The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This book follows on from Above Suspicion however, with only a couple of references to this previous case it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read it. Perhaps it would have been good to know more about the previous relationship between DI Travis and DCI Langton, but it certainly didn’t prevent this book being a stand-alone work.
In brief, Langton and his team are tasked with finding the culprit of two brutally horrific murders of young women. The murders themselves appear to be copy cats of a previous case from 1940s America, which was never solved. It is a remarkably tough case, the perpetrator is clearly intelligent and has covered his tracks incredibly well. To make matters worse, when they finally find a suspect, he goes missing from right under their noses.
As the story involves sexual deviancy, incest, self harm, suicide, plus details of very sick murders and mutilation, it is not for the faint hearted. However the subjects are not paraded, and in the context of the story it is clear they are not just there for the shock factor as in some books. It is not an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but a murder mystery. However, for those fond of twists and turns and who enjoy second guessing and figuring out the clues, you may be disappointed, this reads more like an account of what happened than a ‘whodunit’.
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