Books by Lynda La Plante

WIDOWS by Lynda La Plante
Released: June 5, 2018

"It's good, dark fun: a feminist noir love child of Thelma and Louise and The Godfather."
In La Plante's (Good Friday, 2017, etc.) classic thriller, three women orchestrate a heist after their criminal husbands die in an explosives accident. Read full book review >
BLOOD LINE by Lynda La Plante
Released: Aug. 21, 2012

"Plodding and dull, this thriller probably won't appeal to even the most die-hard La Plante fan."
A seemingly run-of-the-mill missing persons investigation evolves into something more complicated in this installment of La Plante's Anna Travis series. Read full book review >
CLEAN CUT by Lynda La Plante
Released: Oct. 7, 2008

"Every page burns with intensity, but the mind-boggling complexities of the plot, which require endless summaries without ever leading to a single explanation that would make sense of them all, will leave most readers scratching their heads and wondering what they missed."
More skullduggery, more nasty sex, more personal danger, and lots more homicide for DI Anna Travis and her boss and lover, DCI James Langton (Above Suspicion, 2006). Read full book review >
THE RED DAHLIA by Lynda La Plante
Released: July 3, 2007

"Just what fans of the British procedural have been praying for while the telly is in summer reruns. "
Half a century after the Black Dahlia murder rocked L.A., a lethal copycat goes to work across the Atlantic. Read full book review >
ABOVE SUSPICION by Lynda La Plante
Released: Jan. 3, 2006

"La Plante (Royal Heist, 2004, etc.) has given us a smart, plucky series protagonist who's enormously likable despite, or because of, her frailties. Think Jane Tennyson in her salad days. "
A new detective heroine from the writer of the acclaimed BBC series Prime Suspect.Read full book review >
ROYAL HEIST by Lynda La Plante
Released: July 20, 2004

"La Plante (Cold Heart, 1999, etc.) injects an enlivening, much-needed spark, restoring the mistreated caper novel to escape literature respectability. Irresistible rascal, irresistible yarn."
La Plante's first international thriller, this about a charismatic villain's scheme to steal Britain's Crown Jewels. Read full book review >
COLD HEART by Lynda La Plante
Released: March 1, 1999

A not-quite-porn producer dead in his swimming pool is the come-on for p.i. Lorraine Page's third and most tangled case. The evidence against Harry Nathan's child-wife Cindy is so strong—a history of shouted threats, her prints on the murder gun—that it's no wonder she phones Lorraine to ask for her help. But when Lorraine, that tough ex-cop-turned-alcoholic-turned-supershamus (Cold Blood, 1997, etc.), catches up with Cindy at the Santa Monica Police Department, Harry's widow insists she never called her: it must have been somebody else. That's only the first of many dead-end mysteries in the triple-decker investigation spawned by Harry's death. Harry's initial dirty linen (two ex-wives, kinky pansexual tastes) pales before suggestions of blackmail fueled by his Watergate-sized archive of audio- and videotapes. But beneath this second scummy layer there's still more dirt to dig, since the half-share in an art gallery Harry's passed on to his second wife, Kendall Nathan, is honeycombed with hints of wholesale fraud. Kendall swears she's Harry's victim, not co-conspirator; so does his ashen lawyer, Joel Feinstein; Harry's first wife, sculptress Sonjan Sorenson, smugly points out that she was in the Hamptons when Harry was killed; and Harry's old friend, aging queen Raymond Vallance, says he was out of the loop entirely. But Cindy, at least, is soon off the hook, thanks not to the tireless investigations of Lorraine's current troops (new secretary Rob Decker, marriage-minded new lover LAPD Chief of Detectives Lt. Jake Burton), but to a slight case of murder disguised as suicide, and soon it's open season on the remaining cast members. All this juicy malfeasance would be more compelling if (1) the most interesting characters didn't keep dying off, replaced by pale stand-ins who are much harder to care about; and (2) if La Plante didn't keep alternating danger and romance, action scenes and emotional confessions, promises of happy endings and portentous dramatic irony, in an economy that screams TV movie. Lorraine ends up solving the case while she's in a coma. Even the most cold-hearted readers may well empathize. Read full book review >
COLD BLOOD by Lynda La Plante
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

Page Investigations, the limping brainchild of alcoholic ex- cop Lorraine Page (Cold Shoulder, 1996), is about to go belly-up- -unless Lorraine and her buddies Rosie Hurst and Bill Rooney can find missing heiress Anna Louise Caley. The make-or-break case is a special challenge because Anna Louise, who grew up in Los Angeles, disappeared from New Orleans 11 months ago, right after a bare-knuckles fight with her best friend, Tilda Brown—and the ground's been endlessly trodden since then by the police and every shamus with an eye for a $100 million, the size of poor Anna Louise's trust fund. But Lorraine (an obvious Demi Moore role) talks her way into a two-week trial run, with a big fee up-front and a million-dollar bonus if she produces the missing teenager dead or alive, and promptly settles down to dig the dirt on the family circle. She convinces herself that self-dramatizing actress Elizabeth Seal Caley is injecting herself with Temazepam; that her developer husband Robert has one eye on adultery and the other on that idle trust fund; and that Anna Louise herself liked kinky sex as much as the next young American miss. Though her employers are less than overjoyed at these revelations, Lorraine, her associates still in tow, tags along on the Caleys' return trip to New Orleans, where she'll find a heady mix of gambling, voodoo, and an alarmingly industrious family of hardscrabble crooks. Despite the wholesale debauchery, La Plante's stilted dialogue and her heroine's nonstop attitudinizing (flirting, pining, and accusations seem to be her only weapons) kill any momentum, even when the gumbo hits the fan and corpses begin to spring out of the backdrop in every third scene. Overstuffed, overemotional, and unforgivably overlong. A better bet for a fun evening or two would be your nearest AA meeting. (Author tour) Read full book review >
COLD SHOULDER by Lynda La Plante
Released: March 1, 1996

