Caedmon's Song by Peter Robinson

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Caedmon's Song by Peter Robinson

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Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: This book is not part of the Inspector Banks series. Read it for completeness but it's not as good as the Banks novels.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 336 Date: June 2004
Publisher: Pan
ISBN: 978-0330426725

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It was the end of the University term and Kirsten was walking back, alone, to her bedsit. She was happy and in a light-hearted mood when she was viciously attacked. Kirsten survived, but only because her attacker was disturbed by a man walking his dog and even then it's difficult to decide whether or not her survival was fortuitous. Her injuries are life changing, if not life-threatening. The story then switches to another young woman by the name of Martha Browne who arrives in Whitby. She takes bed and breakfast accommodation, explaining that she's an author doing research for a book. Her 'research' is of a very specific nature, as she hunts for a man with a particular expression and voice and who works in the fishing industry in some way.

Caedmon's Song was originally published in 1990 and unlike the early Inspector Banks novels has a dated feel. Peter Robinson considered rewriting it but realised that so much had changed that the story would be unworkable at a later date. It was originally inspired by the Yorkshire Ripper murders and the thought of what it would be like to survive such an attack and for those of us who lived through that time there are elements of the story which are familiar – such as a particular accent being attributed to a precise location.

The story was originally written before the Inspector Banks novels were begun and Robinson returned to it when he felt that he needed a break after the first four Banks novels. It has the feel of an 'early' novel and perhaps explains why there was a feeling of experience about the early Banks novel which I didn't expect. Read it if you feel that you'd like to for completeness, but it adds nothing to the Inspector Banks series and is not a great book in its own right.

For more of Whitby we can recommend Hell's Belles by Paul Magrs.

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Buy Caedmon's Song by Peter Robinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Caedmon's Song by Peter Robinson at


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