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The Dirty Dozen

Returning in her fifth book, Jane Tennison has become the first female detective to be posted to the Flying Squad, a position she has worked hard to achieve, but she is finding the going pretty terrible as the team that make up the ‘Sweeny’, known as the Dirty Dozen, are not taking at all kindly to having a woman, no matter how good, posted to their elite group.

On her first a day a brutal robbery takes place, which sets the scene for another well-constructed plot from Lynda La Plante in The Dirty Dozen, that surges through the streets of London, involving a group of hardened criminals who believe the best cop is a dead cop!

In typical La Plante style, the plot is such that the intimacy between the reader and the characters develops as the plot unfolds and once again, Jane is forced to pit her skills and intellect again a tide of distrust from the rest of the team, to prove she is more than capable of being a member of this elite Squad.

She is not to impressed when she finds she has been selected, not just on her merit, but the fact she is female in an experiment to see if working with a woman on the team curbs the ‘clubbish’ nature of the Forces elite. Her nickname of Treacle impresses her even less!

Becoming friendly with a young, ‘wanna be crook’, she finds herself attending a wedding involving a number of notorious criminals, even having her photo taken with them, an event which will bring both heartache and a breakthrough in a seriously vicious robbery.

Her exacting attention to detail see her slowly gaining respect from some of the team members, but also finds that as she lacks training in gun use, she is severely limited in what she can safely do, and the team make the most of this, offering her the most menial of tasks to be undertaken.

Tenacious to the end, Jane and her partner Teflon keep on investigating the mundane, but Jane is beginning to connect the dots, raising the suspicion that a couple of the Sweeny may not be altogether honest cops, which begins to raise a fresh set of issues as there has already been a number of Police suspended on corruption charges.

When the ending is revealed it is almost an anticlimax as the pace of the plot has been somewhat hectic, but as an entrée into a new division of Police work for the feisty Jane Tennison, it’s a pretty good introduction and an engrossing read.

Author Lynda La Plante
Publisher Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781785768507
Distributor Allen and Unwin
Released August 2019