‘Piece of My Heart’ is the 16th Inspector Banks novel by Peter Robinson and presents us with two intertwined murders, one in 1969 and one in the present day.
1969 was a time of drugs, hippies, free love and amazing music festivals. At the end of the Brimleigh music festival the body of a young woman is found among the rubbish left behind. She has been stabbed so savagely that a piece of her heart has been cut off.
In the present day, a music journalist, writing about a band from the ‘60s is found murdered in a holiday cottage. His computer and notes from his story are missing leading Banks to conclude that his death is in some way related to the story he was writing.
DI Stanley Chadwick, investigating the crime in 1969 was a damaged man, still suffering mentally from his service in the war. His concerns for his teenage daughter Yvonne who attended the concert are a driving force in his investigation. And with the limited forensics and haphazard police procedures of the time he was able to lead the investigation to the conclusion that he wanted.
Now Banks finds himself working on both his own case and the case from the ‘60s, believing that Nick Barber would only have been murdered if his story threatened someone.
Banks’ new boss, the ambitious Catherine Gervaise meddles with the case. She disagrees with Banks’ direction and tries to direct the case. There is also tension between members of Banks’ team.
The conclusion to the case is very tense and dramatic as the solution to both cases is revealed.
This was an enjoyable mystery. I loved visiting 1969 with the atmosphere and music of the time brilliantly researched and presented. The present day crime really took a back seat.
I also enjoyed the roles played by Winsome and Annie. But I would have liked to see more from Gervaise once the crime was solved.
The tensions in the office are increasing with each novel and I look forward to reading the next one in the series – ‘Friend of the Devil’.
Book Published 2006