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Piece of My Heart: A Novel of Suspense (Inspector Banks Novels) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 30, 2006

85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Det. Insp. Alan Banks investigates the apparently motiveless murder of Nicholas Barber, a rock journalist from London visiting a small town near Banks's Yorkshire police precinct, in Robinson's less-than-stellar 14th novel to feature the Yorkshire police detective. Meanwhile, another mystery unfolds in a parallel narrative, the fatal stabbing of a young woman at a local rock festival back in 1969. Needless to say, the cases are intertwined—as Banks puts it, "the past is never over"—and part of the pleasure is trying to piece together the links. Unfortunately, Robinson takes too long to connect the two stories, and the earlier thread suffers from the lack of Banks's engaging presence (though it does capture, with great fidelity, that odd mixture of self-absorption and idealism of the late 1960s and the whole hippie/rock music scene). As always, the author's prose is clear, observant and intelligent, but the story itself is not nearly as compelling as 2005's Strange Affair. 6-city author tour. (June)
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From Bookmarks Magazine

Erstwhile poet Peter Robinson and Chief Inspector Alan Banks have been inseparable for two decades, and Robinson continues to provide fresh insights into a character whom reviewers liken to a detective Everyman, "cagey and observant, but ? not the brainiest sleuth in crime literature" (New York Times). The author's strength has always been his ability to create strong, believable characters while maintaining the pace of his plots. In Piece of My Heart, his 16th novel and the 14th featuring Banks, Robinson deftly intertwines related murder investigations in the context of popular music and social upheaval. Both veteran readers and newcomers will appreciate this latest effort.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 16)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006054435X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060544355
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Robinson's award-winning novels have been named a Best-Book-of-the-Year by Publishers Weekly, a Notable Book by the New York Times, and a Page-Turner-of-the-Week by People magazine. Robinson was born and raised in Yorkshire but has lived in North America for over twenty-five years. He now divides his time between North America and the U.K.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. J Thompson on September 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Two murders, two different periods of time and two different investigating officers. In the present day Yorkshire we have Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks puzzling over the killing of a visiting music journalist. In the last heady days of the 1960's Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick battles to keep the problems at home muddying the waters of his murder investigation into the death of a young woman at a fields rock concert. The up and coming stars of Chadwick's 1969 have had their day and in the present day of Banks, they're now retired veteran rock gods. The times have changed but Bank knows his Yorkshire and its people well enough by now to be certain in his belief that old crimes can never truly be forgotten.

Chadwick has a dual agenda as a parent when he assigns his crew to what might seem an impossible task - pinpointing one killer in a cast of thousands that attended an open air rock event with multiple bands and attendees. It is difficult enough to keep tabs on his own daughter who is embracing, at what he deems to be a very young age, the morality free and responsibility free lifestyle of the 1960's hippy culture. Chadwick relies on process, tried and true methods and the elimination of suspects one by one. It proves rather hard to achieve this when the people he investigates are barely aware of what they themselves did that night, let alone the activities of anyone else.

The modern day dilemmas of Banks mirror those of his predecessor in that he has a child connected with the music industry and that his murder suspects are cagey, at best. The common elements in the two crimes are what drive Banks to re-open what was supposed to be a previously resolved murder enquiry in order to get to the truth of his own.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Peter Robinson's "Piece of My Heart" features two murder investigations that are separated by more than three decades. In a series of flashbacks from 1969, Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick searches for the killer of a beautiful young girl who was found stabbed to death after a rock concert. In the present, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks teams up with Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot to solve the homicide of a freelance music journalist named Nick Barber who was murdered in a Yorkshire cottage. What, if anything, connects these two seemingly unrelated cases?

This mystery is a wonderful vehicle for the versatile and enormously talented Peter Robinson to explore a variety of themes that he has dealt with time and again in this highly praised series: What are some of the ways in which the past intersects with the present? Why do parents who want nothing more than to protect their teenaged children alienate them and even provoke them into committing self-destructive acts? How do political considerations wreak havoc with a murder investigation? As always, the author's beautifully evocative word pictures create indelible images. Nobody describes Yorkshire and the people who live there better than Peter Robinson.

Alan Banks has matured greatly over the years. He has quit smoking, drinks moderately, is more circumspect in his love life, and cuts fewer corners professionally. However, he is still insightful, aggressive in conducting interviews, and unwilling to take abuse from his superiors. He remains a dogged and tenacious investigator who generally gets his man. Banks's counterpart in the sixties, DI Chadwick, is a World War II veteran with horrible memories that he cannot quite eradicate.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Gribben on August 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Peter Robinson's Alan Banks mysteries. In this one, we are taken back and forth from 1969 to the present as the threads of two seemingly unconnected cases weave a whole cloth. This book, while not quite as fascinating as some of Robinson's previous ones, held my interest. The characters are well drawn and their continuing story makes this book satisfying for fans of the series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
PIECE OF MY HEART is the latest in Peter Robinson's extraordinary mystery series featuring British Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Here, though, Banks is absent for fully half of the book. Indeed, a great deal of this novel takes place in September 1969, at which time the murder of a winsome young woman at a rock music festival occupies the attention of Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick. Meanwhile, in October 2005, Banks is engaged in the investigation of a rock music journalist. PIECE OF MY HEART proceeds along twin, alternating paths until their convergence ultimately makes clear the link between the two cases.

Linda Lofthouse is the subject of the 1969 case, found murdered in a sleeping bag after the Brimleigh Festival. Chadwick is hardly an expert on the youth culture at the time; names like Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Peter Townsend mean nothing to him, never mind that his daughter Yvonne puts him in the mind of the victim. Indeed, his unease over his daughter's lifestyle --- the secretiveness, the late hours that turn into early ones, and the music --- to some extend intrude upon his investigation. What Chadwick doesn't know is that Yvonne had a tenuous but important tie to Lofthouse. He does discover, however, that Lofthouse was connected to the Mad Hatters, an up-and-coming rock band who played the festival.

Banks's present-day victim is Nick Barber, who was just beginning research for an in-depth article about the Mad Hatters. After incredible success marred by personal tragedies, the band is about to launch a reunion tour.
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