Author: Lynda La Plante
Series: Tennison #1
Publisher: Bolinda Digital audiobooks
From the creator of the award-winning ITV series Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren, comes the fascinating back story of the iconic DCI Jane Tennison.
In 1973 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where criminality thrives. We witness her struggle to cope in a male-dominated, chauvinistic environment, learning fast to deal with shocking situations with no help or sympathy from her superiors. Then comes her involvement in her first murder case. No one witnessed the savage beating of a tragic young girl who, the post-mortem reveals,was pregnant when she died. The murder enquiry is soon running cold…
Despite never having read (or watched) any of the Prime Suspect series, I saw this audiobook and thought it sounded like an interesting read, and it turned out to be a great introduction to DCI Jane Tennison, who the synopsis of the book describes as ‘iconic’. It charts the early career of Tennison, when she started out with Hackney police force after graduating from the Police Training Academy in 1973, as a young woman.
I loved that this book combined all the great elements of a police procedural, with multiple interesting cases and sleuthing plus a brilliant background of 1970s East London! Living now in Bethnal Green, I loved reading about this area and also how different the police force was back then, with many officer’s awful attitudes towards women, other ethnicities and LGBT groups. It’s eye-opening and very interesting, and Lynda La Plante really highlights this in Jane’s treatment by other people.
The story itself has some slower, more descriptive parts, but maintains a good pace which kept me wanting to read on. That’s good going for me, as I find I lose interest in a book more easily when it’s on audiobook than when I read it, and this really kept my interest. There are also some surprises in this story and some sad moments, plus an unexpected bit of romance which has me sort-of swooning at a particularly detective along with Jane, and this all added up to Tennison being a hit with me, and made me realise I really need to read Prime Suspect. Where have I been all this time?!