An alcoholic Pasadena Homicide cop comes back from six years in the gutter to take on a serial killer who preys on prostitutes. When Lt. Lorraine Page fell from grace, she fell hard. Drunk and grieving for her dead partner, she emptied her gun into a fleeing teenager, killing him, her career, her marriage, and her self-respect. Now, after six years on the streets hooking for her next bottle, her part-time work for seedy gallery-owner Art Matthews brings her up against the hammer-wielding man who's killed Holly, a working-girl friend of one of Art's transsexual helpers. Lorraine's old sidekick, Bill Rooney, soon links Holly's death to a streak of hammer murders of prostitutes extending back five years. But how does the similar killing of inoffensive Norman Hastings fit into the pattern? Rooney is convinced his case hinges on a missing witness, a prostitute solicited by the killer as he was driving around with Hastings's body in his trunk. But Rooney doesn't know his witness is Lorraine, who still carries the scars reminding her how narrowly she escaped becoming the killer's next victim—and who remembers the telltale scars she inflicted on him as well. Joining forces with Rosie Hurst, the rehab cook who took her in when she hit bottom—and taking time out from the ambivalent embraces of magnetic Brad Thorburn- -Lorraine launches her own investigation, following the evidence to the moneyed Thorburn family and the all-too-predictable skeletons stacked in its closet. Even after the killer is run to earth, there'll be much, much more, as the anything-can-happen charms of the early chapters peter out in an epilogue that implicates everybody but O.J. Simpson. Prime Suspect screenwriter La Plante (Entwined, 1993, etc.), who begins by plotting with earnest intensity, eventually pumps Lorraine's saga so full of tormented uplift that it keels over like a Thanksgiving parade balloon in a gale of sincerity. (Film rights to Michelle Pfeiffer/Twentieth Century Fox; author tour) Read full book review >
ENTWINED by Lynda La Plante
Released: June 18, 1993

Richly gripping, nonoccult thriller about telepathic twins- -from the author of Bella Mafia (1991) and writer of the much- acclaimed British PBS series Prime Suspect. Ruda and Rebecca as children were subjects of experiments in telepathy by Dr. Josef Mengele at the Birkenau death camp, where he told them that the stacks of newborn babies they saw weren't dolls but actually loaves about to be baked in the ovens. Carrying deep psychic wounds, the girls were parted when the Russians liberated the camp. Ruda became a child whore in Berlin, dreaming of getting to America and having herself attended to medically. Rebecca went to an orphanage, later was adopted by an American couple, and raised in Philadelphia. A fat, tantrum-y child beset by color- flashes, she grew up to become a pencil-thin New York model and drowned all memory of Ruda. She married Baron Louis de Marechal, lived amid fabulous wealth in Europe, and had four children, but each birth was followed by a mental breakdown. Now, Louis has brought her to Berlin to the hypnotherapy clinic of Dr. Franks, Louis's last hope before committing ``Vebekka'' (she has changed her name). Meanwhile, Ruda has married a dwarf in order to get to America. But he's imprisoned for theft and she moves on to an over- the-hill lion-tamer, Luis Grimaldi, whom she marries and brings back into the circus ring with a pride of great cats. Luis teaches Ruda, and at last she becomes perhaps the world's greatest lion- tamer (and you can believe it: Ruda's many scenes hustling huge hissing cats through their paces keep you rigid). It seems, however, that unbeknownst to the sisters, when they live near each other, Vebekka suffers flashes that signal a breakdown.... A pinch of the paranormal assures massive paralysis of the neckbones as you claw through the pages and hiss for privacy. Read full book review >
BELLA MAFIA by Lynda La Plante
Released: Feb. 19, 1990

Mafia widows take over the family business in this solemnly brutal first novel by a BBC writer from England. Rosa, only granddaughter of the powerful Palermo-based mafia boss Roberto Luciano, is about to marry a loyal member of the clan, and the entire family has gathered at the don's villa to celebrate the event. Not a good idea, as it turns out: On the eve of the wedding, Don Roberto, his two sons and two young grandsons are murdered by unknown members of a rival clan. The Luciano women—Roberto's widow, his two daughters-in-law and his granddaughter—are left unprotected, grieving for their loved ones and pitifully ignorant of what coldblooded maneuverings it takes to support them in the style to which they're accustomed. They rally soon enough, however. Aided by a mysterious young man who appears, wounded, at their doorstep and asks for their care, the women search their husbands' records, shudder briefly at evidence of past betrayals and slayings, and go on to attempt the sale of the Luciano holdings to another family as a way of cleansing themselves of their husbands' sins while insuring their own financial security. The women's rivals close in for the kill, but their mysterious patient saves them from death and destitution by transporting them to New York, dealing personally with murderous middlemen, and offering the women sanctuary in a mansion he claims to own. Who is this guy, the women wonder? Is he the murderer of their husbands and children? The illegitimate son of one of the Luciano men? The boy whom one of the women gave up for adoption a lifetime ago? The answer can be discovered only through traditional mafia methods—and in these the determined women prove as ruthless as their men. A somber tale in which death and haute couture fashions are treated with equal reverence. Read full book review >