Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is back and author Peter
Robinson has come up with a gem of a novel that is rich, entertaining
and utterly compelling.
As volunteers clean up after a huge outdoor rock concert in
Yorkshire in 1969, they discover the body of a young woman
wrapped in a sleeping bag. She has been brutally murdered.
The detective assigned to the case, Stanley Chadwick, is a
hard-headed, strait-laced veteran of the Second World War.
He could not have less in common with – or less regard
for – young, disrespectful, long-haired hippies, smoking
marijuana and listening to the pulsing sounds of rock and
roll. But he has a murder to solve, and it looks as if the
victim was somehow associated with the up-and-coming psychedelic
pastoral band the Mad Hatters.
In the present, Inspector Alan Banks is investigating the
murder of a freelance music journalist who was working on
a feature about the Mad Hatters for MOJO magazine. This is
not the first time that the Mad Hatters, now aging rock superstars,
have been brushed by tragedy. Banks finds he has to delve
into the past to find out exactly what hornets` nest the journalist
inadvertently stirred up.
Described by none other than Stephen King as “the best
series on the market”, it is difficult to argue with
such an appraisal of Peter Robinson’s abilities.
Piece Of My Heart rips along at such a pace it is akin to
being placed in a jet-fighter during take-off, as the comparison’s
between the latter days of the “swinging sixties” and
contemporary Yorkshire underline how little has changed with
regards to attitudes towards the young amongst their elders
and supposed betters.
The overall key to the beauty of the novel, however, is the
author’s ability to convey dialogue so deftly, naturally
and succinctly. The context of each scenario is so well defined
it is as visible as television in its clarity and so avoids
some of the clutter that often hold back cross-generational
novels so badly.
As gripping as they come, Piece Of My Heart deserves to be
hailed from the rooftops for being the worthy addition to
the Crime fiction genre it undoubtedly is.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Formerly a Chef, publican, shop manager, supermarket shelf-filler,
library employee and deliverer of lambs, Chris High now dedicates
most of his time to writing and journalism. He has successfully collaborated
with singer Chris de Burgh on a collection of song based short stories
available from his Website, and is currently in
the process of completing his first Crime novel. Chris lives on Merseyside,
England, with his cat Tigger and his dog, Duke.
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