Young Anna Travis has been assigned to her first murder case - a series of killings that has shocked even the most hardened of detectives. They started eight years ago - now the body count is up to six. The method of killing is identical, the backgrounds of the girls identical - all drug users and prostitutes.
Then a seventh body is found. The modus operandi is the same, but the victim is a young student with the ‘face of an angel’. The profile of the murderer has changed dramatically.
Determined to earn the respect of her male colleagues, Anna stumbles on a vital piece of information which links one man to the killings, a much loved actor on the brink of international stardom. His arrest would create a media frenzy. But if he were found innocent, his wouldn’t be the only career over - Anna’s hard fought reputation would be destroyed once and for all…
What this blurb doesn’t tell you about the book is how powerfully fascinating it is. We follow Anna and the team of murder investigators on their journey to solving this, almost century long, mystery. We travel north and south of the country, and then things take a surprising twist when a body is discovered in America. Everything links to this actor, the audience suddenly think “Yes! yes! it’s him! well done anna”. But then said actor turns the charm on our oh-so-loveable lead character and the audience begins to soften to him… or do they? Anna’s character is also drawn into this trap, but it is slowly revealed he isn’t as nice as you would like to think, again we are drawn away, but this game of tug of war continues throughout the novel whilst you are thrown from one side to the other as to whether to adore or hate this murder suspect.
But a spanner is thrown into the works via Anna’s boss, Robert Langton. The description of this handosme, rugged, slightly alcoholic man is not portrayed as he should be through the film version as the actor just doesn’t fit the persona with his physical appearance, but he does a good job in living up to expectations of the role. Anyway, ignoring this point, a slight romance occurs between the characters of Langton and Anna and this is the moment you fall in love with the novel for what it is. The secrecy, the hardness of the characters, yet the loving relationships behind-closed-doors gives a wonderful back story and side plot to the novel, keeping the reader interested throughout.
La Plante does a fabulous job of describing the scenes, it is clear that she has done some attentive research into the murder victims profiles and spent a great deal of time writing the novel and keeping it as her baby. The complexity of the story line and sort after intricate details along with the compelling relationships between the characters makes this novel a must read.
I would rate this novel a 4 out of 5 for the simple reason that when you finish it you need to read more! However, the relationships between the characters do not turn out as, I suspect, the entire audience wants them to! Not to give you a spoiler, but it leaves you asking “Why La Plante?! Why?!”
This is a fantastic introduction to a series of novels written by an extremely talented author. After reading the entire series, it has made me want to read more of La Plante’s work, which I am assured is just as fantastic! Bookstore, here I come!