Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante
I had never read anything by Lynda La Plante before, so when I saw this book on sale, I picked it up.
'Do you know what a Judas Horse is? When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it. When he's ready, you release him and he'll bring his team back into the corral - like Judas betraying them...'
Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.
As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes - and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.
When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr's head - and any more blood spilled, on his hands.
Jack Warr was a new detective character to me. The author weaves an interesting home life with a professional skill for her main character.
Warr is a married man whose wife has their first child during the book. His father has died and his mother is now living with the young couple but we also discover that Warr was adopted and has acquired characteristics both through nature and nurture.
This story is woven through the tale of the crime that Warr must solve. He is temporarily transferred to the Cotswolds to work with the local team. Unfortunately the locals do not appreciate the detective from London being flown in. He soon manages to win them around with straight talking and good teamwork. However, when the criminals strike for a second time, another team from Oxford becomes involved and the Detective Inspector also takes a dislike to Warr. His point of view is not so easily changed.
This was an interesting police procedural with a complex story and satisfying conclusion. However, I did find the involvement of the detectives from the different areas confusing and I was unconvinced that the Oxford team was required.
Having said that, I enjoyed Judas Horse and would definitely read more by Lynda La Plant.
Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing - and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series WIDOWS.
Her novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed PRIME SUSPECT won awards from BAFTA, Emmys, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Writer's Award.
Since 1993 Lynda has spearheaded La Plante Productions. In that time the company has produced a stunning slate of innovative dramas with proven success and enduring international appeal.
Based on Lynda's best selling series of Anna Travis novels, Above Suspicion, Silent Scream, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream have all adapted into TV scripts and received impressive viewing figures.
Lynda has been made honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Writer's Award 2000.
On 14th June 2008 Lynda was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List (Writer and Producer for services to Literature, Drama and to Charity).
On 3rd October 2009, Lynda was honoured at the Cologne Conference International Film and Television Festival with the prestigious TV Spielfilm Award for her television adaptation of her novel, Above Suspicion.
Books penned by Lynda La Plante include: The Legacy, The Talisman, Bella Mafia, Entwined, Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood, Cold Heart, Sleeping Cruelty, Royal Flush, Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia, Clean Cut, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream, Blind Fury (this entered the UK Sunday Times Bestsellers List at number 1 having sold 9,500 copies in its first two weeks), Blood Line, Backlash, Wrongful Death, and Twisted, which have all been international best-sellers.
In Feb 2012 Lynda's chilling tale of THE LITTLE ONE was published in conjunction with Quick Reads through Simon & Schuster UK.
Lynda's latest book, Tennison, was published on 24th September 2015 and is the prequel the highly acclaimed Prime Suspect. The story charts Jane Tennison's entry into the police force as a 22 year old Probationary Officer at Hackney Police Station in 1973.
Lynda La Plante is published in the UK by Simon & Schuster.
Lynda La Plante is published in the US by HarperCollins Publishers.
Please visit www.lyndalaplante.com for further information. You can also follow Lynda on Facebook and Twitter.