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.
Before PRIME SUSPECT there was WIDOWS . . . Facing life alone, they turned to crime together. Dolly Rawlins, Linda Pirelli and Shirley Miller are left devastated when their husbands are killed in a security van heist that goes disastrously wrong. When Dolly discovers her husband Harry's bank deposit box, containing a gun, money - and detailed plans for the hijack - she realises that she only has three options: 1. Give up and forget she ever found them; 2. Hand over Harry's ledgers to the police, or to the thugs that have been hassling her for information they think she has; 3. She and the other widows could carry out the robbery themselves Novices in the craft of crime, the three women make their preparations. Along the way they discover that Harry's plan required four people, not three. But only three bodies were discovered in the carnage of the original hijack - so who was the fourth man, and where is he now? Recruiting hooker Bella O'Reilly as their fourth, the widows are determined to execute their plan. Facing mounting pressure from DI Resnick, and local thugs Arnie and Tony Fisher, can they stick together and finish the job their husbands started . . .
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Before the 2018 Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn movie, Widows was a classic British TV miniseries based on this 1983 novel by Lynda La Plante, who went on to create the outstanding Prime Suspect franchise about policewoman Jane Tennison. La Plante is a gifted thriller author: As her newly widowed characters, Dolly, Linda, and Shirley, band together to pull off their dead husbands’ planned heist, she keeps the proceedings going with sure-footed pacing and knife-edge dialogue. Her smart, stylish caper with a nothing-left-to-lose edge reminds us of the work of crime masters like Raymond Chandler and Donald Westlake.
A dynamite premise and ample plot twists help compensate for the glacial pace of La Plante's novelization of her breakout TV series, originally published in the U.K. in 1983. After Dolly Rawlins learns that her husband, Harry, died in a fiery wreck while attempting to rob an armored car along with two other men, she discovers that Harry, the gang's leader, stashed a written plan for the failed heist in a safe deposit box. This find inspires Dolly to team up with Linda Pirelli and Shirley Miller, the widows of Harry's two assistants, to try and accomplish what their spouses couldn't. The job requires four people, necessitating the recruitment of street-savvy prostitute Bella O'Reilly and raising the question: why did the authorities recover only three bodies from the crash? Complications include a London cop who's determined to uncover evidence of the crew's prior crimes. La Plante (Good Friday) does a fine job showing the widows rise to the occasion. This reissue arrives just in time for filmmaker Steve McQueen's Hollywood adaptation.