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When the Music's Over

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When the body of a young girl is found in a remote countryside lane, evidence suggests she was drugged, abused and thrown from a moving van – before being beaten to death. While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks must do the same – but the crime When the body of a young girl is found in a remote countryside lane, evidence suggests she was drugged, abused and thrown from a moving van – before being beaten to death. While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks must do the same – but the crime Banks is investigating is the coldest of cases. Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton, yet no investigation ever took place. Now Caxton stands accused at the centre of a historical abuse investigation and it’s Banks’s first task as superintendent to find out the truth. As more women step forward with accounts of Caxton’s manipulation, Banks must piece together decades-old evidence. With his investigation uncovering things from the past that would rather stay hidden, he will be led down a path even darker than the one he set out to investigate…


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When the body of a young girl is found in a remote countryside lane, evidence suggests she was drugged, abused and thrown from a moving van – before being beaten to death. While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks must do the same – but the crime When the body of a young girl is found in a remote countryside lane, evidence suggests she was drugged, abused and thrown from a moving van – before being beaten to death. While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks must do the same – but the crime Banks is investigating is the coldest of cases. Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton, yet no investigation ever took place. Now Caxton stands accused at the centre of a historical abuse investigation and it’s Banks’s first task as superintendent to find out the truth. As more women step forward with accounts of Caxton’s manipulation, Banks must piece together decades-old evidence. With his investigation uncovering things from the past that would rather stay hidden, he will be led down a path even darker than the one he set out to investigate…

30 review for When the Music's Over

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Another long running series that I have read from the beginning and the two cases prominently featured are ripped from today's headlines. These books are very slow moving, thorough, descriptive showing the slower pace of actual detective work as opposed to the rushing pace of many thrillers. It is this realistic depiction that makes settling down with these slower paced procedurals worthwhile. Alan Banks, has recently been promoted, is now the man in charge, so even though his main case is that Another long running series that I have read from the beginning and the two cases prominently featured are ripped from today's headlines. These books are very slow moving, thorough, descriptive showing the slower pace of actual detective work as opposed to the rushing pace of many thrillers. It is this realistic depiction that makes settling down with these slower paced procedurals worthwhile. Alan Banks, has recently been promoted, is now the man in charge, so even though his main case is that of an older celebrity said to have preyed on underage girls in the past, (shades of Bill Cosby which is mentioned) he also oversees Annie's case. That case also involves young, underage girls and explores the world of grooming and also the difficulty the police are now confronted with when the accused are of a different ethnic origin. Banks himself is a very interesting character, loves music which is always an important part in this series, also loves poetry. Always a very good balance between the personal lives of characters and the cases being worked on. Some of my long running series I have dropped, either for lack of freshness or boredom, but this series is one I still look forward to and after 23 books that says something in itself. ARC from publisher.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Thane

    When Peter Robinson began the Alan Banks series in 1987, with Gallows View, Banks was a Detective Chief Inspector, and the early books followed him through the investigations of a number of crimes. Fairly early on, Robinson gave Banks a young subordinate named Annie Cabbot, who became a fixture of the series herself. Now, twenty nine years and twenty-three books into the series, Banks has been promoted to Detective Superintendent, supervising a number of investigators. Cabbot is now a Detective When Peter Robinson began the Alan Banks series in 1987, with Gallows View, Banks was a Detective Chief Inspector, and the early books followed him through the investigations of a number of crimes. Fairly early on, Robinson gave Banks a young subordinate named Annie Cabbot, who became a fixture of the series herself. Now, twenty nine years and twenty-three books into the series, Banks has been promoted to Detective Superintendent, supervising a number of investigators. Cabbot is now a Detective Inspector with a subordinate of her own, and therein lies the principal problem with this book. Understandably, Robinson is reluctant to let go of either character, even briefly. But he's well past the point where he can have Cabbot simply trailing after Banks as he does all the heavy lifting in an investigation. His solution is to give both Banks and Cabbot their own separate cases and then follow the investigations. Banks draws a fifty-year-old cold case involving a celebrated entertainer named Danny Caxton. Several women have now come forward, accusing Caxton of sexual improprieties. The most serious accusation comes from a woman who says that when she was only fourteen years old, Caxton lured her into his hotel room where he and another man raped her. The girl and her mother reported the case to the police, but the investigation went nowhere at the time. Given the new accusations that are being leveled against Caxton, the case is revived, but all of the evidence that might have been collected initially has disappeared, and Banks, who believes the woman's story, has a very difficult task ahead of him. Cabbot's case is a contemporary one, also involving a fourteen-year-old girl who is gang-raped in a van and then pitched from the van into a roadside ditch. She crawls out of the ditch and only a few minutes later is murdered. The young woman comes from a very dysfunctional family and has fallen into bad company. The small town where she lived is racially divided, with tension simmering between the white residents and a large group of people with Pakistani ethnic origins, and the case may well blow the lid off the troubled relations between the two groups. Robinson approaches the situation by dividing virtually every chapter in half. One half is devoted to the Banks or Cabbot case and then abruptly shifts to the other. The two cases have absolutely nothing that links them together, and Robinson attempts to bridge the problem by bringing Banks and Cabbot together for drinks a couple of times to kick around their respective investigations. But it's a very frustrating approach, or at least it was for me. Every time one of the stories would begin to gain a bit of momentum, the spell was broken while Robinson switched to the other. In truth, Cabbot's case is much the more interesting and could easily have sustained a novel all by itself. The Banks case seems thin, and Robinson has to stretch it out quite a bit in order to fill the space needed. Realistically, he would have been better off simply to let this be Cabbot's book and let her run with the case under Banks's general supervision. This is not a bad book, but it is a frustrating one. These are two appealing characters, and I understand the Robinson, like many readers, is very fond of them. But I hope he finds a more satisfactory way of dealing with them the next time out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Esil

