This is the latest installment of the DCI (now Detective Superintendent) Banks series. Previous reviews have started Once again it's the end of July, and as always, there is a new DCI Banks book to devour ... this year the book seems to be late, being published on 19 September. Ten days have passed and I have read the book twice.
I suggested last time that the entire Zelda plot-line ...does set up a story line which could be the next Banks book: I guessed this correctly. Like most novels of this ilk, there are two separate story lines, although this time they barely connect. One story is about Zelda and one is about a murder on Banks' "turf".
The book was engrossing although it doesn't impress me - or connect with me - as some of the other books. One lesson which can be taken from the book applies to the field of problem solving - after all, being a detective means solving problems, specifically how and when someone was killed. In the first pages, a minor police character (who has had bigger roles in earlier novels) suggests a line of enquiry, and this line is followed almost until the end when it appears to be false. So much for keeping one's options open.
DI Annie Cabbot is relegated to a supporting role and hardly gets anything to do, so we are certainly not privy to her inner thoughts. Earlier star Winsome Jackson is barely mentioned, having a problematic pregnancy, so most of the police side of the novel is carried by Banks and DC Gerry Masterson. Presumably this is because so many pages are devoted to the Zelda story line.
There are some nice musical touches: Banks goes to a Richard Thompson concert at the beginning of the book and is suitably impressed (although his daughter isn't). He is the recipient of a Martin D-28 guitar (no less; models can be bought on Ebay from 1300 - 10,00 Euro! List price at the Martin guitars site is 'only' $3,599) sent by his musician son, Brian, who announces that his group, the Blue Lights, is breaking up and that he is considering a new career as a producer. It will be interesting to see whether this leads anywhere.
And of course, author Peter Robinson continues to title his books after classic songs, this one by Jimmy Cliff (and probably a more well known version by Joe Cocker), which has one of the lamest rhymes I have ever heard. A very minor character says this sentence.
Many rivers to cross
But I can't seem to find my way over
Wandering, I am lost
As I travel along the white cliffs of Dover
Are there any better rhymes with "over"?