One of the world's most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson is the best-selling, award-winning author of the DCI Banks series; he has also written two short-story collections and three stand-alone novels, which combined have sold more than ten million copies around the world. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, and the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Martin Beck Award.
Det. Insp. Alan Banks investigates the apparently motiveless murder of Nicholas Barber, a rock journalist from London visiting a small town near Banks's Yorkshire police precinct, in Robinson's less-than-stellar 14th novel to feature the Yorkshire police detective. Meanwhile, another mystery unfolds in a parallel narrative, the fatal stabbing of a young woman at a local rock festival back in 1969. Needless to say, the cases are intertwined-as Banks puts it, "the past is never over"-and part of the pleasure is trying to piece together the links. Unfortunately, Robinson takes too long to connect the two stories, and the earlier thread suffers from the lack of Banks's engaging presence (though it does capture, with great fidelity, that odd mixture of self-absorption and idealism of the late 1960s and the whole hippie/rock music scene). As always, the author's prose is clear, observant and intelligent, but the story itself is not nearly as compelling as 2005's Strange Affair. 6-city author tour. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
It's 1969, and a body has been found in a field after an outdoor rock festival. Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick, a hardened and uncompromising man with a frank distaste for the counterculture crowd, is assigned to the case. In Robinson's (Strange Affair) latest series entry, scenes from this story alternate with the present-day experiences of Inspector Alan Banks, whose latest case entails finding the killer of a freelance journalist. Clues elude Banks and his coworker, Annie Cabbot, until an interview with the murder victim's girlfriend reveals that the journalist was writing a feature story on a popular 1960s rock band and had managed to secure a crucial interview before dying. Banks suspects the journalist might have uncovered information someone wanted to keep hidden. The unsavory and unromantic side of the hippie culture is woven into both investigations, as indiscriminate drug use and "free love" wreak havoc on the lives of several characters. Recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 12/05.] Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Wonderful...multi-layered mystery."--Michael Connelly
"A fast-moving story [with] some knockout scenery and an assemblage of delicately drawn characters."--Raleigh News & Observer
"First-rate."--Washington Post Book World
"The best series now on the market."--Stephen King
"Robinson has kept up an astonishingly high standard...make no mistake, he's among the very best."--London Times
"Prepare for a crash course in taut, clean writing and subtle psychology."--Ian Rankin