This book is an infuriating mess of brilliance.
I’ve never seen the original Prime Suspect ITV show with Helen Mirren but the other week when ITV aired Prime Suspect 1973, set at the start of DCI Jane Tennison’s career, I thought I would give it a go, what with me loving my whodunits and all that. It was an awesome show! Edge of your seat stuff.
So when I came to order a few new books for my Kindle – stocking up before my greek cruise holiday (yes, I’m still banging on about it) – and the Prime Suspect trilogy by Lynda La Plante popped up, I knew I had to buy it.
A woman is found dead in her flat – brutally murdered. DNA results give the police their Prime Suspect and when tragic events lead to DCI Jane Tennison leading the investigation, she not only has to solve the crime but prove she’s up to the job – a man’s job! Fighting for respect from her fellow, male, officers, she must put everything aside to solve the case and prove herself once and for all.
In total, I read whatever the equivalent to 4% of the book was and wasn’t getting very far with it while away. There was a confusing amount of characters, apparently so confusing to the author too that randomly names would change, for example, Otley would become Odey or Odley; with a flippant attitude to the use of quotation marks, I wouldn’t realise I was reading a piece of dialogue until I twigged on that something was actually meant to be part of a speech and not narrative; capital letters would appear within a wOrd; and after a while it was just too much to handle.
The time jumps and scene jumps were confusing to keep up with and all I wanted was an easy read for my travels. I couldn’t understand it, this book is old and had been made into a TV show…How are there still these kind of errors? I put it down and couldn’t find the momentum to pick it up again.
I read a grand total of zero books while I was away, whereas one of my friends who joined us got through four or five books in the same time.
When I got back from holiday, I had a choice of things to do: 1, I could unpack, or 2, I could read. Who the hell wants to unpack! So I sat and read for a good couple of hours deciding to just get through this book, I’d paid for it after all.
Now, I don’t know if I just got used to the hectic writing style or if it did actually began to improve, but either way the story behind the writing was beginning to grip me.
I would read on the train on my way to work, and again on the way home, I sometimes read for a short while in the evenings and last night I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it! Although it was one of those strange instances where I actually think the book should have finished a few scenes earlier, it would have made for a stronger ending. Leave them wanting more, that’s the saying. Normally a story ends and I’m desperate to find out just a little bit more, this one gave me that and I felt I didn’t need it.
Would I recommend it? As I may have mentioned, the writing in Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante was a little tough to get through and I’m still amazed at how bad it really is in places because of the success it’s had, but I would say, I can also totally see why it’s had the success it has. The writing must be overlooked as the story is gripping. If you’re someone who can look past bad grammar for the sake of a good story then go for it – this book is for you!
Up next to read: I haven’t yet decided. I’ve got two more Prime Suspect stories in the trilogy but I may give something else a go before I delve back into that world yet. Let’s see what happens.
Until next time. x