chief Inspector Anna Travis, "Backlash." (Bourbon Street Books/Harper, 484 pages)
The story begins with what appears to have been a routine traffic stop as the police pull over a white van that was driving erratically late at night. Much to their surprise, the two uniformed officers find the body of a woman in the van.
The van's driver, a washed-up boxer and vagrant named Henry Oates,
confesses to killing the woman, though he claimed it was an accident.
Later in the interrogation, the suspect lets on that he has killed before, that this woman was not his first victim.
But the street savvy Mr. Oates later recants his story, leaving the police to wonder whether or not they have a serial killer in custody and whether they can bring this psychopath to justice.
DCI Anna Travis is called in to investigate cold cases as she tries to crack Henry Oates.
Much like the "Prime Suspect" series, "Backlash" is a tense psychological thriller. There are some very dramatic police interrogations and the details relating to the handling of missing persons' cases are poignant and haunting.
As with her literary predecessor, Jane Tennison, Inspector Anna Travis is a tough, yet vulnerable policewoman who knows all too well the impact of violent crime.
Lynda La Plante continues to excel in writing compelling crime drama.