Murder Mile By Lynda La Plante: Review and Summary

Murder Mile - Lynda La Plante - The Bookshop

If you are searching for a gripping, suspenseful novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then Lynda La Plante’s latest book, “Murder Mile,” might be just what you need. As an accomplished crime fiction author, La Plante has received critical acclaim for her previous works, including the award-winning “Prime Suspect” series. “Murder Mile” follows a similar vein, as it delves into the complex world of crime investigation and the dark underbelly of London’s criminal underworld.

Main Themes and Ideas

The story of “Murder Mile” revolves around a serial killer who is terrorizing London’s West End, targeting young women and leaving the police baffled with each new murder. The protagonist, Detective Inspector Anna Travis, is assigned to the case, and together with her team, she embarks on a relentless pursuit of the killer. Along the way, we witness the challenges and ethical dilemmas that Travis and her colleagues face, as they try to balance the demands of their job with their personal lives.

One of the main themes of the book is the nature of evil, and how it manifests itself in the killer’s psyche. La Plante explores the dark recesses of the human mind, and the disturbingly twisted logic that drives some people to commit heinous crimes. Through the killer’s character, we get a glimpse into the inner workings of a sociopath, and the chillingly calculated nature of their actions. La Plante’s portrayal of the killer is both nuanced and disturbing, and adds a layer of psychological complexity to the story.

Another central theme of the book is the role of women in law enforcement. Anna Travis is a strong, capable character, who is often underestimated and dismissed by her male colleagues. Throughout the book, we see her struggle to prove herself, to earn the respect of her peers, and to fight against the sexism and discrimination that she faces. La Plante examines the challenges that women in law enforcement face, and the double standards that they are held to, and offers a nuanced and insightful portrayal of this complex issue.

Writing Style and Effectiveness

La Plante’s writing style is crisp, engaging, and fast-paced, which perfectly suits the genre of crime fiction. Her descriptions are vivid and evocative, and she has a keen eye for detail. She takes us into the heart of London’s criminal underworld, and shows us the seedy bars, the dingy alleys, and the dark corners that most of us would never venture into. Her dialogue is sharp and realistic, and she has a talent for creating memorable characters with just a few deft strokes.

Overall, La Plante’s writing is effective and accomplished, and she succeeds in creating a gripping, suspenseful atmosphere that keeps the reader hooked until the very end. However, there are a few moments in the book where the pacing slows down a bit too much, and some parts of the story feel a bit contrived or predictable. These are minor quibbles, though, and they do not detract from the overall quality of the book.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the main strengths of the book is its strong characterization. Anna Travis is a well-developed, multi-dimensional character, who is flawed and human, rather than a one-dimensional superhero. Her personal struggles and emotional turmoil make her a relatable and sympathetic figure, and we root for her to succeed in her quest to catch the killer. The supporting cast of characters is also well-drawn, and the dynamics between them are realistic and complex.

Another strength of the book is its attention to detail. La Plante’s research is meticulous, and she creates a convincing and authentic world that feels grounded in reality. The descriptions of police procedure and forensics are particularly well-done, and contribute to the book’s overall sense of verisimilitude.

One weakness of the book is its occasional reliance on stereotype and cliché. Some of the characters feel like stock types, and the plot occasionally veers into familiar territory. However, these are relatively minor flaws, and they do not significantly detract from the overall quality of the book.

Comparison to other Works

“Murder Mile” belongs to the genre of crime fiction, and as such, it shares many similarities with other works in the same vein. However, La Plante’s focus on character development and social issues sets her apart from other crime fiction authors, and gives her work a unique flavor. In particular, her portrayal of women in law enforcement is a refreshing departure from the genre’s traditional male-dominated perspective.

Overall, “Murder Mile” is a strong addition to the genre, and it will appeal to fans of crime fiction and police procedurals. Its suspenseful plot, well-drawn characters, and realistic portrayal of police work make it a compelling and satisfying read.


In conclusion, “Murder Mile” is a gripping, suspenseful novel that explores the complex issues of crime investigation, the nature of evil, and the challenges faced by women in law enforcement. La Plante’s writing style is effective and engaging, and her attention to detail and strong characterization make the book stand out in the genre. While it has some minor flaws, overall, “Murder Mile” is a strong addition to the genre, and it is definitely worth a read.


Is “Murder Mile” suitable for young readers?

No, the book contains graphic descriptions of violence and sexual assault, and is not suitable for young readers.

Is “Murder Mile” part of a series?

Yes, “Murder Mile” is part of the Anna Travis series of novels by Lynda La Plante.

Is the book available in e-book format?

Yes, “Murder Mile” is available in both e-book and print formats.

Is there a movie or TV adaptation of “Murder Mile”?

No, there is currently no movie or TV adaptation of “Murder Mile.”

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