Review: Buried by Lynda La Plante

Rating: 9.0/10

Synopsis

A fire at a cottage – and the body therein – leads police on a murder investigation. Enter DC Jack Warr, a mostly uninspired officer who is assigned to find the killer.

Upon reviewing the evidence, Jack discovers a connection to a 1995 case. Which may be connected to a case from 1985. And does Jack have a personal connection to these crimes?

Things are getting sticky, and Jack is all in. Will he connect the dots in time to catch the killer? Solving this case may change Jack’s life forever.

Review

If you have read a Lynda La Plante book (this is my second), you know she is a master of the police procedural. She has been at this for a long time, has published many books in the genre, and both of her books I have read have been very well-written. Buried is no different, as it follows a common recipe for the genre: intriguing crime (or crimes) and a main detective with a lot of personal issues. I do not say this in a bad way; if something is not broke, there is no need to try to fix it. And this book fits the mold.

The police procedural part of Buried is really fun, and I love how much the author put into this plot line. It starts off as an arson/murder investigation, but by the time the reader is halfway through the and book the rest of the story is revealed the police are investigating several crimes over three decades all connected in some way to a gang that ran the streets over a long period of time. Stories like this are my favorite type to read; ones that contain different layers to the plot, and the reader spends much of the book trying to figure out how everything fits together. It keeps the momentum going, and I read this book rather quickly because I never wanted to put it down; there was always another clue around the corner that I wanted to explore.

The other part of the plot is DC Jack Warr’s story. Just like any police procedural worth its caution tape, Jack has personal issues transpiring throughout the book that distract him from the case throughout the book. He is pulled in many different directions at the same time, and his loyalties are always torn between the job and his life outside of work. I had a little bit of trouble connecting with this bit of the story at the beginning. There were choices he was making that I did not quite understand; and, while I was not able to reconcile ALL of those things by the end, I did enjoy how his story finished. And his story would not have ended up without some of those questionable actions and decisions along the way, so in the end I was good with Jack’s story. In the first half of the book this did take me out of the story at times, though.

I absolutely loved the setting, too. Being a midwest American boy and living in the Chicago area, I do not get to experience British accents, lingo, and culture very often. La Plante does a really good job of putting me in London. Every interview or conversation included tea and biscuits and the word “cuppa” was said no less than 50 times (along with so many other British words – some of which I had to Google their meaning). The characters language, mannerisms, habits – I felt like I was there, and, honestly, at times I did not want to leave. The setting was one of my favorite parts of the story.

Buried by Lynda La Plante is the police procedural you did not know you needed, but now you do. It was really well-written, with several interesting storylines tied together to create a really interesting plot web. I could not put it down. I recommend for fans of the genre to read it with a cuppa.

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