    I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to reading a mystery series in order. I like to start from the beginning and keep going. This becomes a problem when I want to read a long running series. It’s especially problematic when I know that the earlier books may not be the best. Peter Robinson’s Allan Banks series is a case in point. I have long been eyeing this series but felt daunted by the fact that it is now over twenty books long. All this to say that I was really going against my natu I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to reading a mystery series in order. I like to start from the beginning and keep going. This becomes a problem when I want to read a long running series. It’s especially problematic when I know that the earlier books may not be the best. Peter Robinson’s Allan Banks series is a case in point. I have long been eyeing this series but felt daunted by the fact that it is now over twenty books long. All this to say that I was really going against my nature when I decided to take plunge and read an advance copy of When the Music’s Over, which is the 23rd book in the series. But I’m glad I did. I’m sure I missed some of the nuances of the dynamics between Banks and his colleagues. But otherwise this was a really good police procedural with the qualities I appreciate in a good mystery: nice slow detailed buildup of the story and characters, current challenging social issues, depiction of the police as a complex mix of dedication, corruption and real emotions, and an unpredictable but plausible outcome. All that to say that I will happily read more book in the series, but I’m not sure if I’ll start from the beginning or keep going with no. 24… Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me access to an advance copy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling

    My View: Raise your glass and help me celebrate- this is my first DCI Banks read! Kudos to the author that despite the fact that I have not read the previous twenty two books I never felt like I was missing any significant back story or didn’t understand the protagonist’s quirks and foibles. Peter Robinson artfully writes about historical abuse and a current case of abuse against children within the same framework by cannily supervising one investigation and leading in the other. Both crimes refle My View: Raise your glass and help me celebrate- this is my first DCI Banks read! Kudos to the author that despite the fact that I have not read the previous twenty two books I never felt like I was missing any significant back story or didn’t understand the protagonist’s quirks and foibles. Peter Robinson artfully writes about historical abuse and a current case of abuse against children within the same framework by cannily supervising one investigation and leading in the other. Both crimes reflect contemporary social issues and crimes that unfortunately we are hearing a lot about in the media today; the crimes committed by those who feel “entitlement”; the attitude by some sections of society who believe that women are available to be used and abused, debased, traded and treated like commodities; sexual toys. Robinson tackles this subject with sensitivity and honesty. Robinson has one of the female protagonists write a diary of sorts to record her thoughts, emotions and any details she can recollect of the crimes( historical) committed against her – the writing is simplistic yet brutal in its honesty and humanises the experience, validating the victims emotions and responses – past and present. This is very well thought out, well developed and engaging police procedural that shines the spotlight on both historical and current abuse cases, highlights the difficulties in investigating the crimes and discusses attitudes to victims and perpetrators – past and present; an excellent read for all fans of crime fiction.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    Alan Banks may have been promoted from DCI to Detective Superintendent but he's as tenacious as ever in this, his 23rd story from Peter Robinson. Robinson supplies the reader with his usual array of well drawn & believable characters & the plot kept my interest almost throughout. I felt this story for Banks would have benefited from some editing to tighten it up, but otherwise it was a good (if not great) entry in the series. Alan Banks may have been promoted from DCI to Detective Superintendent but he's as tenacious as ever in this, his 23rd story from Peter Robinson. Robinson supplies the reader with his usual array of well drawn & believable characters & the plot kept my interest almost throughout. I felt this story for Banks would have benefited from some editing to tighten it up, but otherwise it was a good (if not great) entry in the series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    All the ingredients I love are here and most of the characters I know and love. The story is horrifying, engaging and complicated. Still, the feeling that we are just going through the motions never left me. Sorry, I really should say they did - when DC Masterson goes off on her own, chancing a lot, but ultimately finding a tiny crack in the case for all to hammer on - that was a couple of very effective and suspenseful chapters! The story is really two: a young girl is found sexually abused and All the ingredients I love are here and most of the characters I know and love. The story is horrifying, engaging and complicated. Still, the feeling that we are just going through the motions never left me. Sorry, I really should say they did - when DC Masterson goes off on her own, chancing a lot, but ultimately finding a tiny crack in the case for all to hammer on - that was a couple of very effective and suspenseful chapters! The story is really two: a young girl is found sexually abused and horribly murdered; a case that is investigated by Annie Cabbott and 'Gerry' Masterson. The investigation immediately leads into the Asian community of the area she's from. Banks himself is handed the (highly topical) cold case of a 1967 rape of a then underage girl by a media celebrity. Both these devastating and sensitive storylines are handled well, but the narrative still leaves me with a feeling that the pages needs to be filled and Banks needs to be Banks, listening to his records, having a drink, going to the pub with 'Dirty' Dick (who is a little pale in this one I found). It may be that if you haven't read the preceding 22 books in the series that you will find this one amazing - for me it was a good and solid 3-star read (that's 3 stars according to Robinson's/Bank's own high standard, mind). Looking forward to the next one!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Peter Robinson's Banks series has been going for years. I have not read all of the series consecutively. Confession time. I've mostly dipped in and out of it. The latest 'When The Music's Over' reminds me of why I keep returning to Banks. We get a story with a fabulous contemporary spin. Banks is presented with a challenging historical sex abuse case from an ageing celebrity to tackle. Think of Jimmy Savile, the disgraced DJ whose disturbing hidden life has been uncovered following his death. Thi Peter Robinson's Banks series has been going for years. I have not read all of the series consecutively. Confession time. I've mostly dipped in and out of it. The latest 'When The Music's Over' reminds me of why I keep returning to Banks. We get a story with a fabulous contemporary spin. Banks is presented with a challenging historical sex abuse case from an ageing celebrity to tackle. Think of Jimmy Savile, the disgraced DJ whose disturbing hidden life has been uncovered following his death. This is the character of Danny Caxton. All very well done and incredibly gripping stuff. There is a parallel case of a troubled teenage girl, who is found dead in the sticks. Annie Cabbot and Alan Banks are just great together. It really didn't matter that I wasn't totally familiar with their previous stories. The characters are just so strong and easy to bond with. Banks has been promoted and is clearly suited to a position of authority. I enjoyed Cabbot and her impetuous female sidekick. This was excellent and hugely enjoyable. Proper Yorkshire crime, with a very up to date vibe. It feels very 2016. Recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cybercrone

    Really a good read. Brit-style procedural/fair play stories are one of my favourite types, and this was a good one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roger Brunyate

