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Trial & Retribution IV
by Lynda La Plante & Robin Blake

Category: Fiction / Crime
259 pages; ISBN: 0330485571

Rating: 6/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Luke Croll


With this novel, Lynda La Plante continues her series of 'Trial And
Retribution' books, starring DI Pat North and Detective Superintendent Mike Walker.
However, this novel has been written with the help of Robin Blake, as it was
originally a TV programme. Quite why is not clear to me.

North is reinvestigating an eight-year-old murder case in which she discovers
her partner led the original enquiry. Since he seems to be covering things up, she
wonders if her lover could have falsified evidence to frame an innocent man. Can
Walker prove that he is innocent?

Whilst I am a great fan of the writing of Lynda La Plante, I have started to feel
that this series is becoming a little tired. North and Walker have seen four major
investigations now and each book has been called 'Trial & Retribution'. It would not
be so bad if they had new titles, etc., but it just seems to be the same old story

'Trial & Retribution IV' is mediocre. The character of McCready, the alleged
killer, is flat and the book has no real power within it, making it a fast and simple
read. There also seem to be loose ends and it seemed to me that La Plante could have
developed the characters so much more. I do not know if this is something to do with
the fact that Robin Blake has novelised it, but it is certainly not as good as her
previous books.

I feel that La Plante would be better concentrating on TV dramas and new
books away from this series. As a TV drama, I think the 'Trial & Retribution' series
works better. In a book, the reader wants something reasonably meaty - you are not
going to find it here. One of her weaker novels in a long time.


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