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Unholy Murder

Unholy Murder is the seventh book in the Tennison murder mysteries from Lynda la Plante. The main character, Jane Tennison a Detective Sergeant, in the CID at Bromley. She has just recently transferred there. Although her background is referred to several times, this is a stand-alone read. Jane works with DC Boon, on this particular case and is a mentor for him.

Unholy Murder begins with the discovery of a metal coffin on a building site. Reluctantly the workers notify the Police, as they realise there will be a delay to their work. The site is on the grounds of a disused Convent where orphaned children were housed and raised.

The first step Jane takes is to clarify if there is a body in the coffin, so it is removed and opened. They discover a well-preserved body of a Nun who was not dead when placed in the coffin. Therefore, a murder investigation will need to take place.

Because of the location of the coffin there are many issues which need to be dealt with; has the ground been deconsecrated, is there a record of the Nun who went missing, and can the archives of the Church in that area help them with enquiries? The team are scrupulous in their attention to detail. Jane interviews a new young Priest, and an old assistant who worked with mother Superior at the Convent. She also locates some of the children who were placed in there.

Gradually a story emerges of the harsh and punitive life for the orphans. The ambitious Nuns who gave them basic care, were worried that rising costs for the aging Convent may have seen it close. Doggedly, Jane and her team speak to and record all conversations from those connected with the murder, and the Convent. Gradually a small discrepancy becomes a larger lie and alerts the team of inconsistencies.

Unholy Murder is an engaging read, with the reader left guessing who the culprits are which possess a rather interesting conclusion to this latest murder mystery from Lynda La Plante.

Author Lynda La Plante
Publisher Bonnier/Zaffre
ISBN 9781785765421
Distributor Allen & Unwin
Released October 2021