By Daneet Steffens
Updated November 28, 1997 at 05:00 AM EST

Television writer Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect, Bella Mafia) here loads down her protagonist, Lorraine Page, with an enormous amount of baggage: ex-LAPD lieutenant, ex-alcoholic, ex-mother, ex-wife. Page, who now runs her own detective agency, is investigating the disappearance of a movie star’s teenage daughter in New Orleans. As Page does the gumshoe thing, voodoo, blackmail, and a surprising amount of gratuitous sex color the languidly menacing atmosphere of the Big Easy. Like La Plante’s Prime Suspect heroine, Jane Tennison, Page struggles realistically with her personal problems. Unlike that TV show, however, Cold Blood falls all too frequently into the realm of melodrama. B-

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