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Publisher's Summary

In the dark night of the soul…

If Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison hadn't been a woman, she might not have noticed the victim's shoes…and that they didn't match the size given on the info sheet now so obviously misidentifying the dead blonde as a hooker named Della Mornay. Being so thorough, so good at the details, made Jane a top investigator; being a woman made the boys in the squadron want to see her fall on her face. But Jane Tennison was determined to catch the madman stalking women in London's street shadows. She had a prime suspect, and she needed to make the charges against him stick. She also needed to keep her own secret in check: she couldn't let anyone see that she was falling apart inside, as her obsession with cracking this case and breaking out from under the heel of the station house boy's club took over life, destroying her relationship with the man she loved, pushing her closer and closer to the dark urges of a killer…

©2012 AudioGO (P)1991 Lynda La Plante

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story
  • Claire
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 07-07-12

La Plante's first and best Tennyson novel

I knew the story well but was interested in listening to the book after watching the TV drama series. The narrator is an excellent choice because she sounds like the Helen Mirren. I know that shouldn't necessarily be a factor but when you have seen the movie you expect to hear a tone of voice similar to what you remember. The book is brilliant and it was great to hear Linda La Plante talking about how she researched the Helen Mirren role.

Fantastic.

38 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • patricia
  • Pepperell, MA, United States
  • 08-13-12

La Plante always is true to form

What made the experience of listening to Prime Suspect #1 the most enjoyable?

Ms. Porter captures the nuances of the text and brings characters to life. She is easy to listen to and I look for books she narrates.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Plot was complex with many layers, as in life in general

What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Davinia does an excellent job bringing characters to life, no matter who the character is, a great talent.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Crime Procedurals Have Changed

Prime Suspect is known for the insights it provides into gender dynamics when a woman takes a leadership role in a traditionally male organization. While the story certainly does a good job of this, the descriptions of the emotions experienced by individual technicians while processing a horrific crime scene made me realize how current popular procedurals focus on the science, rather than the human response to the scene.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Davina Porter is an international treasure.

What did you love best about Prime Suspect #1?

Jane Tennyson is barely likeable, but somehow she is sympathetic. An usual heroine in an unusual plot. Not the same old same old.

What other book might you compare Prime Suspect #1 to and why?

Prime Suspect #2!

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

Such credible and versatile voices for all characters. Awesome performance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Masterpiece Mystery. Get it on Netflix.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Joey
  • ashland, OR, United States
  • 03-16-14

Not bad, but not great

Would you try another book from Lynda La Plante and/or Davina Porter?

No, I don't believe I would intentionally select another of Lynda La Plante's books to listen to or read. I didn't find the writing to be all that clever. I find the writing styles of Tana French, Gillan Flynn, Donna Tartt, Adrian McKinty to be far more interesting.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I felt the book to be fairly predictable and at times tedious. I admire and respect the fact that she is interested in highlighting the inequality female detectives are subjected to. However, I found the presentation of it to be mundane.

Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

I tend to enjoy stories with flawed characters with complex backgrounds that allow me to appreciate certain qualities and loath other aspects. In this story, I found the character descriptions to lack depth. The author's descriptions seemed generally limited to relatively concise descriptions that motivated the characters to act as I would expect them to.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No. By the way, the audio book starts with a narrative from the author describing how she came to write a TV script that the book is based on and the real life female detective that helped form the main character.

Any additional comments?

The book is a New York Times Best Seller, so clearly many people enjoy Lynda La Plante's work. I would guess that the reader who likes a concise story with an "underdog" protagonist, may like this book. A reader that prefers books with complex characters may be less likely to find it a great read or listen.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Well written but boring for me.

This book is an effort to portray a woman fighting for respect, a topic that is well worth exploring. But there is no growth of character, no learning that goes on. Her winning of respects comes for no real reason, far too fast and too complete. But that is not the failure of this book. A book needs a plot, a story that develops. This plot might be worth a (very) short story but is painful when spread out to novel length. I do want to say this is very well written, the scenes are believable as are the characters. But I read stories for excitement, the slow discovery of new facts, each one uncovering both information and more questions. I also read for character development. Sadly all are lacking in this book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Got this on a whim...

...2 books, 1credit. My favorite way to try new (to me) authors. Turns out it is narrated by one of my favorites. Think I'll try #2.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • TC
  • Seattle, WV, USA
  • 08-19-12

Excellent; narrator really made it pop!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Excellent character development, both protag and antagonists. The narrator is masterful in communicating irony, suspense, and humor!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, life and death scenarios. I didn't know who to trust.

Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

The protagonist.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme, just enjoyable, and I plan to listen to it several more times!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Keep in mind that 1991 was a long time ago

I didn't like many (most) of the characters. I also didn't like the heavy-handed portrayal of sexism, but... perhaps way back in 1991 it was really as bad as all that. I think sexism in the workplace is much more subtle now - of course it still exists, but I think that nobody would explicitly state (to a woman, or to other male coworkers) some of the rude things some of the characters in this book said to or about the female lead.

Taking it as a product of its time, it was a decent procedural. I did watch the Prime Suspect series on TV back in the 90s (with Helen Mirren) and had much fonder memories of the story from that show than I got from reading this book.

It was decent. It was a product of its time. It could be seen as dated. I might read more in the series, but... only if I were looking for a combo trip down memory lane plus quick straight-forward read.

I wasn't as smitten with the narrator as most people seem to be - she did fine, but I am not sure if the "harshness" of the story was from the story itself, or how Porter voiced Tennyson to be quite the beotch... There is no sex, some swearing and no graphic violence.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Back to the Beginning

I'd seen Prime Suspect on TV as soon as it came out, thus never read the book. But on a whim I decided to try it. It helped that Davina Porter read it, she's among the very best of the best. I'm glad I gave it a go. For me, it was actually better than the film, except for the lack of Helen Mirren. Jane's a hard character to like, but certainly interesting and realistic. The criminal and the crimes are way weird, but my main entertainment was watching the police wend their way through the evidence, and plot their tactics. Good job by all.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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