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WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER BY PETER ROBINSON

PUBLISHED BY HODDER & STROUGHTON
REVIEW BY BECK BORONA

This is my first read of long-running character Inspector Alan Banks, despite it being the 23rd in Peter Robinson’s acclaimed crime series.

This novel revolves around two separate crimes, each handled by the central characters Detective Superintendent Banks and Inspector Annie Cabbot.

The first is a cold case where a poet claims she was assaulted by a well-known and treasured public figure, many years ago. Banks must search for the truth as the crime explodes into a media frenzy, where more women come forward with accounts of the celebrity’s grooming and manipulation.

Meanwhile, Cabbot is investigating the body of a teenage girl found on the side of a remote road, naked and beaten. Cabbot is led to unlikely suspects, and it becomes apparent that terrible things are happening to the young, local girls.

The novel has some confronting and thought provoking themes. One part that stood out to me was the idea of victim blaming. For example, some characters were questioning the poet’s reasons for coming forward years later.

I liked that I didn’t need to read the other books to understand the plot and the characters. The issues are very contemporary, shadowing recent cases involving Rolf Harris, Bill Cosby and Jimmy Savile, and bringing victim perspectives to the surface. If any readers found themselves following the media coverage of these cases, then this book may be of interest.

I would also recommend it to followers of Alan Banks. Many of his fans have deemed this to be Robinson’s best in the series yet.

Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.