Aftermath by Peter Robinson
|Aftermath by Peter Robinson|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Aftermath is the twelfth book in the Inspector Banks series and written when Robinson was at his best. Highly recommended: this book was rightly a best seller when published.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: January 2003|
Girls – young, attractive, blond girls – had been going missing, but it was a 'domestic' which brought a policeman and policewoman to No 35 The Hill in Leeds. One would die and the other would be left fighting for her job and her freedom. The sight which greets Chief Inspector Alan banks is gruesome. There's a body on a dirty mattress in the cellar but those white lumps coming out of the ground are not mushrooms. They're toes. The Chameleon investigation has been long-running but Banks feels no satisfaction with the outcome. The killer is struggling for life in hospital and there's still a lot of work to be done.
The novels which Peter Robinson wrote just after the turn of the century are his best and this is one of them. He taps into a community which was only just recovering from the Yorkshire Ripper murders whilst the rest of the country had not long stopped reeling from the murders committed by Fred and Rosemary West. Serial murderers are thankfully rare but the grip of such people is wide. Robinson brings out the terror and the horror along with the effects on the police themselves when they're put in the position of having to defend themselves.
The young girls fade into one another but the people who make the book are the wife of the killer who is in hospital after suffering domestic violence and a neighbour who has herself been a victim of domestic violence. This book was rightly a best seller at the time it was published and it's one which has stood the test of time, with a plot which will keep you guessing right up to the end.
As with all the Inspector Banks novels it is best to read them in the order in which they were written as there are plot spoilers – some more major than others – which can spoil your enjoyment of earlier books when you come to read them later. They'll all still widely available so this shouldn't cause a problem and they are worth the effort.
For another crime novel featuring domestic violence you might like to look at By Death Divided (A Thackeray and Ackroyd Mystery) by Patricia Hall.
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