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Piece Of My Heart (2007)

Piece Of My Heart (2007)

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3.9 of 5 Votes: 3
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0060544368 (ISBN13: 9780060544362)

About book Piece Of My Heart (2007)

In this the sixteenth book in the series, Robinson does a fine job of holding our attention with an interesting mystery as well as the evolving character of Alan Banks. Robinson moves between two murders which take place about forty years apart but it seems, may be related.Back in September of 1969, volunteers cleaning up after the three day Brimleigh Rock Festival, found the dead body of a beautiful young woman in a sleeping bag. She had been stabbed several times and once so severely that a piece of her heart was sliced off. Several bands had performed at the venue including Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd and a local band called The Mad Hatters. At the time, Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick was charged with leading the investigation into the murder.Forty years later when the body of a young freelance music journalist is discovered at a secluded cottage, details seem to reach back to the sixties and the rollicking, drugged fueled musical past of the Mad Hatters. The dead writer was felled by several blows to the skull by a poker which was left at the murder site but wiped of any prints. Apart from the blow to the victim’s head, there are no other signs of violence, but his mobile phone and his lap top computer are missing. As the investigation proceeds, it appears the writer was preparing an assignment on The Mad Hatters big planned reunion tour. The article was to document how the band had resurrected the group from the ashes of the sixties to reform for a fortieth anniversary concert and would focus on one band member in particular. Banks wonders if the young writer died because he was digging too far in the past for information that others wanted buried. It is interesting to see how the two murders are investigated by two very different detectives working in two distinctly different time periods. Chadwick is a strict no nonsense investigator and a good detective. He is a tough Scot, an ex-army veteran who saw action in Burma and was part of the D-Day invasion. He is hard as nails with an old school approach and is an absolute stickler for details. Chadwick struggles with the present hippie generation who seem content to laze about smoking dope and enjoying “free love”. He cannot understand their music which to him sounds as if someone is wailing in pain. He dislikes the way they disrespect their elders, the way they dress and their complete lack of ambition. It bothers him, especially since his daughter is part of that generation and seems to becoming involved with them.Meanwhile Banks investigates the murder of the young writer with his usual methodical approach, but working out his hunches and trying different theories. Banks feels the two cases are related and that there must be some connections between them. But he must move from his suspicions to find if they truly are linked and if so to identify the threads that connect them.Banks is now back living in his renovated cottage. After Roy’s death he inherited the Porsche, much of Roy’s technology including his plasma TV and also his extensive wine collection. He still misses Roy, although he admits he hardly knew him. And there is a new Superintendent in town. Gristhorpe has retired and his temporary replacement is Catherine Gervais, an ambitious, cool and distant woman who is determined to go far. Banks of course did not get the job. He is considered too much of a loose cannon. But he also did not want either the paperwork or the responsibility. He prefers being out on the street, doing the legwork every case demands.This is Catherine Gervais’s first murder investigation and she is determined it will go the right way and bring her the kudos she wants and needs for her next promotion. Gristhorpe was an entirely different character and always let Banks do his own thing. But Banks knows those days are over and he will now be supervised more closely and will have to work harder for his privileges. Annie is experiencing difficulty with Gervais as well, and it is clear that a rocky road lies ahead.Another great addition to the series.

This engrossing novel commences in 1969, when a lovely young, free-spirited woman is found dead in a sleeping bag after a huge music concert and the suspects range from concert attendees to the musicians themselves. Fast forward to the Twenty-First Century and Banks is called to investigate the quite brutal murder of a music journalist, Nick Barber, in a small village. Not only is the motive for his death unclear, so are the reasons for Barber's presence in an unremarkable part of the UK. The list of suspects slowly grows but is unsatisfactory as while there are motives for murder, they aren't really enough to sustain a murder charge. Puzzled and intrigued, Banks knows there is a mystery attached to this man and his death, a feeling confirmed when a page of numbers, some circled, is found scrawled in the back of a novel Barber purchased. But what do they mean? Are they even important?Segueing between 1969, the era of free love, hippies and counter-culture and current times, two unrelated crimes, two different types of investigations, are explored and the plot literally thickens. The further Banks is drawn into the sometimes seedy world of famous rock stars, the more perplexing the case becomes but it's not until Banks and his team begin to look into the past that not only do answers begin to emerge, but painful memories that some will do anything to repress also erupt...This is a terrific Banks installment. Not only does Robinson evocatively explore the late 60s with musical references, clothing, ideology, living conditions and generational differences through the older case, in both the past and present he manages to intertwine the personal and professional imbuing the novel with layers that are at once exciting and touching. Add to that Banks and Annie Cabot dealing with an ambitious boss, and Winsome with an unpleasant sycophantic peer and the story fires on so many levels. Intricately plotted, it's evident that Robinson painstakingly researched this book to give accurate dates and times for which to connect his fictitious scenarios with real world events, giving the story additional verisimilitude. It is also fascinating to contrast the policing styles of the late 60s and the science available to that of present times. Also compared are two fathers who raise/are raising children within different social and cultural contexts and the challenges they face understanding and relating to their kids.Thoroughly enjoyed this Banks book. Clever, well-written and tightly plotted, A Piece of My Heart works as a crime novel but also as a time capsule of a bygone era. My only niggle is that for all the effort Robinson put into writing a wonderful, gripping story, the kindle version I read had so many errors - typos, punctuation, syntactical, it was incredible. I have never read a professionally published work so littered with mistakes and it was really annoying. You pay for quality - even in electronic form - and expect it. I think Robinson has been let down in this regard. Fortunately, the story is so good, it didn't detract (too much) from my reading pleasure.

