Book Review: Red Dahlia


Author: Lynda La Plante
Title: The Red Dahlia
Genre: Crime
ISBN: 0743257073
‘A young girl is found dumped on the banks of the Thames. Horrifically mutilated and drained of blood, her death is an ominous mirror image of an unsolved 1940s case in Los Angeles known as The Black Dahlia. ‘


I’m missing something. I must be. This is the second book by La Plante I have read and I am less than wowed. Part of me screams ‘what right do you have?!’ but the rest of me says; ‘plenty! I’m a reader as well as a writer. I can dip my feet into both sides of the pool.’ Then I get totally side tracked and think about a t-shirt I want from the OOTS shop saying ‘I’m true neutral; I go both ways,’ but that’s another story.

Yawn. This book has fell into the same holes that Silent Scream did, but worse. This is earlier than that one, so I can see where La Plante has improved going forward. But it still not enough to stop me tutting. I’m reading the books out of sequence, but I’m fortunate enough that this makes no difference to how I feel about the stories/writing except to make the relationship between Anna Travis and James Langton hop around like a cat on a hot tin roof. But it does that anyway. o.O

Langton is actually a fantastic character in that he has earned my deepest, deepest hate. Lol. I don’t know enough about him (maybe his first appearance to the series might have put me in a different mind set), but he is the typical workaholic chauvinist with a seriously irritating Hamlet complex. Any woman out there could (and would) scream that he is not good enough for the intelligent, undervalued Anna (sorry, is my sarcasm too loud for you? -_-). The problem is, I don’t have a similar feeling about Anna; not that I don’t dislike her, but that I don’t feel anything for her. Nothing at all.

That is the big failing for me.

This marks my second meeting with Anna Travis the amazing detective but she is still bland, lifeless and just a little bit silly in my eyes (seriously; what the hell was she thinking with that reporter?!). Coupled with that thirty-forty pages down the line I may be able to get off the wild ride at the next stop (yes, back to my train analogy from Silent Scream). It slow. Far too slow in paces and in others it leaps along so fast that I can’t keep up. Particularly the end where the police are starting to narrow the net on their killer’s whereabouts. Why oh why oh why does it take them so long to pin this guy when they know damn well its him from about half way through? It just makes it boring. 😦

But I’m not yet completely put off. This book marks one of La Plante’s earlier novels before she really got her teeth into what she is capable of. There is plenty of potential to go a long way with the series, so I will make a point of picking up another of her books when next I see one.
Honest guv.

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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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