Book Review: The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante

The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante

The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante – Book Review

About the Author

Lynda La Plante was born and raised in Liverpool. She began her acting career by appearing in a number of productions as well as TV series. Her career took off when she wrote episodes for a TV series based on a botched bank robbery, Widows. Following the overwhelming success of Widows, La Plante became a sought-after crime writer and signed her first book deal. Since then La Plante has created some of the best known crime dramas on television. Another of her hits is Above Suspicion, based on her series of novels about DCI Anna Travis.


In her second Anna Travis novel, British author La Plante, transports the unsolved Black Dahlia murder to the present-day London.

A local paperboy discovers the brutally butchered body of a woman under a bridge near river Thames, lot like the 50 year old unsolved Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles in the year 1947. Detective Inspector Anna Travis arrives on the scene and unexpectedly ends up working the case with her former lover James Langton.  As this complicated case unravels so does their relationship and secrets along with it. Letters start pouring in at local police stations and paper from the alleged killer, instilling fear among the people of London.

The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante.

Racing against time, and hitting dead ends after dead ends, the police force failed to come up with any suspects while the media frenzy starts spiraling out of control. The grueling, month-long hunt for the brutal killer has its share of disappointments and dead ends. The parallels between the Black Dahlia and the Red Dahlia end up going nowhere, and the clues to the murderer never amalgamate into an ample portrait.

As the mystery unraveled an older guy’s name kept coming up, Charles Wickenham. He was at the end of every turn and every conclusion they came to. Yet , there was just not enough to charge him as he had made sure to dispose of any evidence that could link him to the victim.

This book series was adapted into a TV Show by the name of Above Suspicion and gained a lot of attention in the UK.


If you’re a true crime geek and like to read about unsolved mysteries, then this book is a treat for you. The book transforms the reader into a dark world of twisted web of secrets. It’s one of those books that made me fall in love with this genre and compelled me to buy the rest of the books of the series. One of the reasons why this book fascinated me so much was because ever since I started reading true crime, the Black Dahlia case has always intrigued me. Maybe that’s why the title grabbed my attention. The only difference that remains is that the Black Dahlia’s killer was never caught.



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