Lynda la Plante

Interviewed 11 November 2017

Lynda La Plante

Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA where her fellow students included Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt and Ian McShane. After finishing her studies, she began her career as an actress, appearing with the Royal Shakespeare Company in a variety of productions, as well as popular television series including Z Cars, The Sweeney, The Professionals, Bergerac and Rentaghost.

Whilst filming The Gentle Touch with Jill Gascoigne, Lynda wrote a treatment for a TV series based on a botched bank robbery. Widows was commissioned by Verity Lambert of Euston Films for Thames Television. It became one of the highest rating series of the early 1980s.

Her original script for Prime Suspect won awards including BAFTAs, Emmys and the Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Writer's Award. Lynda has written and produced over 170 hours of international television.

Lynda is one of only three screenwriters to have been made an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and she was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Writer's Award in 2000. In 2008, she was awarded a CBE for services to literature, drama and charity. She is a member of the Crime Thriller Awards hall of fame and is the only lay person to be made a fellow of the Forensic Science Society. She lives in London and New York.

Books by Lynda La Plante

Blunt Force

DS Jane Tennison feels she has been left to rot in a quiet central London station until the horrific murder of a top agent plunges her into a showbiz world of exploitation, drugs and dodgy deals.

Reviewed on 21 August 2021 by John Cleal


DC Jack Warr discovers the truth of his own birth through links between a charred body in a burnt Victorian cottage and a series of major historical crimes.

Reviewed on 31 July 2020 by John Cleal

The Dirty Dozen

Detective Sergeant Jane Tennison is posted to the Sweeney, the Flying Squad, rocked by corruption allegations and notoriously misogynistic. She must not only prove herself to her male colleagues, but also tackle some of London’s most vicious armed robbers.

Reviewed on 30 November 2019 by John Cleal

Murder Mile

Newly promoted DS Jane Tennison has been posted to the tough South London borough of Peckham. Her arrival is greeted by the discovery of two women’s bodies in as many days, then a third, dismembered, corpse just three days later.

Reviewed on 15 June 2019 by John Cleal

Good Friday

Detective Constable Jane Tennison is a key witness to the IRA bombing of a tube station. As she fights to forget the dreadful scenes, a chance sighting exposes a terrorist plot to strike a deadly blow at London’s police.

Reviewed on 02 August 2017 by John Cleal

Hidden Killers

Jane Tennison, newly promoted to DC, is about to earn a reputation as either a young, tenacious detective or a thorn in the Met’s side when she digs her claws in to two seemingly open-and-shut cases.

Reviewed on 29 April 2017 by Kati Barr-Taylor