    Cold Case, Hot Topics Although I had seen Alan Banks and his second-in-command Annie Cabbot on television, this is the first I have read of Peter Robinson's 23 novels featuring the pair. You always wonder if the book will contradict the screen portrayal of the characters; this didn't, but it didn't add to them much either: they were believable and well-dimensioned on screen; they are equally believable in print. What the novel does offer is a remarkably expansive account of the police pursuit of Cold Case, Hot Topics Although I had seen Alan Banks and his second-in-command Annie Cabbot on television, this is the first I have read of Peter Robinson's 23 novels featuring the pair. You always wonder if the book will contradict the screen portrayal of the characters; this didn't, but it didn't add to them much either: they were believable and well-dimensioned on screen; they are equally believable in print. What the novel does offer is a remarkably expansive account of the police pursuit of crime, focusing less on solution than elucidation. There are two quite separate crimes here: a long-ago sexual assault case involving an aging celebrity and the murder of a teenage girl. Banks, newly promoted to Detective Superintendent, is nominally in charge of both, but delegates the murder case to Annie. Compared to most detective stories, though, there are no bombshells; the focus instead is thematic, and the book is much more like a novel than a mystery in the depth to which it treats its themes. It is also remarkably up-to-the-minute. I have not lived in Britain for some time, so needed to look up the various things that make this topical. One is the case of Sir Jimmy Savile, a well-known pop icon, television presenter, and charity fund-raiser. After his death in 2011, first the BBC and then Scotland Yard began looking into the numerous accusations of sexual assault made against him, ultimately concluding that several hundred of these had substance. Robinson references the real Savile case frequently, but for his novel creates a Savile look-alike named Danny Caxton, now in his eighties and living on the Yorkshire coast. Banks is asked to interview both the former star and his most believable accuser, a local woman called Linda Palmer, now a published poet, who claims that Caxton raped her when she was 14. Banks believes her and finds her a kindred spirit. He asks her to compile a memoir of the event, which is remarkable less for its revelations than for the amount of peripheral detail Linda puts in, memories that the writer freely admits may be partly invented. As a literary study of how the needs of storytelling might embellish and even distort the essential truth, I found this fascinating, although I felt that the amount of invented detail, whether admitted or not, would surely lessen the document's value in court. The other topical aspect took me completely by surprise. Apparently in towns over the North of England there has recently been a surge of activities by "grooming gangs." These are gangs of men predominantly of Pakistani heritage who prey on young disaffected white girls, woo them with attention and presents, have sex with them, and then force them into servicing their paying clients. Annie and her sidekick DC Geraldine Masterson (an attractive character, from a privileged background) soon suspect that their victim might have fallen foul of such a gang, but the investigation needs to take many twists and turns before they work everything out. Their progress is hindered by what I assume must be another topical fact—that local police forces have been so demoralized by the chilling effect of accusations of racism that they are virtually paralyzed. Although most of the surprises come in this thread of the story, I felt that Robinson was slightly more interested in chronicling the phenomenon than developing our understanding of the individual characters involved. The double plot, the number of characters, and the unfamiliar titles can make this hard to follow at times. It is also a long read for a rather muted climax. But it was always interesting, and a fascinating window on affairs in Britain today. So not quite five stars, but certainly a high four.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Dickison

    An excellent entry in the DCI Banks series. Banks must head a team into the investigation of a beloved TV star while also leading a team looking into the rape/murder of a 15-year old girl. Quite brutal sometimes, but realistic. The best Banks entry for some time. Highly recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    Despite being a veteran viewer of the DCI Banks TV series, When The Music's Over was my first read of the Peter Robinson series of which this is the 23rd outing. My first impression was how different the character seemed to be to the way he is portrayed in the TV adaptation (by Stephen Tompkinson), notably more erudite and ponderous than his TV namesake. Despite my initial disconnect with the character and lack of familiarity with the back story, there was nothing to made me feel like I was a ne Despite being a veteran viewer of the DCI Banks TV series, When The Music's Over was my first read of the Peter Robinson series of which this is the 23rd outing. My first impression was how different the character seemed to be to the way he is portrayed in the TV adaptation (by Stephen Tompkinson), notably more erudite and ponderous than his TV namesake. Despite my initial disconnect with the character and lack of familiarity with the back story, there was nothing to made me feel like I was a newcomer to a long running series and this novel works perfectly well as a standalone read. A recently promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks, Head of Homicide and Major Crimes in North Yorkshire is tasked with investigating a historical sexual abuse claim into a media personality dating back to 1967 and also acting as Senior Investigating Officer on a current and equally disturbing sexual assault and murder investigation of an underage girl found in a rural lane. Forty years separate the two cases but there are aspects which are similar in each of the two distinct cases. Banks honest reaction that he has been handed an unexploded bomb with the case he is personally assigned to is clearly reflected and that this is not the first case he wanted to face after his promotion is apparent. Danny Caxton rose to fame throughout the 1960s, first as an occasional, singer and then as a well known television host of the talent spotting show, 'Do Your Own Thing!'. Regarded in much the same way as the avuncular Jimmy Savile, with some friends in high places he had plenty of teenage girls falling at his feet. Now at the grand old age of eighty-five the recent prosecutions in the historical sexual abuse scandals convince Linda Palmer to reassert a claim that she originally took to the police as a fourteen-year-old. Now a poet and having lived a fulfilled and largely happy life, she is nothing like the damaged victims that more commonly surface. Banks wonders how a jury will respond to the claims of a composed, assured and well educated lady. The presence of a witness and second rapist alongside Caxton could perhaps offer the glimmer of hope in securing a convictIon. Banks and DS Winsome Jackson are convinced by her claims and a now single Alan Banks quickly seems to fall under the spell of the attractive and beguiling Linda. As they go about interviewing Linda Palmer, Danny Caxton, his acquaintances and possible witnesses and seeing what became of the initial police report, other countrywide claims are emerging. Banks encourages Linda to keep a record of her memories in an attempt to recapture a bygone time, but whether this acts as an aide memoir in resurrecting long forgotten details or encourages the imagination to run free is another matter however, and I was somewhat sceptical about Banks methodology and rationale. In a separate line of enquiry, the body of a fifteen-year-old girl is found naked on the normally quiet eight mile stretch of Bardham Lane. From reconstruction and what DI Annie Cabbot and DC Geraldine 'Gerry' Masterton can gather it appears the girl has been the victim of a multiple rape attack with a large quantity of ketamine in her system, only to then fall victim to a separate attack further up the stretch of the lane where she had been kicked and beaten to death. Mimosa 'Mimsy' Moffatt is belatedly identified but the trail leads back to a situation which looks ominously like a example of the grooming of white girls by the older third-generation Pakistani men who populate the area she calls home. Thankfully strident DI Annie Cabbot was a little more interesting than Banks and with a naive Gerry playing devils advocate this case was by far the most interesting to watch unfold. Clearly Peter Robinson has taken inspiration from recent events that have shocked and appalled the UK and been afforded extensive media coverage. My familiarity with both Operation Yewtree and the sexual exploitation of young girls in Rotherham meant that at times this seemed almost like a re-write of events which have consumed the public. Maybe if I had been a keen fan of this series and had built up some loyalty to the characters then I might have been inclined to give a more generous opinion of this novel, but rehashing two cases which have been recently made prominent headlines felt like an easy option. In conclusion, little value is added to the plethora of media coverage already in the public domain, and alongside an overly verbose Alan Banks, When The Music's Over feels sluggish. I do feel that Robinson could have introduced an element of mystique surrounding the veracity of Linda Palmer's claim, thus putting readers in a position of having to judge for themselves the truth of her assertions. This would have added an element of intrigue to the novel which was clearly missing throughout. The prevailing attitudes surrounding towards both Linda Palmer's claims and the fate of the murder victim showed how differently these two girls situations were considered. Courtesy of a run down council estate family home, a mother who is addicted to heroin and a tough exterior, Mimsy was in no way as naive as the fourteen-year-old Linda Palmer. Whilst Mimsy was no stranger to drink, drugs or experimentation this does not allow the attack on her to be considered anymore justifiable than that of Linda Palmer. Different family circumstances, class and socioeconomic factors should not come into the matter - victims should all be considered equal. Peter Robinson has researched the realities of such cases and issue cannot be taken with his sensitivity and serious attitude to the incidents, but I do feel this was at the expense of action and forward progression. The aspect of this novel which did work well was how it served as a discussion about what the wider public often view as special treatment and sensitivity surrounding crimes committed by descendants of ethnic minorities. Peter Robinson also did a clever job at reflecting the range of contrasting views both in the community and the police force itself about victims and the crimes which are committed against them. Why are some victims 'asking for it' and others less so? Hearing the difference of opinions between the players involved is perhaps the most insightful aspect of this novel. As a new reader to the DCI Banks series, When The Music's Over did feel slightly laboured and proceeded at a sedate pace, often with lengthy periods of rumination from Banks which brought nothing to the storyline and verged on rambling. The excessive detail dragged and there was a plodding feel to this whole novel, particularly in comparison to many of the police procedurally I have read in the last year or so. The denouement leaves the future of Alan Banks a little up in the air, and Peter Robinson clearly has potential for further novels but, personally, I would be more likely to revisit this series if the spotlight shifts to the altogether more fascinating DI Annie Cabbot.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rob Twinem

