Book Review: Unholy Murder by Lynda La Plante

Unholy Murder
Tennison #7

Author: Lynda La Plante
Published: August 24, 2021
416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 27, 2021- January 5, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A coffin is dug up by builders in the grounds of an historic convent – inside is the body of a young nun.

In a city as old as London, the discovery is hardly surprising. But when scratch marks are found on the inside of the coffin lid, Detective Jane Tennison believes she has unearthed a mystery far darker than any she’s investigated before. However, not everyone agrees. Tennison’s superiors dismiss it as an historic cold case, and the Church seems desperate to conceal the facts from the investigation. It’s clear that someone is hiding the truth, and perhaps even the killer. Tennison must pray she can find both – before they are buried forever . . .

In Unholy Murder, Tennison must lift the lid on the most chilling murder case of her career to date . . .

Jessica’s Review:

Compared to other books I have recently read, this one was a success!!!  YES!!  Unholy Murder is the seventh book in the Tennison series, but it can be read as a standalone.  I have not read any of the other in the series and did not feel like I have missed anything as past situations are mentioned. I did like Tennison and am interested in how she got her start in a male dominated field, especially for the time period this novel takes place in.

I was confused at first with references to using maps, the phone book, and more until I found a review that mentioned the time period: This novel takes place in 1982 based on when the Pope visits the UK where this novel takes place. Once I knew the time period I actually enjoyed the trip back in time where the things we take for granted were not in existence and we had ‘old school policing’. And with Tennison also being a woman in this time period: It really was a boys club then.

Unholy Murder has an intriguing premise that actually delivers: a coffin is dug up and it has a nun inside and it appears she was buried alive!?!?  What happened to her and why???  Secrets and lies, the Catholic Church and more: Bring it on!  And this novel became so much more than I expected with its twists and turns.

It is a police procedural, so we get to see how things were done in the 1980s, which includes autopsies. Not a fast-paced novel, but it is detailed and it does move and I never lost interest in the story. I was fully involved and cared about the characters you should care for. 

I enjoyed this novel and if you enjoy crime dramas/police procedurals, Unholy Murder and my guess is that the whole Tennison series will be for you.

I received a copy to read and review from Bookish First.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK