When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson
|When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A thought-provoking look at grooming and historical child abuse from the point of view of the police. A ggod read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496 16h5m||Date: July 2016|
|Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton|
|External links: Author's website|
The naked body of a young girl was found in a remote lane in North Yorkshire. It became obvious fairly quickly that she'd been thrown from a moving van but she'd managed to pick herself up and walk for about ten minutes. Someone else then came along and killed the girl. It falls to DI Annie Cabbot to investigate the case: Alan Banks has been promoted to Detective Superintendent and although he's nominally in charge of the investigation he's heavily involved in an enquiry into historical sex abuse relating to a well-known local entertainer. Fifty years ago a renowned poet, the then fifteen year old Linda Palmer, was raped by Danny Caxton whilst on holiday in Blackpool and although it was reported to the police when the family returned home to Leeds no action was taken on the complaint.
Caxton puts it down to people wanting publicity after the cases of Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris. He doesn't quite say poor Jimmy and Rolf but somehow you suspect that's what he was thinking. There was a witness to the rape but tracing him is going to prove difficult - and Banks needs to understand why no action was taken half a century ago. Have the police simply been too understanding about a local celebrity or is there more to it? The role of the police becomes important in the case Cabbot is investigating too: it seems that the young girl had been raped by three different men and the DNA profiles taken from the girl's body suggest that the men concerned are of Asian origin.
When the identity of the girl is established the police in the area where the fifteen year old lived are nervous: the town's a racial powder keg and Cabot is inflaming the local community. The Pakistani community are playing the race card and the white community are complaining that the police will do nothing about the grooming which seems to have been going on for fear of causing offence to the black community. They can't win either way. Before I started reading the book I'd have said that I'd really heard far too much about Operation Yewtree and all its offshoots, but When the Music's Over shone light into some murky corners which I hadn't previously considered: it was a worthwhile and enlightening read. I'd never before really thought about the situation from the police point of view.
Rather than reading the book I treated myself to an audio download read by Simon Slater. He has a good range of voices - I was particularly impressed by some of the female voices which are very well done and I was never in any doubt as to which character - male or female - was speaking. At one point I had to increase the volume because of ambient noise and the voice was rather more 'breathy' than I liked, but it was not as noticeable at a more normal volume. The download was good - I was sorry when it ended and immediately went and bought another of the Robinson books which I'd missed.
The books all read reasonably well as stand alones, but if you'd prefer to read them in order (I must admit that it is better) than you'll find a complete list here.
You could get a free audio download of When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
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