Do You like book Piece Of My Heart (2007)?

Banks is faced with the complex case of the murder of a music journalist who had apparently no enemies nor with any obvious motives but which seems to connect with past events in the 1960s and in particular with the well named Mad Hatters. He also has to contend with the arrival of DS Gervaise who has her own agenda. She is ambitious but happy to let Banks have free rein as long as she gets the glory but I noticed how catching the bad guy wasn't top of her list just her looking good. It was nice to see Banks getting on well with his son Brian and that he and Annie have renewed their friendship despite DS Gervaise's attempts to intervene. At times the book is frustrating as you rail against the idiocy of some of the characters but I think this is good as it means you care about the story along with Banks and Annie. You really feel for Yvonne her frustrations of growing up, her parents not understanding her, wanting to be an adult but not quite there yet typical teenage angst. And Kelly's dreaming of a new life but constrained by familial loyalties.Even though the novel moves backwards and forwards between two different timelines and despite the fact that there are sometimes no headings to indicate the switch it is very easy to instantly recognise where you are now and pick up the storyline.For me the novel illustrates the divide between older and the younger generation no matter the era - music tastes surely demonstrate this clearer than anything. The final revelation for me was a surprise but then I rarely ever figure out whodunnit before the end.I really enjoyed this instalment of the Banks series and the background in which the story is set. I like the fact that it is not all Banks' view of events that we see the investigation as a whole from differing sides with each member of the team contributing to the outcome. And as always the setting in Yorkshire Dales is a character in itself. Highly recommended.

This review applies to the audio version.#16 DCI Alan Banks mystery set in Yorkshire, UK. Nick Barber, a music journalist, ends up murdered in a holiday cottage in a Yorkshire village with no apparent motive for the killing. The story line bounces back and forth between present day and 1969 and the murder of a young woman at a local rock festival, whose death is (of course!) related to Barber's. Barber was doing an investigative piece on rock band The Mad Hatters, as there is an upcoming reunion planned. The Hatters were just getting started in 1969 and played at the Brimley Festival where young Linda Lofthouse died. Had Barber found something out about the murder, despite the fact that someone went to prison for Linda's murder--or perhaps it was the death of Robin Merchant, the Hatters bass player, which had been deemed an accidental drowning in the pool at a local Lord's country estate? Despite Banks' ambitious new boss trying to steer him in other directions, he's convinced that the past ties to Nick Barber's murder and sets out to find the connection. Well-narrated, interesting story, and although I didn't figure out the killer til close to the end, the pieces fell into place for me before they did for Banks. Strong characterizations, with plenty of fully-fleshed characters besides Banks himself, interesting story and plot, and the historical part provided an interesting cornerstone in time to weave together with the present-day story. Enjoyable as always...and scary to realize I'm fast approaching being caught up with this series.

Erstwhile poet Peter Robinson and Chief Inspector Alan Banks have been inseparable for two decades, and Robinson continues to provide fresh insights into a character whom reviewers liken to a detective Everyman, "cagey and observant, but ? not the brainiest sleuth in crime literature" (New York Times). The author's strength has always been his ability to create strong, believable characters while maintaining the pace of his plots. In Piece of My Heart, his 16th novel and the 14th featuring Banks, Robinson deftly intertwines related murder investigations in the context of popular music and social upheaval. Both veteran readers and newcomers will appreciate this latest effort.This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.
—Bookmarks Magazine

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