Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Prime Suspect (Prime Suspect, #1)” as Want to Read:
Prime Suspect (Prime Suspect, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Prime Suspect (Prime Suspect #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,466 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
In the dark night of the soul . . . . If   Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a  woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes  . . . . and that they didn't match the size given on  the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so through, so good at the details, made Jane a  top investigator; ...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published January 2nd 1993 by Dell Publishing Company (first published 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Prime Suspect, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Prime Suspect

The Black Echo by Michael ConnellyThe Concrete Blonde by Michael ConnellyEcho Park by Michael ConnellyThe Bone Collector by Jeffery DeaverThe Last Coyote by Michael Connelly
Best Police Procedurals - Mystery Fiction
232nd out of 760 books — 474 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareThe Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Best Gripping Books
190th out of 457 books — 439 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rosie
Sep 22, 2015 Rosie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
This was the first Lynda La Plante book I have read and I have never seen Prime Suspect as a TV show, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I found this quite a strange book to read. The writing was a bit disjointed and initially there was lots of jumping around. It's easy to tell this has been adapted from a TV script. However, as I read on I noticed the jumping around less and less. The main character, Jane Tennison, comes across as quite a spoilt brat at times! She chucks a tantrum at her ...more
Bettie☯
Description: In the dark night of the soul . . . . If Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes . . . . and that they didn't match the size given on the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so through, so good at the details, made Jane a top investigator; being a woman made the boys in the squadron want to see her fall on her face. But Jane Tennison was determined to catch ...more
Fiona
Lynda La Plante writes for television, most often - she is the queen of the ITV police procedural. Prime Suspect was originally a TV series, starring Helen Mirren as DI Jane Tennison, one of my first feminist icons. I love police procedurals, I love lady-detectives, I love women with ambition who buoy themselves up because nobody else is going to do it for them.

It's a shame that Lynda La Plante can't write prose. It's not just that it's reminiscent of a screenplay: that can work for a lot of peo
...more
Donna
Jul 15, 2016 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-mystery
This was just okay for me. It had too many negatives for me to like this. For the most part, the characters weren't at all likable and I could not even relate to them in any way possible. The language, the sense of entitlement, and their prickliness (if that is even a word) did not work for me. And adults behaving like bullies on the playground had me rolling my eyes.

I thought the story, overall, had merit, but it was 'the everything else' that keeps this at 2 stars. And one reason that may be
...more
John
Mar 30, 2016 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have huge admiration for Lynda La Plante the TV screenwriter. Sadly, after reading two of her novels -- of which this is the second -- I'm less enthused by Lynda La Plante the novelist.

The story of Prime Suspect is well enough known that I'll not rehash much of it here. DCI Jane Tennison must solve the case of a viciously sadistic serial rapist/murderer in the teeth of the male-chauvinist-piggery of her colleagues. She does indeed solve the case and in the process converts the colleagues into
...more
Amy
Prime Suspect was a marvelous British (produced by Granada Television for the ITV network between 7 April 1991 and 22 October 2006. Prime Suspect 4 through 7 were co-produced by WGBH Boston for its Masterpiece Mystery anthology series.) production, which starred the amazing Helen Mirrin as Police detective Jane Tennyson, one of the first females to break into that peculiar boys club of non-uniformed police back in the day. We loved the series, making me eager to read the book which I supposed ...more
Faith
Apr 02, 2016 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This book reminded me how much I enjoyed the English television series. Interesting, complex and realistic female protagonist and a criminal investigation that held my interest. The narrator of the audio book was excellent.
Christine
Jan 05, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yay it appeared by magic on my kindle! Wanted to read this for ages. I love Jane Tennison.
Magpie67
Once I was comfortable with the paragraph changes of multiple individuals working the case, then I was able to race to the end... At first I thought the story was going elsewhere until the logic and missing pieces were located. I despised the original guy working the case and was a bit annoyed it took so long for the story to stay focused on Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. I understand trying to lay the groundwork for a woman to gain the trust and the admiration from the men who have ...more
Nancy Oakes
I'm not sure because I can't find any info but this may a novelization of the original Prime Suspect movie. I remember like eons ago watching this on PBS and falling in love with Jane Tennison, who I thought was probably the most ballsy woman I'd ever encountered on screen or off. Now, having read the story, my opinion hasn't changed.

