Surreysmum's Reviews > A Necessary End

A Necessary End by Peter Robinson
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May 24, 10

bookshelves: 1993, mystery
Read in May, 1993

** spoiler alert ** [These notes were made in 1993:]. If there is a moral to this tale, it's that very old one, "Don't judge a book by its cover." There is a very obvious suspect - a bad lot with a chip on his shoulder. And there is an obvious if somewhat nebulous motive, namely political activism, for the killing of a cop in the middle of a demonstration. The trouble is, the two don't go together, and neither takes account of who the cop was and whether there could have been an entirely personal motive for the killing. This last, our clever Inspector Banks eventually discovers, is the case. The bad lot is staying with some rather unconventional but fairly harmless political activists at a farmhouse. One of them had a wife who died in a motor accident; her death was purely accidental, but it was indirectly brought about by dizziness &c. caused by a blow to the head from a policeman some time earlier, and that policeman is the one - a most brutal and unlikeable one - who is killed. The killer is the soft-spoken carpenter who was married to the woman. As usual, Robinson keeps us busy with character as well as plot, bringing in a cynical and rather disgusting career officer from London, who is determined to jump to his own conclusions and ignore the rules of decent behaviour in his treatment of witnesses and suspects, thus making Banks' job very difficult. Although I think Robinson's latest work is even better, these first few novels are very, very strong, and I find them toughly reassuring and sympathetic in their moral stance, without being in the least bit preachy.
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