Review: Buried by Lynda La Plante

In the aftermath of a fire breaking out at a remote house near Aylesbury, a badly burned and blackened body is found.  However, it is definitely not the previous owner of the place as she has unfortunately just passed away. Perhaps it was a vagrant trying to stay warm and enjoy a night or two with a roof over their head.

Until eight months ago, Rose Cottage had been leased to Norma Walker. Norma was a highly regarded ex-mounted copper who sadly passed away after a prolonged fight with cancer. With her death came the order to demolish the house and it was due to be knocked down in the near future.

For those investigating the fire, however, it was not so much the body that caught their attention, but rather, the remains of something in the fireplace.

Amongst all the debris partial £5 notes were found clearly still with the bank teller’s bands around them. The problem was, these bands dated back to 1995 and were linked to an old, but still a very open case.

In 1995, the biggest train robbery the country had ever seen took place just down the road from here. Whoever was involved got away and to this day there is still no hard evidence linking anyone to the crime or where the ill-gotten £27 million ended up.

Is this the first clue that could help the team solve a cold case dating more than 20 years old?

The striking DC Jack Warr has just moved to London and the Met from Totnes but is struggling to find his passion for the job.  In truth, he moved because his girlfriend Maggie wanted to progress with her own career as a doctor. He would have been quite happy plodding along back home. Now, however, he needs to make a decision. His boss is watching him closely.  He either needs to step up and do the job, becoming the policeman DCI Simon Ridley believes he can be or take a back seat.

There is something about this particular case finally that seems to have gripped Jack. He is all-consumed by finding out what really happened not just now, but back then as well. He is desperate to find out who stole the money and he has a funny feeling it could be the least likely of suspects – a group of female ex-cons living at The Grange nearby.

The leader of this group back in 1995 was Dolly Rawlins, who murdered her husband Harry. Alongside her was Ester Freeman, a madam who use to run a brothel from The Grange, Julia Lawson,  a doctor once imprisoned for prescription fraud, Gloria Radford, Kathleen O’Reilly and Connie Stevens who had all been mixed up in both drugs and prostitution. However, they were never looked into back then. No-one believed that a group of women would be able to commit such a crime and get away with it.

As Jack delves further into the case, hoping, at the same time, to solve the crime of the century, it seems he may uncover more than he could have ever bargained for.

Perhaps it’s true what some people say, some things really should remain buried.

Buried by Lynda La Plante, the first of a brand new series

My Thoughts on Buried

I absolutely love Lynda La Plante and therefore could not wait to get my hands onto her latest novel. Thankfully Buried did not disappoint.

This may be the start of a whole new series but the way in which Lynda links seamlessly back to a previous storyline is genius. It means that those who use to love her work will be drawn back in, and no doubt there will now be a whole new audience that will be searching for copies of The Widows Series that started back in 1983.

On the outset, you may be quick to assume that this will be another gangster tale but it is much more than that. There is a depth to this novel that will pull at your heartstrings. Lynda La Plante explores how family relationships change and grow over time.  Masterfully she waits until you are so immersed in the pages, believing that you know what the outcome will be, to throw in yet another twist taking the story somewhere you never expected.

I may have first seen Lynda as an actress on Rent-a-Ghost but for me, she really does stand out as the true Queen of Crime when it comes to writing a thrilling drama.

Meeting Lynda La Plante at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival. The Queen of Crime Writing

Meeting Lynda at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival was a highlight of the weekend

Have you read any of Lynda La Plante’s novels? Which one did you enjoy the most?

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Buried by Lynda La Plante is the first in a brand new series by the Queen of Crime. Read the full review via @tbookjunkie



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