Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante #BookReview

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‘Do you know what a Judas Horse is? When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it. When he’s ready, you release him and he’ll bring his team back into the corral – like Judas betraying them…’

Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.

As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes – and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.

When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr’s head – and any more blood spilled, on his hands…

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This is the first Lynda La Plante novel that I read and I certainly understand why she’s such a successful author. Judas Horse is the second novel in a series about DC Jack Warr but I only came upon this information afterwards. It surprised me to learn this so it didn’t hinder my reading experience and the novel can definitely be read as a standalone. 

I had a good feel of Jack’s character, he’s not without flaws but he’s a natural born leader, a bit of a lone wolf I might add and he struggles a bit with that, but he’s damn good at his job. I also enjoyed the glimpse into his personal life where his new status as a father will be the biggest change of late. But Maggie and Jack also have friends who are expecting, then there’s also his mother who lives with them and he often refers to his late father and his biological father. Overall the character development was great and made me care for them.

At the beginning of the novel there are two children who find an abandoned horse carriage and then the story takes quite a jump towards Jack, where I saw him in action and immediately knew he was good at his job. The horse carriage was not spoken of any more and I had almost forgotten all about it when it suddenly became quite relevant. It was exciting to finally understand the meaning of the horse carriage and I enjoyed how it came into play again later on. The story itself is mainly about some burglars who quite drastically rob people of their belongings and it becomes terrifying when they don’t even care if people are home or not. Jack tries to find out who they are and where they’re going to strike next and I was fully invested in the investigation myself which isn’t simple to solve and takes a route I hadn’t anticipated.

I enjoyed the dynamics between the different police officers, and there was a good build up, only the ending was a little too action packed for me. It would definitely work for me on screen with all the high tension chasing but book-wise I prefer the investigation itself. Judas Horse (the title is explained in the novel, I had never heard of this before but it is a perfect title relating to both the plot and the setting) pulled me in right from the start and was a wonderful introduction to this author so it probably won’t be my last one either. 

I received a hardcopy of this novel in my Capital Crime Subscription box. This is my honest opinion.

4 thoughts on “Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante #BookReview

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