In case you've seen it and forgotten the story, it begins with an investigation into the death of a prostitute named Della Mornay. Sadly, the lead investigator die
...more
Ralph
May 09, 2016 Ralph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prime Suspect is the novelization of the 1991 British TV mini-series of the same name featuring the great Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison. Tennison is a driven and extremely competent investigator in a male dominated police force and nearly everyone is rooting for her to fail. Prime Suspect finds Tennison and her team investigating a series of murders possibly committed by their prime suspect and provides a glimpse on the politics and sexism which existed, and sadly, probably continues to ...more
Lesley
I would give this title somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. The narrator for the audiobook was excellent and did a great job switching among the characters. I think the book was well written and the introduction was very useful in understanding where the story came from and the motivation behind the characters, especially Jane. While I did not always understand or agree with the choices Jane made I can understand her struggle and the difficulty of the issues she was facing. I think this book ...more
Heather
Jul 29, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it
A good story, fluid storytelling - a good read. Apparently became a bbc series with Helen Mirren? Kinda want to see that.
Sandra
Mar 21, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the TV series and this was just as good.
Wanda
Nov 09, 2016 Wanda rated it liked it
Not sure I liked the main character. She was quite abrasive and very obsessed with her job. She is a DCI and gets assigned to take over a murder investigation after the primary investigator dies. She actually bullies her way into the job which creates a lot of problems for those working under her. Her boss and a lot of the other police officers don't want a woman as the lead investigator and they let her know.
She is also dealing with problems in her private life as her current boyfriend is havi
...more
Jenn
Nov 15, 2016 Jenn rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
This was better than I imagined it would be based on the fact that the author was asked to write it for a television series (which I love!). Jane was mostly unlikable and despised by her fellow officers, which was believable based on her personality and the era in which it takes place. The problem was that the officers made a complete turn-around that seemed unwarranted and unsupported by the actions in the story. I probably will move on to the next in the series at some point.
Norman Howe
Nov 23, 2016 Norman Howe rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This made me want to watch the series again.
Cindy
Nov 16, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it
TV predecessor- well narrated.
Ryan G
Aug 26, 2015 Ryan G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was given the opportunity to read/review Prime Suspect and it's two sequels, I jumped at the chance. By now, anyone who reads this blog on any sort of regular (or irregular) basis should have figured out I'm a huge mystery fan. It doesn't seem to matter the style; noir, cozy, golden age, police procedural, I like them all. You can't be a mystery fan and not have heard of Prime Suspect or at least of it's television incarnation with the great Helen Mirren. They even tried it on US ...more
Blue
Mar 09, 2016 Blue rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of the series (and Mirren). I was happily surprised to find more depth in the first book about Marlow and Oatley's stories, which are not that well developed in the TV series. La Plante does not write literary fiction; her style is strictly plot driven, and she violates many writing cliches (like "show, don't tell") which works in her favor in terms of turning up the heat and twisting everyone to breaking point over and over again. Tennison does not come across as a likable ...more
Lainy
May 18, 2015 Lainy rated it liked it
Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Dell Publishing Company

Pages - 263

Blurb from Goodreads

In the dark night of the soul . . . . If Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes . . . . and that they didn't match the size given on the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so through, so good at the details, made Jane a top investigator; being a woman made the boys in the squa
...more
Pam
Feb 05, 2012 Pam rated it it was ok
The story: Jane Tennison takes over a Scotland Yard investigation of grisly murder of Della Mornay. She is hampered by the old boy's club mentality of the Yard. She immediately discovers and error that the previous, much-loved investigator had made, which only makes her fellow officers like her even less.

The mystery part of the novel is fairly solid, with some twists and turns that kept me guessing.

What ruined it for me were the characters. I did not like a single character. They were all the sa
...more
Angela Free
Sep 25, 2016 Angela Free rated it really liked it
Although I saw the tv drama, all I remembered was the end. A quick read, a page turner, looking forward to the next one.
Molly (Cafinated Reads)
Mar 21, 2012 Molly (Cafinated Reads) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly (Cafinated Reads) by: TLC Book Tours
I'm a huge crime fiction lover and I especially love those that are based on truth. So, when the chance arose to review books 1 and 2 in Ms. La Plante's Prime Suspect series, I jumped. What I found in these two books was gripping complexity that will leave the reader hungry for more!

