Wednesday, October 16, 2013

TLC Book Review - Backlash by Lynda La Plante

Backlash by Lynda La Plante
HarperCollins 2013

Format? paperback

Source? the publisher via TLC Book Tours
**FTC Disclaimer - The publisher provided me a complimentary copy of Backlash.  However, the review below and the opinions therein are offered without bias.

Why? I'm a sucker for a series...a sucker, I tell you...especially when it involves a tough as nails, survivor female lead :)

What Now? I need to back up and read the rest of this series.  There were many times while reading Backlash that I wondered about people or times in Anna Travis's life that LaPlante mentions, but I never felt left out.  LaPlante offers just enough info so that the reader is curious about the other books but also won't have any problem following the narrative of this particular installment.

Golden Lines

After keeping her waiting on the doorstep for five minutes, Langton buzzed her in; when she reached the front door of the flat it was ajar.  Someone had obviously cleared up as the main room was tidier than when she had been there previously.  Placing the groceries and vodka in the kitchen, which was also clear of dirty dishes, she called out, asking if he wanted her to make a coffee or tea.
"Just bring in the vodka and some ice," he called back. (100)

"If it's not a rude question, why are you playing with dollies over there? (152)

You are a good little detective, aren't you?  Yeah, I take all that, but you don't know how or where I killed her, do you?" (291)


Henry Oates is caught in the middle of the night with a dead body in the back of his van.  What ensues after he's arrested is a cat and mouse trail of truth vs. lies to find out exactly what happened to the young woman in the van and 4 others like her, including a 13 year old.
Still reeling from grief DCI Anna Travis is called on the case by injured DCS James Langton. She's been assigned a new post in Cold Cases, but Langton knows she's got the goods to pull these cases together and put their psychopath away for good and give closure to the families of the dead girls.

What I Liked

Langton - I can't help it...he's a jackass...but I like DCI Langton.  He says what he wants, doesn't pretend anything, and does his job better than anybody.  He's also got a soft side for Anna even though he doesn't let anybody see it.

Anna Travis - even though the pining she expressed from time to time in Backlash didn't really fit her character to me, I still like Anna Travis's control over the situation.  She commands respect and gets it.  She isn't afraid to stand up for herself and demands others do their jobs as well as she does hers.  She isn't even afraid of Langton who can even make some of the men officers legs' shake.  The final scene with Travis and Langton is just about as emotionally perfect as possible...and so powerful that I even forgave her for being a little melancholy in Backlash.

What I Didn't Like

There were times when the details became, this is a police procedural so any reader would expect some of that...but it really felt slow at times.  I'm sure that's the way real police work happens unlike the CSI episodes another character's mother watches.

Anna Travis is a little whinier than I would have liked.  She runs into old lovers, sees their lives as fulfilled and hers as not.  Of course, she's still dealing with the grief associated with the death of her fiance', but it grated on my nerves a little and didn't really fit her character to me.

Henry Oates - evil is alive and well in this world.

Overall Recommendation

If you like mystery/detective series with strong female leads partnered with just as strong male lead, both of whom are struggling with their demons, without the romantic distraction, this is the book for you.  

The Author

Other Stops on the Tour

Tuesday, October 15th: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Wednesday, October 16th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, October 17th: Booksie’s Blog
Monday, October 21st: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, October 22nd: Booked on a Feeling
Thursday, October 24th: Literary Feline
Monday, October 28th: Veronica M.D.
Tuesday, October 29th: 5 Minutes For Books
Wednesday, October 30th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Thursday, October 31st: Wordsmithonia
Monday, November 4th: Ace and Hoser Blook


  1. Funny, while I read a wide and very eclectic grouping of books I turn to very few of this type. Perhaps because I read so very many with my father when he was alive and I now have no one with whom to share them. We would pass them back and forth and discuss them over lunch. It's just not the same in a void - and the blog is not lunch with dad.

    1. That makes sense to me, Patty...sometimes books just hit a little too close to home. But, wonderful, wonderful memories :)

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this book and I appreciate you being on the tour (and I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today) but more importantly I'm so glad to see that your husband is ok! I hope you're able to get him to improve his diet and stress levels and that he is able to get heart-healthy.

    1. I hope so too, Heather and thanks!
      He's going to improve his diet at home whether or not he wants to ;)