    On the front of the hard cover edition to Peter Robinson's excellent novel "When the Music's over" there is a comment by the author Jeffrey Deaver...."Top-notch police procedure" This is an unassuming but very apt comment about a novel and a story that I found totally engrossing from the first to last page. Deaver's comment almost has the effect of implying that this is a work of some drudgery and reading it is somewhat akin to a work of labour and toil. The truth could not be more different fo On the front of the hard cover edition to Peter Robinson's excellent novel "When the Music's over" there is a comment by the author Jeffrey Deaver...."Top-notch police procedure" This is an unassuming but very apt comment about a novel and a story that I found totally engrossing from the first to last page. Deaver's comment almost has the effect of implying that this is a work of some drudgery and reading it is somewhat akin to a work of labour and toil. The truth could not be more different for this is a story that takes you right into the heart of a police investigation (in fact two investigations) an almost fly on the wall drama,  you watch and read with fascination and excitement as the facts reveal themselves and our two heroes DS Banks and DI Annie Cabbot unravel a story of mistrust, evil and deceit in an attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice.   Detective Superintendant Alan Banks is investigating an historical case of sexual abuse against one time television and stage performer Danny Caxton. Linda Palmer was barely a teenager at the time when it is alleged Caxton charmed and allured her to a hotel room in Blackpool where the rape and assault took place. In the meantime Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot is hot on the trail of the brutal rape and murder of a vulnerable 14 year old Mimsy Moffat. Banks as part of his new promotion is actively involved in one case and overseeing the other and as always it is wonderful to see the interplay between Banks and Cabbot given their past "romantic" history.   The magic with Peter Robinson's writing is that you the reader almost feel a part of the investigation. His research as always is impeccable and the storyline very of the moment if we consider the recent events that occurred in Rotherham and Rochdale and the celebrity trials of such notables as Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, and Max Clifford. Adding to this the deplorable actions and breach of trust by Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith MP then we have the basis for an informative and well researched story. I love the author's descriptive style of writing very easy to read yet visual and exciting in its delivery...."His hairy belly dropped over his belt, little squares of fat pushing through the net of his string vest, and his man-breasts wobbled when he moved. He could also do with a shave and a haircut, and probably a wash , too. A tin of Carlsberg Special Brew rested on one arm of his armchair and an ashtray on the other."........"For the rest, there are drugs, drink, violence, crime or just simply apathy broken up by the distraction of video games, sex, and mobile phones. Life is something to be got through. Days are hurdles, weeks are rivers to cross, months lakes and years oceans."   This is wonderful writing of the highest order; a brilliantly researched and presented story with a very suitable and proper conclusion. The 23rd Alan Banks novel and although it might be preferable to read the series in order! When the Music's Over can be read as a standalone. Highly Recommended.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Peter Robinson is another author that you cannot go wrong with. It has been a while since I have read an Alan Banks novel and I must say he has changed a lot to how I remember him. More polished, trimmed down and not a cigarette in sight. Banks is now a Detective Superintendent and his first case is (in keeping with current news items) the historic alleged rape of a 14 year old girl by a well known celebrity. Running parallel with this case is the discovery of a young girls naked body on the side Peter Robinson is another author that you cannot go wrong with. It has been a while since I have read an Alan Banks novel and I must say he has changed a lot to how I remember him. More polished, trimmed down and not a cigarette in sight. Banks is now a Detective Superintendent and his first case is (in keeping with current news items) the historic alleged rape of a 14 year old girl by a well known celebrity. Running parallel with this case is the discovery of a young girls naked body on the side of a deserted road. This case is being handled by DI Annie Cabbot. As we follow the lines of enquiry through the book, it soon becomes apparent that something truly awful is happening to the young girls in the town.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I was just doing some 'housekeeping' before commenting and I found that I had rated 18 of this 23 volume series with 4-stars. I think that's pretty amazing and speaks to the quality of this author's writing, especially his ability to develop believable characters and realistic life events. As for this book, it was truly engaging and the suspense had me on the edge-of-my-seat! I can't wait to see where Peter Robinson takes these characters next.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    I have read a few of Robinson's Inspector Banks' books and found them interesting enough to periodically dip into another one. This is a later book in the series and it certainly does not disappoint. I think Robinson may be one of those mystery writers who gets better with each release. There is nothing tougher than a cold case.......even harder if it is an accusation of the rape of an under-age girl 50 years ago. Add one more twist which is that the man accused was a celebrity who was always sur I have read a few of Robinson's Inspector Banks' books and found them interesting enough to periodically dip into another one. This is a later book in the series and it certainly does not disappoint. I think Robinson may be one of those mystery writers who gets better with each release. There is nothing tougher than a cold case.......even harder if it is an accusation of the rape of an under-age girl 50 years ago. Add one more twist which is that the man accused was a celebrity who was always surrounded by screaming young fans and groupies. And that is only the first case in this book. Secondly, an young girl is found beaten and kicked to death on a deserted country lane and the clues are few and far between. The suspicions reach into the Pakistani population and racial tensions begin to rise. Robinson uses fairly recent headlines as a background for both the cases that are being investigated and these provide that added touch of reality to the plots. Good book from a good author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    A book about sexual assault, racism, murder, poetry, and (of course) detection. This is the twenty-third entry in Peter Robinson's series featuring Alan Banks, a police officer in Yorkshire who has now achieved the rank of Detective Superintendent. This is a more specifically British mystery than most of the preceding volumes. Much of the material about rape relates to Operation Yewtree, about which Wikipedia says: Operation Yewtree is a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations, predomi A book about sexual assault, racism, murder, poetry, and (of course) detection. This is the twenty-third entry in Peter Robinson's series featuring Alan Banks, a