The Red Dahlia

The Red Dahlia

Detective Anna Travis is working on a horrific, brutal murder case that has created a media frenzy. The victim, Louise Pennel, a 24-year-old, single, 'fun-loving' girl, was last seen in a London night club wearing a sequinned mini-dress and a red rose in her hair.

In an eerie mirror image of the famous LA murder case of Elizabeth Short in the l940s known as the Black Dahlia, her body was found dumped by the River Thames… severed in half and brutalised beyond recognition.

Anna Travis must summon all the strength and guile she became so well known for in ABOVE SUSPICION to hunt down this sadistic killer.
  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 496 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781847395108 | 
  • September 2008
List Price £4.99


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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Red Dahlia includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Newly promoted Detective Inspector Anna Travis re-teams with Detective Inspector James Langton to investigate a grisly murder whose victim the press dubs the Red Dahlia. When the Red Dahlia murder appears to bear more than a passing resemblance to the famed Black Dahlia murder of 1947, whose killer was never found, the pressure to find the killer intensifies and raises the stakes for Anna and James. As the two follow the trail of a suspect who leads them through an increasingly dark and sadistic world, James and Anna must fight their growing sexual attraction in order to bring the murderer to justice. Lynda La Plante continues to build a case for why her newest heroine, Anna Travis, will endear herself to readers through her vigilance, tenacity, and poignant vulnerability.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. How does the murder case earn the moniker the Red Dahlia? When does the significance of this name begin to have an impact on Anna and James’s investigation and what are some of the initial results?

2. What was some see more

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About the Author

Lynda La Plante
Photo Credit:

Lynda La Plante

Lynda La Plante's fourteen novels, including the Prime Suspect series, have all been international bestsellers.  She is an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and a member of the UK Crime Writers Awards Hall of Fame.  She was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2008.  She runs her own television production company and lives in London and Easthampton, New York.  Visit her website at