One of my absolute, all time favourite series, that never, ever disappoints, is Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks novels. The 23rd book in the series, When The Music's Over, releases early next month.
Robinson opens When the Music's Over with a gut wrenching prologue. The reader knows that there is someone and something very, very dark out there......
Banks has just been promoted to Detective Superintendent. And along with his promotion, comes a high profile case. A beloved public performer, now in his eighties, may not be the man the British public has believed him to be. More than one woman has come forward with accounts of 'historical sexual abuse'. It's up to Alan and his team to see if they can prove a case that's over fifty years old.
I wondered how Banks would go about investigating the historical case. After so many years, what clues would be left to follow? As Banks says...."I mean...nearly fifty years ago...It's about as cold as case as you can get."
Running parallel and just as challenging is Detective Inspector Annie Cabot's case. The body of a young girl has been found by the side of the road, horribly beaten. Racial tension, political correctness and public relations tip-toeing are muddying the waters in Annie's investigation.
"And what are the odds of some stranger just happening along this road, seeing a naked woman walking and turning out to be a passing psychopath, deciding to beat her to death."
This latest mystery from Robinson is both topical and current. Both cases draw upon actual cases for inspiration - that of Rotherham and Jimmy Savile. Although there are two separate cases, they have common (and disturbing) starting point. The plotting is excellent, well thought out, well paced and absolutely believable.
Well loved supporting characters return, including one of my perennial faves, Winsome Jackman. We get to know young newcomer Detective Constable Gerry Masterson a bit better. She provides a different outlook from the seasoned detectives and I look forward to seeing more of her. And I never grow tired of Annie and her strong opinions.
I have always enjoyed Banks' musical tastes, often seeking out some of what he's listening to. In this latest book, poetry is a new passion of Banks. Robinson has grown his characters as the series has progressed. Alan's personal life is always of interest. His last relationship has ended and as the book progressed I wondered if he might follow through with his attraction to one of the witnesses in his historical case.
I always like finding the reference to the title when reading. In this case, it's from a conversation...
"You know what they say. When the music's over, it's time to have fun."
"Never heard that one, said Banks. I thought it was turn out the lights."
"Don't you turn out the lights when you want to have fun, Superintendent?"
Well, leave the lights on and immerse yourself in this latest wonderful read from Robinson. While I don't know about fun, I do know it's another fantastic read from Robinson. Five stars for this reader.