police officer in Yorkshire who has now achieved the rank of Detective Superintendent. This is a more specifically British mystery than most of the preceding volumes. Much of the material about rape relates to Operation Yewtree, about which Wikipedia says: Operation Yewtree is a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations, predominantly the abuse of children, against the British media personality Jimmy Savile and others. The investigation, led by the Metropolitan Police Service, started in October 2012. After a period of assessment it became a full criminal investigation, involving inquiries into living people, notably other celebrities, as well as Savile. Savile had died before many of the revelations about him became public knowledge. Once again according to Wikipedia, Savile has now been accused of sexual misconduct against some 450 people. Other folks who were celebrities in Great Britain who were found guilty of sex crimes during this investigation include Max Clifford, Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris, and Dave Lee Travis. (Most of these folks had not been famous in the United States.) In this book, aging but still highly regarded singer and television performer Danny Claxton is accused by British poet Linda Palmer of having raped her in 1967 when she was 14. Because of Caxton's popularity, this is a highly sensitive matter and it is given serious attention by the police - something such accusations had not always received in the past. The investigation is headed up personally by Banks. At the same time, another case involving a young woman is ongoing. This woman was found naked and beaten to death in a little-used country road. She had definitely had sexual activity shortly before her death; it is determined that her body has semen from three different men. It is not known if this had been consensual, but the police feel that this was likely to have been sexual assault. Investigation indicates that the victim, originally unidentified, had been thrown out alive from a van that she had been traveling in and then shortly afterward had been killed by someone who was in a different van. This case is headed up by two of Banks's subordinates, Detective Inspector Annie Cabot and Detective Constable Geraldine Masterson, known as Gerry. The two investigations are followed in alternation throughout the book. Each of the cases becomes even more complex as the stories develop. One factor in the case of the murdered girl is that the DNA of the three men who had had sexual activity with her shortly before her death indicated that they they were of Asian descent. This brings a discussion of racism into the story. The racism is against Pakistanis living in England, some of them people whose families have lived in England for generations. When the Music's Over is a particularly somber entry in this series. There is much discussion of how little attention many members of the British police had given to crimes of this nature. Banks and his crew are determined not to let this continue. There are many fine things about this book but there are some flaws as well. There are some quite unlikely conversations, such as this one between Annie Cabbot and Gerry Masterson. Cabbot is the first speaker: "Besides, if heroin gives her [Sinead, the mother of the murdered girl] a bit of comfort and takes away some of the pain for a while, who are we to judge her?" "But it's not a solution. It's only a temporary escape." Annie regarded the innocent young DC for a while. In the shadows, Gerry seemed no more than a young girl herself. "You're right, of course," Annie said tiredly. "But sometimes temporary relief is better than no relief at all. How do you expect someone like Sinead to deal with this sort of loss and grief?"... "But can't we do something for her? For all of them?" "Of course," said Annie. "And we can bring about world peace and bring an end to hunger and child prostitution while we're at it, too. Get real, Gerry." And this conversation between Cabbot and Banks: "But why is this race business all so complicated?" Annie went on, waving her glass at him. "It drives me round the bend. I don't know what I'm supposed to think or say. Is grooming girls for underage sex supposed to be OK in their culture, like female genital mutilation or honor killing? Are we supposed to respect it all, no matter what, just because it's their culture, like Scots with their bagpipes and haggis? I mean, I don't even like bagpipes and haggis. It's not my bloody culture, I can tell you that. So does that make me a racist? And who do we blame? Society or the kids? What ever happened to morality? Good and evil? Right and wrong?" One thing that I felt did not work well was a series of memoir entries made by Linda Palmer, the woman who said she had been raped years before. Banks had suggested that she should try to recall and write down everything she could recall about the period surrounding the time of the rape. The memoir seemed to me to wander very far afield. As usual, though, Robinson does many things very well. I think that a complex narrative never grew confusing. Robinson's characterizations are consistently good, both of the main characters and of folks with smaller parts in the story. I mentioned above that this is essentially a somber tale. I found that very effective. The issues of serious sexual misconduct seem more relevant than ever before and, happily, society appears to be treating this more appropriately. But the very last, quite moving, part of the book reminds the reader that there is still a long way to go.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    In this 23rd installment of the Inspector Banks series, Alan Banks has recently been promoted to Detective Superintendent, and has been handed a sticky case involving accusations of historical sexual abuse against a famous celebrity. The accused, Danny Caxton, is now 85, with most of the complaints stemming from the 1960’s. Banks is tasked with investigating one of the complainants, Linda Palmer, who was 14 at the time of the alleged assault. Meanwhile, in alternate chapters, Detective Inspector In this 23rd installment of the Inspector Banks series, Alan Banks has recently been promoted to Detective Superintendent, and has been handed a sticky case involving accusations of historical sexual abuse against a famous celebrity. The accused, Danny Caxton, is now 85, with most of the complaints stemming from the 1960’s. Banks is tasked with investigating one of the complainants, Linda Palmer, who was 14 at the time of the alleged assault. Meanwhile, in alternate chapters, Detective Inspector Annie Cabot and Detective Constable Gerry Masterson are engaged in an investigation into a murder of a young girl found naked and beaten on a country road. Eventually they identify her, and suspect she may have been subject to “grooming” by Pakistanis in her underprivileged neighborhood. ["Grooming" is the practice of luring in minors for sexual abuse and prostitution. The problem was deemed sufficiently menacing in the U.K. that The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre was formed in 2006. In this story, the characters make frequent reference to the Rotherham case, in which widespread child sexual abuse took place in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England beginning in 1997. In 2010, five men of Pakistani heritage were found guilty of a series of sexual offenses against girls as young as twelve. An independent inquiry in 2013 estimated that some 1400 children had been sexually abused, predominantly by gangs of British-Pakistani men. The Home Affairs