Peter Robinson writes intense, can't-put-em-down mystery novels of the Brit Grit variety. This one is a fascinating interweaving of a murder in 1969 and one 35 years later--the common element between the two is a 60s pop group called The Mad Hatters. I loved it even though I usually go for somewhat lighter fare.
As always with Robinson, a great read!
This book has an English setting, a complex, believable plot and interesting character development;.
The year is 1969. Rock 'n' roll, psychedelic drugs, and peace-loving hippies are thriving in Britain. But in the aftermath of a rock music festival, cold reality strikes when a woman is found murdered in her sleeping bag, callously left among the debris in the concert's wake. Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick is the hard-headed, straitlaced copper assigned to the case who must reluctantly enter a counterculture world to find a killer. When clues lead him to an up-and-coming rock band, the Mad Hatters, with whom the victim was connected, Chadwick experiences firsthand the dangers of this dark new world of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.
In the present day, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is called to the scene of a murder victim who turns out to be a freelance journalist working on a piece for MOJO magazine about the classic rock band the Mad Hatters. Since the sixties, the band has gone through a number of tragedies, losing one member to madness and another to the shallow end of a swimming pool. Putting their checkered past behind them, the Mad Hatters have now revamped their sound and are set to celebrate their forty years in the biz by embarking on their first big concert tour in years.
Banks and Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot discover that the dead journalist was onto something big hidden in the band's past, and had stirred up some very serious trouble. As Banks and Annie dig deeper into the phenomenon of the Mad Hatters, they find more than they bargained for, and soon realize that their generation's former free-love lifestyle often comes with a deadly price.
In the course of twin narratives, Robinson expertly weaves the stories of two interconnected murders that occur decades apart. As only he can, Robinson has created a novel that is as explosive as your favorite rock album and a plot that moves at breakneck speed, traversing through the tumultuous swinging sixties to present day and back again. Piece of My Heart is an extraordinary thrill ride that uncovers the gritty and violent underbelly of the generation of peace, love, and harmony.
In this book 16 of the Inspector Banks series, Peter Robinson does an excellent job in switching between three separate murder cases, two from 1969 and one from the present day, which seem to be related somehow. This book was also an introduction to a new character, Superintendent Gervaise, who definitely is beginning to conflict with Banks and Annie Cabbot's idea of how to run a police department. Peter Robinson is an excellent story teller and this book was a real page-turner for me. I found the hippies from the 60's to be very believable and the plot was very interesting and entertaining. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment and highly recommend this series to those who love mystery thrillers.
Novel of suspense. New York Times Editors' Choice. Two grizzly murders separated by decades, two investigators -- now Chief Inspector Alan Banks must delve back into the 1960s to solve the crimes. 16th in the series.