Widows by Lynda La Plante

Soon to be a major feature film

“Widows, as many of you may know, was my first ever TV show, commissioned by Verity Lambert of Euston Films for Thames Television and it remains a special favourite of mine. In the wake of the phenomenal TV success – it became one of the highest rating series of the early 1980s – I turned the screenplay and script into a tie-in novel, which was first published in 1983. The original Widows ran to two series on ITV and went on to have a sequel set ten years later –She’s Out. Since then I have produced many TV series, films and novels. However, I was particularly delighted when award-winning film director Steve McQueen chose to buy the rights to Widows to adapt my story for a major movie that is planned for release in autumn 2018. It prompted me to re-read my original tie-in novel and to edit and reshape it for a new audience – and I’ve loved every minute of it.” Lynda La Plante (excerpt from the post script of Widows)


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?

My thoughts

The book is set in 1980s London three women, lead by Dolly Rawlings, agree to carry out the heist that went so tragically wrong for their husbands and left them alone. Dolly, Linda and Shirley are joined by Bella when it is obvious that four people are needed to carry out this daring and dangerous undertaking.

Dolly found Harry’s plans and his ledgers. She believes this is what Harry would want. It’s only right that her team should be the Widows. They’ll get the job done, it’ll be done properly and they will walk away with £1 million pounds.  We follow them as they prepare themselves for the heist and see that it has become a way of channeling their grief, anger and pain after losing their husbands. We see them at their best and worst.

The police team lead by DI Resnick are looking into the failed heist. Resnick is obsessed with Rawlings, so his team thinks, even if there is good reason. Even after the bodies are identified Resnick wants to pursue the matter because there must have been a fourth man on the job and he will have lot’s of answers.

The patch that Harry and his team controlled is being taken over. Arnie and Tony, the Fisher brothers, are building an empire now that they are free of Harry Rawlings. These two aren’t to be messed with. Still Harry’s ledgers need to be found, there’s too much damning information in them, and Dolly well she must know where they are.

The plot is layered and complex yet simply told, it is tense and there are some scary, horrible moments in it’s telling. The characters are well drawn and very believable. This is a glorious tale of ‘daring do’ in the criminal world. It would be surprising to hear of a criminal gang made up solely of women today never mind in the 1980s. So, even though what they are doing is wrong, is criminal, is illegal you get on board, you want them to succeed.  They are antithesis of hero’s but you cheer them at every step as they battle against the odds and try to stay one step ahead of the police, of the Fishers, of everyone who might stop them, from themselves and the fear that they can’t succeed makes for a terrific story and a cracking good read.


With thanks to Zaffre via NetGalley for this eARC in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4*


Publisher:        Zaffre (14 Jun. 2018)

First published in Great Britain in 1983 by Sphere. This edition published in 2018 by Zaffre Publishing.

Paperback:      448 pages         Language:       English

ISBN-10:1785763326                ISBN-13:978-1785763328

Buy:                  Waterstones     Amazon

Author:   Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing –and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series Widows.

Her novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed Prime Suspect won awards from BAFTA, Emmy, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Award. Lynda has written and produced over 170 hours of international television. Tennison has been adapted by ITV and was broadcast in March 2017 in the UK; international broadcast will follow.

Lynda is one of only three screenwriters to have been made an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Best Writer Award in 2000. In 2008, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Literature, Drama and Charity.

If you would like to hear from Lynda, please sign up at LyndaLaPlanteClub or you can visit LyndaLaPlante for further information. You can also follow Lynda on Facebook and Twitter @LaPlanteLynda.


One Comment on “Widows by Lynda La Plante

  1. Pingback: #20BooksofSummer June round-up – Love Books, Read Books


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