Select Committee criticized the South Yorkshire Police force for their inept handling of the abuse. Long-term ill effects, such as the increase in prejudice and blanket xenophobia, ensued. The story discusses in great detail the importance of public relations to the police in dealing with sensitive issues. In the case Banks is looking into, there was evidence of bribery at high levels of enforcement to shut down investigations. There was also the whole he-said-she-said dilemma, as is especially salient in cases without witnesses. Inevitably some of the police and press were suspicious that any accusers of celebrities were just after money. In the case taken on by Cabot and Masterson, there are also a number of issues with contemporary relevance that come into play. One is the lack of options for children growing up in areas where parents are unemployed and/or absentee and/or abusive, and the failure of social services to help this at-risk population. Another is the tension between the white and non-white British population. The police don’t want to be identified as “racist,” especially since perpetrators of color are quick to invoke “the race card.” As Annie observes: “Coppers and social workers [are] so frightened of offending any ethnic or cultural group that they can’t do their jobs properly. Victims [especially girls from bad areas, are] so convinced they won’t be believed that they don’t even bother to report crimes.” Discussion: There are things I really liked about this book. Robinson certainly can’t be accused of not presenting all sides of controversial issues, and he doesn’t do it with a lot of judgment. Thus it seems "balanced," even though I didn’t agree with the stances taken by many of the characters. I also liked that he presented even the *non-bent* higher-ups in law enforcement in a rather negative light, having them defend each other’s authority rather than taking up what was for me a justified defense of the behavior and dialogue of the lower echelons in the force (such as Annie and Gerry). It seemed more realistic that way. The reviews I have seen for this book have been very positive, but I wasn't so enamored of the book. I got kind of tired of all the music references, and not just because I didn’t know who most of the groups were. I concede that a bit of that contributes toward establishing who Alan Banks is, but after a while, it just bored me, as did his forays into poetry. Clearly he is a man who prides himself on having educated himself, and continuing to educate himself, in ways other than what his background might have suggested. But for me there was too much of that, and it got tedious. I also was bored by the memoir written by the accuser of sexual harassment that she wrote at Banks’s request and which was interspersed throughout the text. I understand it was in part to evoke a time period, and to set the mood of permissiveness of the Sixties helping to explain the attitudes of police and the public, but again, to me there was a bit too much of it, and the character's recollections were only tangentially central to the story. In sum, for me there was a lot appealing in this book, but much I found myself skimming over. Nevertheless, Robinson is quite skilled at taking us through the permutations of police procedure and thinking, and the issues he explores are certainly timely.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    I have read all the previous books in this well written and compelling series and I think this one has to be the best so far. DI Annie Cabbot is set to investigate how a teenager's body came to be found battered to death on a lonely stretch of road having apparently been thrown from a moving vehicle. As she delves into the case it becomes more and more disturbing and leads her and her colleague DC Gerry Masterson into some very dangerous and murky waters indeed. Superintendent Alan Banks - newly I have read all the previous books in this well written and compelling series and I think this one has to be the best so far. DI Annie Cabbot is set to investigate how a teenager's body came to be found battered to death on a lonely stretch of road having apparently been thrown from a moving vehicle. As she delves into the case it becomes more and more disturbing and leads her and her colleague DC Gerry Masterson into some very dangerous and murky waters indeed. Superintendent Alan Banks - newly promoted - find his first case involves the investigation of a celebrity crime nearly half a century old. Charismatic Danny Caxton is accused of raping Linda Palmer in his hotel room in Blackpool during a summer season there. The two crimes - both involving fourteen year old girls - mirror and echo each other as the two investigations gradually progress. Here is Peter Robinson at his masterly best. The writing is low key and understated and all the better for it because it sends shivers down your spine while you're reading it. The crimes are all too contemporary and really bring the crimes in the headlines today to life from the victims' perspective. I liked Alan Banks as a character right from the first book in the series and he develops into a fully rounded characters as the series progresses. In spite of this the books can be read as standalone novels as there is enough background information in each of them to make the series characters' lives intelligible to anyone who just wants to dip into the series. I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has read others by this author and by fans of this series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I have enjoyed reading and watching on TV the Inspector Banks series for a few years now so jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of the latest book. I have missed a few of them but it hasn’t really mattered, even though the character’s personal lives are ongoing the book could easily be read as a stand alone novel. There are two cases that Banks is involved in. Both are investigations that appear far too often in our news. One is a cold case, a celebrity accused of rape and the other is c I have enjoyed reading and watching on TV the Inspector Banks series for a few years now so jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of the latest book. I have missed a few of them but it hasn’t really mattered, even though the character’s personal lives are ongoing the book could easily be read as a stand alone novel. There are two cases that Banks is involved in. Both are investigations that appear far too often in our news. One is a cold case, a celebrity accused of rape and the other is child sex grooming. Neither were easy to read but both were very well written and made very compelling reading. Banks was mainly involved with the investigation into the celebrity who was one of the most convincingly obnoxious characters that I have come across. I can only admire an author who can create such a despicable character. The other is being handled by Annie Cabbot, and a new DC Gerry. Banks has to get involved to smooth over ruffled feathers. The police in the area concerned don’t appreciate having two women from another force on their patch. It’s very modern, the first crime novel I have read that features a historical sex case alongside modern day sex abuse and murder. Some may not appreciate its storyline, I don’t think it will be for everybody but I really liked it. Its gritty, topical, and thought provoking. There were twists, not everything was how I assumed it to be. It’s one that I will read again, I will probably appreciate the writing even more on a second read. With thanks to Hodder for the copy received.

