Piece of My Heart – Two Investigations in two time lines

pieceThis is book #16 in Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks series.  It starts in 1969 with Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick investigating the murder of a young woman. She was found on a deserted field after the conclusion of a rock festival, stabbed so viciously a piece of her heart was sliced off.

I read several pages before thinking I may have picked up one of Robinson’s books that wasn’t in the DCI Banks series.  But knowing the series is written in real time and Banks’ gets older, to set one in 1969 would be unusual.

After several pages in the first chapter I noted a different date and year (2005) at the top of a chapter.  Finally Alan Banks’ story begins.  He is investigating the murder of a music journalist Nick Barber in the Yorkshire dales.

If you note the date at the top of the chapters you won’t be confused.  The book has this format to the end, switching between the two different time periods, but Robinson deftly  threads both story lines of these two cases.  It was interesting to read about the bands from 1969 and I certainly recognized my favorite – Pink Floyd.  Imagine being able to see them with multiple events in their early years.  (I was able to see a concert of theirs in Miami in the 1970s)

In the 1969 story, DI Chadwick has to eliminate thousands of people at a concert to discover the killer.  Further complications come with his conflict of interest between his 16 year old daughter who is involved with hippies and drugs that overlap into his investigation. The descriptions of people, music, the “free love era” and attitudes are aptly described.

In 2005 DCI Banks and Annie Cabbot have their own full scaled investigation of Nick Barber (the music journalist).  It appears there is a link between the band Mad Hatters from 1969 festival and the recent murder.  Leaving no stone unturned Banks doggedly pursues clues from present day to the current events and Barber’s murder.

I was pleased to see DC Winsome Jackman get more page time in this book and hope to see more of her in the future.  I still have 7 books to catch up to Robinson’s most current book, When The Music’s Over.

In a past review I made Pasta with Eggplant and Tomatoes in honor of vegetarian Annie Cabbot.  Today I bring you Vegetarian Moussaka.  It was very good.


Recipe may be found at Squirrel Head Manor.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday
The British Book Challenge at The Overflowing Library.


5 thoughts on “Piece of My Heart – Two Investigations in two time lines

    • Some people don’t like the commitment of a long series but I figure, just read what you like when you like! I love Alan Banks. I have been “with him” since he was in his late 30’s and now he’s 50. It’s been cool watching him age and grow in his career and personal life.


  1. Pingback: The British Stuff of My Week #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s