Good Friday By Lynda Laplante: Review and Summary

Book Review: Good Friday by Lynda LaPlante – BookOGraphics Book Reviews

Good Friday by Lynda LaPlante is a mystery novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. LaPlante is a prolific author who is best known for her crime novels and television dramas, such as the Prime Suspect series. With Good Friday, she explores the lives of some of London’s most notorious criminals and the police officers tasked with bringing them to justice.

Main Themes and Ideas

The central theme of Good Friday is the complex relationship between law enforcement and the criminals they pursue. LaPlante delves deep into the psyche of both the police officers and the criminals, showing the reader how their respective experiences have shaped their beliefs and actions. She also examines the corrupting influence of power, particularly in the context of the police force. This theme is particularly relevant today, as issues of police brutality and corruption are increasingly in the public eye.

Another important theme in the novel is the struggle between good and evil. LaPlante does an excellent job of portraying the moral ambiguity of many of her characters. While some are clearly evil, others are more nuanced, struggling to reconcile their desire for justice with their own flaws and personal demons.

One of the strengths of Good Friday is LaPlante’s ability to weave together multiple storylines and characters to create a rich, complex narrative. The book follows the parallel stories of four police officers and several criminals, each with their own unique motivations and challenges. While this approach could have quickly become confusing, LaPlante handles it masterfully, keeping the reader engaged throughout.

Writing Style and Effectiveness

LaPlante’s writing style is crisp, direct, and highly effective. She uses short sentences and plenty of dialogue to keep the reader’s attention, and her descriptions are evocative without being overly flowery. She is particularly skilled at creating vivid, multi-dimensional characters. Even minor characters are given enough depth to feel like real people, and the major characters are all incredibly compelling.

One of the book’s major strengths is how effectively LaPlante conveys the tension and danger of police work. Her descriptions of the officers’ surveillance and pursuit of the criminals are incredibly detailed and well-researched, and she does an excellent job of showing how stressful and exhausting these operations can be.

Another effective element of the novel is the way LaPlante exposes the flaws and corruption within the police department. Rather than painting a simplistic picture of good cops and bad cops, she shows the reader how the officers’ personal flaws and biases can undermine their work, and how the internal politics of the department can prevent justice from being served.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of Good Friday’s major strengths is its complex, multi-layered plot. LaPlante weaves together multiple storylines in a way that is both coherent and engaging. She also does an excellent job of creating vivid, realistic characters that the reader cares about. The tension and danger of police work is also portrayed very effectively, making for a thrilling ride from start to finish.

That being said, the book is not without its flaws. At times, the sheer number of characters and plotlines can become overwhelming, and some readers may find themselves struggling to keep track of who’s who. Additionally, while LaPlante’s writing style is highly effective overall, there are instances where her use of dialogue feels a bit stilted and unrealistic.

Comparisons to Other Works in the Genre

Good Friday is a standout novel in the crime/mystery genre. Its multi-layered plot and complex, compelling characters set it apart from many other books in the genre. While it shares some similarities with other crime novels, such as the Prime Suspect series, it also stands on its own as a unique and highly engaging read.

One area in which it really shines is in its exploration of the gray area between good and evil. While many mystery novels feature clearly defined heroes and villains, Good Friday shows how difficult it can be to distinguish between the two. It also tackles issues of police corruption and abuse of power in a nuanced and thought-provoking way.


Overall, I highly recommend Good Friday to anyone looking for a fast-paced, engrossing mystery novel. The book’s complex plot and well-drawn characters make for a highly engaging read, and LaPlante’s exploration of issues of power, corruption, and moral ambiguity is both thought-provoking and timely. While the book’s sheer volume of characters and plotlines can be overwhelming at times, these are minor quibbles in an otherwise excellent novel.


Q: Is Good Friday appropriate for young readers?

A: Good Friday contains adult themes and language, so I would recommend it for readers over the age of 18.

Q: Is Good Friday part of a series?

A: No, Good Friday is a stand-alone novel. However, if you enjoy LaPlante’s writing, I highly recommend checking out some of her other books, such as the Prime Suspect series.

Q: Is there a film or television adaptation of Good Friday?

A: Not yet – but given LaPlante’s successful track record in television and film, it wouldn’t be surprising if one was in the works!

Q: Can I expect any twists or surprises in Good Friday?

A: Absolutely. LaPlante is a master of the mystery genre, and Good Friday is full of unexpected twists and turns.

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