  20. 5 out of 5

    J.R.

    Newly promoted to detective superintendent, Alan Banks is working a frustrating cold case while his colleague DI Annie Cabbot is investigating a current case--the gang rape and brutal murder of a young girl. Banks has been given the chore of building a case of rape of a minor against an entertainment icon--though the alleged incident occurred four decades earlier and all files on the original complaint have gone missing. Annie is struggling against enormous odds to find justice for a girl many in Newly promoted to detective superintendent, Alan Banks is working a frustrating cold case while his colleague DI Annie Cabbot is investigating a current case--the gang rape and brutal murder of a young girl. Banks has been given the chore of building a case of rape of a minor against an entertainment icon--though the alleged incident occurred four decades earlier and all files on the original complaint have gone missing. Annie is struggling against enormous odds to find justice for a girl many in her hometown considered trash. There are racial implications in the crime and this brings Annie into conflict with prejudiced townsmen, the resident Pakistani community and even the local constabulary. (There's an amusing run-in between Annie and her second, DC Geraldine Masterson and two patrol officers). Banks quickly comes to believe poet Linda Palmer, the alleged victim of Danny Caxton. And, coming to admire her, he's further frustrated by the lack of evidence in her case--which is supported by multiple other similar charges--until, finally, clues begin to bring him closer to the truth. A rash act by Gerry Masterson endangers her but unveils vital evidence that helps resolve Annie's case. Progress in Bank's and Annie's cases is revealed in alternating scenes, a technique which puts a reader's tension at fever pitch. Add realistic characters, a gripping plot, sharp dialogue and Robinson's usual allusions to music and what more do you want for a good read. This is the twenty-third in the Inspector Banks series and they just keep getting better and better.

  21. 4 out of 5

    MadProfessah

    Probably 4.5 stars. This was a return to form for Robinson. Alan Banks has (finally) been promoted to Detective Chief Superintendent. In WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER he is responsible for two politically sensitive cases : a beloved aging star has been accused of committing statutory rape in 1967 and a 14-year-old white girl is found dead and it is possible that a network of Pakistani sex traffickers have been preying on low-class vulnerable girls. It's nice to see DI Annie Cabot, DS Winsome Jackman and D Probably 4.5 stars. This was a return to form for Robinson. Alan Banks has (finally) been promoted to Detective Chief Superintendent. In WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER he is responsible for two politically sensitive cases : a beloved aging star has been accused of committing statutory rape in 1967 and a 14-year-old white girl is found dead and it is possible that a network of Pakistani sex traffickers have been preying on low-class vulnerable girls. It's nice to see DI Annie Cabot, DS Winsome Jackman and DS Gerry Masterson all have larger roles in this book, the 23rd entry in the long running Alan Banks police-procedural series. If you have read other entries in the series you will enjoy this one, and if you are a sucker for British mysteries you will not be disappointed. The only flaw I would point out is that the mysteries get resolved rather neatly in the end, continuing Banks unbelievable streak of wins. Then again what mystery series does NOT have the protagonist solve the mystery in the end? Isn't that why we reed them ( in addition to the familiarity of the characters and the often-interesting depiction of the milieus in which the crimes occur)?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    The latest from Peter Robinson sees Alan Banks promoted to Detective Superintendent. His first case is an historical abuse case featuring a celebrity, shades of Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris. Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabot is dealing with the corpse of a young girl found naked and beaten. So far, so normal. The book pretty much plods along, except for the last third of the book, which takes off like a rocket. The endings of both cases are strong, especially the historical abuse one. A good, solid read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ewan

    Alan Banks is like an old friend I see every couple of years to go out for a few beers with. Not a friend I go out of my way to get in touch with, but once we do, we have a good night out. Then I'll forget about it until next time.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nick Davies

    This had plenty of the aspects which I enjoyed about the other (20+) preceding books of the series, and it was a pretty decent read. The plot (two parallel strands about a Jimmy Saville type entertainer who'd raped young girls back in the 60s and 70s, and an apparently 'groomed' teenage girl from Tees-side found dead) was decent, the returning characters were nice to return to generally, and a lot of the procedural aspects were well-researched and spot on. Alas though I found it a bit middling ov This had plenty of the aspects which I enjoyed about the other (20+) preceding books of the series, and it was a pretty decent read. The plot (two parallel strands about a Jimmy Saville type entertainer who'd raped young girls back in the 60s and 70s, and an apparently 'groomed' teenage girl from Tees-side found dead) was decent, the returning characters were nice to return to generally, and a lot of the procedural aspects were well-researched and spot on. Alas though I found it a bit middling overall. The regular cast felt like previously known characters in a soap opera than being able to stand on their own two feet at times, and there was far too much in the way of musical and cultural references - all of which felt a bit like filler. Most awkwardly for me, a chunk of this book was set in the local area (though not the social class or the time) in which I was brought up - and I found the author's treatment of the disadvantaged working classes, ethnic minorities, and local cops, really rather odd and uncomfortable. It wasn't 'unfair' necessarily, as that sort of thing sadly happens in real life, but it all felt a bit patronising as if everyone from the poor part of town was unemployed, or junkie, or whore, or bent cop, or a Pakistani child sex-abuser.. but everyone from Banks' area further south in Yorkshire was sassy and well-off and clever and honest and heroic. This was pretty simplistic, a little unrealistic and polarised in places. Maybe Peter Robinson is struggling to keep the high standard of the series up, maybe my tastes are changing. it's probably a bit of both.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracie

