DC Jack Warr #1
Millions of stolen, untraceable bank notes lie untouched in an old Victorian cottage, the hidden legacy of the Dolly Rawlins and her widows.
But the millions are not forgotten. Released from prison, Esther Freeman is determined to retrieve the money. And so too is Mike Withey, Shirley Miller's brother and Audrey's son.
When a fire breaks out at the derelict cottage, with a badly charred body inside along with what looks like thousands of burnt bank notes, it attracts the attention of the police and one young detective in particular, Jack Warr.
Jack's investigation into the fire, and the burnt body inside, coincide with an investigation into his own past. Adopted at birth, Jack discovers his birth father may have been none other than Harry Rawlins, a renowned criminal.
As he finds out the truth about his own identity, Jack finds himself becoming increasingly aggressive, stopping at nothing to find the truth - including breaking the law himself.
Buried gets this new crime series off to a flying start with a set of likable, and not so likeable, villains who literally leap, fully formed off the page. It's also a cracking introduction to a new detective as by no stretch of the imagination is Jack Warr your average Detective Constable. He's something of a maverick, occasionally even a little bit lazy, but when his intuition kicks in, he tends to be on the right track.
Cracking this case is never going to be easy especially when a man's body is found in a burned out isolated cottage. However, what makes this case all the more baffling for the police is that the body was surrounded by thousands of burnt bank notes, and with very few clues to go other than tenuous links to a twenty year-old cold case, the detectives have a huge task ahead of them.
As with any La Plante novel, the story moves a startling pace and introduces a set of detailed characters, especially a group of women, all ex-cons who have fascinating back stories to tell. I enjoyed getting the know the ladies, they add much needed light, and shade, to what is after all quite a dark story. Those who are familiar with La Plante's Widows series will recognise a few names, especially that of Dolly Rawlins, but it's not necessary to have read those books to enjoy this new series.
As with any new series there is a sense of getting to know the characters and by including Jack Warr's search for his own past as part of the story we begin to see just what makes enigmatic detective tick. I look forward to reading the second book, Judas Horse which was published by Zaffre in April 2021.
By using the Borrow Box service of my library I listened to the audio version of Buried, which is nicely narrated by Alex Hassell and Annie Aldington.
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Lynda La Plante is a British author, screenwriter, and actress, best known for writing the Prime Suspect television crime series.
Lynda's Latest book ~ Unholy Murder (Jane Tennison #7) published by Zaffre, is out now.
Twitter @LaPlanteLynda #Buried