Widows – Lynda La Plante


Widows was originally published in 1983 by Sphere. This new version is published by Zaffre on 14 June 2018 and is available to buy here

The groundbreaking thriller from the Queen of Crime Drama and the basis for Steve McQueen’s upcoming major motion picture. WIDOWS is a fast-paced heist thriller with an all female cast you won’t forget

Facing life alone, they turned to crime together

A security van heist goes disastrously wrong and three women are left widowed.

When Dolly Rawlins discovers her gang boss husband’s plans for the failed hijack, an idea starts to form . . .

Could she and the other wives finish the job their husbands started?

As the women rehearse the raid, it becomes clear that someone else must have been involved.

But only three bodies were found in the wreckage.

Who was the fourth man?

And where is he now?

Also by Lynda La Plante

Murder Mile – Tennison Book 4

My thoughts

Girl Power. 1983 style. Bring it on …

I was too young to watch the Widows (1983) series on television. I have just ordered all of the DVDs to rectify this. The super talented Queen of Crime Lynda La Plante made a huge name for herself with Widows. This was years before Prime Suspect (1991) hit our screens. I was so addicted to Prime Suspect. I still am.

Widows has been now been made into a movie, which will be released in late 2018. In honour of this, I decided to read the book and get to know Dolly Rawlins. Widows was originally published in 1983, to tie in with the TV series. Shame on me. I should have read this one, years ago. It is wonderful.

It is 1983. Dolly Rawlins is happily married to Harry, an antique’s dealer. Harry Rawlins is not all sweetness and light. He has the police on his back, in the form of Detective Inspector George Resnick. He is a money launderer and a crook. He is a smart criminal, who has managed to evade capture. A failed armed robbery leads to the death of Harry, Joe and Terry. A fourth unknown man, who was part of the gang, lives. Dolly, Linda and Shirley are now widows. They are struggling to cope without their men. Dolly has a cunning plan. She wants to empower the women. She wants to carry on, where her old man left off. She knows they can do it.

Everyone knows that Lynda La Plante writes some incredible female characters. Dolly Rawlins is easily a match for Jane Tennison. Both being strong, compelling and believable female characters. Remember this was written at a time, when we had strong female role models popping up all over the place; in soaps like Dynasty, as well as female UK Prime Minister. As a part of our cultural landscape, Dolly was iconic. Girl power was very much part of the 1980s.

Dolly is working class made good, with leadership skills and a keen brain. She can easily lose the foolish police officers following her. She brings together the women for a common purpose. One minute, they are moaning and are deeply suspicious of Dolly, who is bank rolling them. The next minute, they are keen to show what they are made of. They want to be the best they can. This is a story about women and it is all about character. We grow to love them, warts and all. Lynda La Plante beautifully laces so much humour into the writing. We smile at them. We laugh. We feel a part of the action. We want them to succeed.

There were three Widows televised series. The book relates to the initial series in 1983. Obviously, there are plenty of readers and viewers, who already know what happens next. I am not one of them. We do not get all of the answers. We have to wait for Widows 2. That is perfectly fine with me.

This is classic Lynda La Plante. Widows is simply stunning. There is no one like Dolly Rawlins. Highly recommended.



About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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