    Recently promoted Detective Superintendent Banks has his hands full when he is given the coldest of cases to solve - a cold case rape wherein the alleged perpetrator is a local celebrity. As Banks digs into the case, he finds that it is even worse than it looks on the surface. Meanwhile he must oversee the investigation of a gang rape/murder case which could incite a race war in a small English village. Banks must learn quickly on the job or risk being demoted or worse - fired. Well paced, inter Recently promoted Detective Superintendent Banks has his hands full when he is given the coldest of cases to solve - a cold case rape wherein the alleged perpetrator is a local celebrity. As Banks digs into the case, he finds that it is even worse than it looks on the surface. Meanwhile he must oversee the investigation of a gang rape/murder case which could incite a race war in a small English village. Banks must learn quickly on the job or risk being demoted or worse - fired. Well paced, interesting cases, great returning characters, When the Music's Over is closer to a 4 star than a 3 (but I tend to give 3s to mysteries :) ).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Heather Fineisen

    Inspector Banks does not disappoint. A step by step procedural regarding celebrity rape with references to Bill Cosby. Robinson's subject matter is even more relevant today as news is updated regularly on the Harvey Weinstein scandal as well as others in Hollywood. There is a parallel case referencing grooming of underage girls with racial undertones. Robertson does a good job with the unveiling and fleshing out the victim and suspects. I guessed the correct suspect but not too much before the fi Inspector Banks does not disappoint. A step by step procedural regarding celebrity rape with references to Bill Cosby. Robinson's subject matter is even more relevant today as news is updated regularly on the Harvey Weinstein scandal as well as others in Hollywood. There is a parallel case referencing grooming of underage girls with racial undertones. Robertson does a good job with the unveiling and fleshing out the victim and suspects. I guessed the correct suspect but not too much before the fictional police did. Always a good read is Inspector Banks.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    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 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    British author Peter Robinson is one of many authors who write about policing in the UK. Some authors' books are set in Scotland, some are set in London and are both historical and contemporary stories. Most are very good, in both characters and plots, but Peter Robinson, with his Detective Superintendent Alan Banks, writes consistently superb novels. Set in the Yorkshire area, Robinson gives Banks and his fellow cops cases that are interesting because they tend to be rural and small-townish. Mu British author Peter Robinson is one of many authors who write about policing in the UK. Some authors' books are set in Scotland, some are set in London and are both historical and contemporary stories. Most are very good, in both characters and plots, but Peter Robinson, with his Detective Superintendent Alan Banks, writes consistently superb novels. Set in the Yorkshire area, Robinson gives Banks and his fellow cops cases that are interesting because they tend to be rural and small-townish. Murder is murder, rape is rape everywhere, but while policing methods are the same everywhere, Banks' area seems to be coming forward in the times. Drugs, racial disharmony, and sexual crimes are moving from city to country. But maybe they've always been there in the so-called "quiet areas"... Robinson's latest novel, "When the Music's Over", is the 23rd in the "Inspector Banks" series. Alan Banks has moving up the job ladder and is now a Detective Superintendent. His regular coterie of detectives are back, too; Annie Cabbot, Geraldine Masterson, and the winsomely named detective, Winsome Jackman. The book opens up with two cases and one is taken directly from the headlines. An elderly comedian is being accused of a series of rapes from 50 years before. Banks and Winsome are assigned to put a case together, using one woman who wants to pursue the charge which had been swept under the rug years before. The second case is the murder of a young girl who had been found stomped to death after being tossed from a van in the countryside. Annie and Gerry Masterson face the problem of investigating the murder in the context of the smoldering relations between a Pakistani and "white" communities. One of the best features of Peter Robinson's "Banks" series is the continual updating of the lives of Alan Banks and his team. They change, they grow, and they age appropriately in each book. It's a bit like catching up with old friends. "When the Music's Over" is yet again another great Peter Robinson book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    DCI Banks #23 but he's been promoted in this story. I've read these and watched the good tv films for many, many years, plus read a few standalone books but this book even though there were two cases running along side each other, Banks handling one and Annie the other and both very topical UK crimes, it was simply way too long!! The style of writing is good but he rambles here and there describing so many side issues, music, literature, locations, things this and that character like or do not, DCI Banks #23 but he's been promoted in this story. I've read these and watched the good tv films for many, many years, plus read a few standalone books but this book even though there were two cases running along side each other, Banks handling one and Annie the other and both very topical UK crimes, it was simply way too long!! The style of writing is good but he rambles here and there describing so many side issues, music, literature, locations, things this and that character like or do not, social issues commented on left and right like sermons! Most truly not relevant to the story and at times I resented not being allowed my own taste and brain to fill in the blanks. I conclude I prefer tighter more subtle writing and story telling. Will stick with the more smooth tv films.....only 3/5 because I've read the author so long! It'll be a good topical UK tv film.....

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Another satisfying Banks crime novel. Banks has been promoted to Detective Superintendent and this novel describes his first two cases. One is a cold case - accusations of rape against a celebrity in his 80's - a crime that happened nearly 50 years earlier. The second is the brutal murder of a 14-year-old girl from a dysfunctional family living in squalor on a crime-ridden housing estate. Against many odds, Banks and his team conduct numerous interviews, and follow up interviews. Racial tensions Another satisfying Banks crime novel. Banks has been promoted to Detective Superintendent and this novel describes his first two cases. One is a cold case - accusations of rape against a celebrity in his 80's - a crime that happened nearly 50 years earlier. The second is the brutal murder of a 14-year-old girl from a dysfunctional family living in squalor on a crime-ridden housing estate. Against many odds, Banks and his team conduct numerous interviews, and follow up interviews. Racial tensions between police and "Asians" ( the British term applied to people from India, Pakistan and nearby countries) who are also Muslim impede the investigation. Banks still loves all kinds of music and comments on it frequently. He is currently single but readers may sense that will be changing. And of course, the ending is not ever neat for a Banks' novel but satisfying.

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