PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am


by Lynda La Plante (read by Kim Hicks)

Lynda La Plante is a woman of many trades, and a mistress of them all. Whether she is creating ground-breaking television series such as Prime Suspect, or exciting crime novels like Backlash, she mixes strong characters, expertly researched backgrounds and twisty plots that keep you guessing until the very end. La Plante's heroine is Anna Travis, who has already starred in seven mysteries. Having run her first case in previous instalment Bloodlines, Travis returns to a supporting role in Backlash. One night, two policemen stop a van (with the sign KIDDIES PARTY DATES) after they spot its driver Henry Oates speeding over a pedestrian crossing. Opening the back door, they find a dead woman. The truly odious Oates confesses to three counts of rape and murder - including the unsolved killing of 13-year-old Rebekkah Jordan five years before. Then he retracts these confessions, forcing Travis and DCS James Langdon, who investigated Jordan's disappearance, to pin him to the crimes. La Plante has played this game of cat and mouse before - most impressively in Prime Suspect. Backlash may not quite hit those dizzy heights, but it is gripping, tense and enjoyable crime fiction.