Thursday, July 14, 2016

Took a Listen: "Past Reason Hated" by Peter Robinson

Took a Listen: Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson, 1991, download.

Same narrator as before and I enjoy his work. More of Susan Gay after her promotion to Detective Constable. Gay gets a late night call on December 22 about a murder. It's her first night as a Detective and she immediately notifies Chief Inspector Alan Banks before she even visits the scene to verify there was a murder, or any crime, at all.

Well, there was a murder. Banks is pulled from the wedding reception of Sergeant WhatHisFace and visits a house with a beautiful nude woman covered in stab wounds and drying blood. A kitchen knife was used for the murder and the record player set on automated repeat. Banks begins interviews.

That is what Banks does, after all. He interviews. He talks. He ponders. Banks does not work an action filled job there in rural Yorkshire. Banks likes that. At one point as Banks investigates the victim's past he travels to London and falls into the old speech patterns and violent thoughts he used to use and carry when he worked in London. In Banks's earlier career he would be rewarded for beating a confession or information out of someone. He recognizes how easy it is to slip into that past personality and he does not like it.

Anyhoo. This is 1991 and lesbians like the murder victim and her live-in partner are an oddity. Was their relationship violent? Victim used to date men and worked as a dancer and prostitute, did her past violently return? What of the ex-husband of Victim's partner, how angry is he about losing his wife to a woman?

Banks is intrigued by the choice of music left playing at the crime scene. Music aficianado Banks recognizes the piece and learns it is also a liturgical piece for burying a child. When he learns Victim gave birth years ago he chases a connection.

Other things happen and we meet the Victim's messed up family and several members of a amateur stage production Victim was working with.

1. Social commentary about family, crime, police work, and life as a woman in England. All hidden within a murder mystery.
2. I hate the English term "partner". I read partner and I think business partner, or tennis partner, or bowling partner. The English should be required to add the word romantic to the beginning o that. Why not? They seem to have already been legislating most every other part of life.
3. More music love by Banks. He takes his cassette Walkman most everywhere and drives his own car because, unlike the police cars, his vehicle has a stereo.
4. There is a quite a lot going on in this book but I did not get too lost among all the characters.

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