In Prime Suspect, Jane Tennison's a woman doing a man's job. And those men...well, they aren't too pleased about it, so she has a lot to prove. All she wants is a chance to lead an investigation and prove that she's
...more
Gina
Goodreads Description- In the dark night of the soul . . . . If Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes . . . . and that they didn't match the size given on the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so through, so good at the details, made Jane a top investigator; being a woman made the boys in the squadron want to see her fall on her face. But Jane Tennison was ...more
Lynda
Sep 29, 2016 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable whodunnit, certainly I was familiar with the character from the television series though I'd not watched it (I tried the American version, but didn't really get into it). Had I enough time to read all the books I want to read, I'd certainly read more of this series. It was interesting watching her, as flawed as she is, focusing in on what mattered and also finding her way to the truth in spite of the obstacles placed in her path to the truth. The story is somewhat dated in that it ...more
Lorraine
Aug 11, 2011 Lorraine rated it really liked it
Jane Tennison, DCI with London Police, has been waiting 18 months to be put in charge of a murder case. When a new victim is found, she is disgusted that DCI Shefford takes charge, since he's just completed a case the day before. When Shefford drops dead of a heart-attack, Tennison insists on being given the case. She up against detectives who don't like her, don't like women in the police force and particularly in command. DI Otley, who called Shefford his best friend, tries to keep evidence ...more
Sharon
Mar 11, 2013 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
Fabulous read. I've seen the series with Helen Mirren, BBC series and it is also fabulous and follows the book perfectly.

Jane Tennison, DCI has been waiting, patiently for her own command at Scotland Yard. They sideline her at every opportunity as the old boy's club is alive and well and truly banded against her at all levels. Then the chief investigator drops dead while investigating the newest case. Jane bulls herself into her commander's office and demands to be put in charge of the investig
...more
Kelly
Having never seen the British series, and surviving just a couple of episodes of the short-lived NBC reboot with Maria Bello, I was familiar with the premise of "Prime Suspect" and Jane Tennison's character. The book was a breeze to read through, and the short scenes - reminiscent of a TV series teleplay - ensured that the pace surged ahead through the twists and turns of the murders' plot points. The writing was less prosaic than most novels, and seemed to be an expansion on the screenplay, ...more
Bettie☯
Description: In the dark night of the soul . . . . If Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes . . . . and that they didn't match the size given on the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so through, so good at the details, made Jane a top investigator; being a woman made the boys in the squadron want to see her fall on her face. But Jane Tennison was determined to catch ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Intersection of Law and Desire (Micky Knight, #3)
  • The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Inspector Morse, #3)
  • The Vampire Vivienne
  • The Judas Pair (Lovejoy, #1)
  • Killing Plato (Jack Shepherd #2)
  • God Save the Queen!
  • Turnstone (DI Joe Faraday, #1)
  • Pelagia and the Black Monk (Sister Pelagia Mysteries, #2)
  • Hancock Park (Kate Delafield, #8)
  • Blanche Passes Go
  • The Dark Meadow
  • Night Life (Michael Cassidy, #1)
  • Keeping Counsel
  • Lieberman's Folly (Abe Lieberman, #1)
  • His Own Man
  • Good Bait
  • Bone Dust White
  • Flat Spin (A Cordell Logan Mystery, #1)
7929
Lynda La Plante (born Lynda Titchmarsh) is a British author, screenwriter, and erstwhile actress (her performances in Rentaghost and other programmes were under her stage name of Lynda Marchal), best known for writing the Prime Suspect television crime series.

Her first TV series as a scriptwriter was the six part robbery series Widows, in 1983, in which the widows of four armed robbers carry out a
...more
More about Lynda La Plante...

Other Books in the Series

Prime Suspect (3 books)
  • A Face in the Crowd (Prime Suspect, #2)
  • Silent Victims (Prime Suspect, #3)

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Tennison was about to reply when Burkin caught her eye. He gripped her elbow and whispered, “Leave the room, let him cry, leave him . . ” 0 likes
More quotes…