Regular price: $26.64
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $26.64
This is the 23rd of Peter Robinson's DCI Banks criminal investigations - and it could not be more of the moment. The two strands are the murder of 15 year-old Mimsie Moffat, thrown out naked into the darkness from a vehicle containing three Asian men, and the conviction of Danny Caxton, now in his eighties but one-time big name in the pop industry - and serial rapist.
What the author does extremely well is make a cracking good, meaty story out of these all too familiar themes, but without tabloid sensationalism. The various characters provide the stereotypical reactions to these kinds of events - such as saying that Mimsie and Linda Palmer, Paxton's virgin victim 50 years ago, were well up for it and deserved what they got - whilst the back stories as they emerge develop the realities of their lives. The social situations which have produced young girls like Mimsie susceptible to older Asian men's flattery and gifts are explored with subtlety and understanding, as well as the Asian men's views and experiences. Linda Palmer's family holiday in Blackpool which ended with her life-changing rape is vividly presented through her teenage diaries; Danny Caxton's past is gradually unwrapped and found to contain worse than rape. Through this fiction, hard-hitting and difficult social issues are explored with a vigour and toughness not generally found in the Press. At the same time, the author gives us understanding of the complexities and problems involved in the minds and experiences of the different people which make up our troubled society.
I gave overall 4 and not 5 because I found it rather long. Some tightening up (eg shortening some of the interviews) would have increased the intensity without sacrificing any of the content.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
It’s hard to believe that this is the 23rd Detective Banks novel. I’ve read or listened to them all and am glad to say that in the present book the author has maintained his high standard of story-telling. Though a crime and detection novel this particular book, more than the others, delves deeply into social, and racial issues around two story lines of topics recently much in the news: historical sexual assaults by celebrities and grooming of underage white girls by older, Asian men. The latter storyline occupies more of the book as the author illustrates the social backgrounds of vulnerable young people who get sucked into binge drinking, drugs and sexual exploitation. Not the usual fare of crime novels but creates a more interesting listen that makes one think about the factors that lead to youngsters becoming easy prey.
I find the author’s predilection for digressions into the musical tastes of his characters, mainly DCI Banks, tedious, but that’s a minor irritation in an otherwise gripping novel with thought-provoking themes given more substance by being populated by well-rounded characters.
The narrator is excellent giving different accents to the various characters that adds to the impression that one is listening to real stories.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful