Listened To: A Necessary End by Peter Robinson, 1989, Overdrive.com download.
Third novel in the Inspector Banks series. Thatcher is still in charge and the novel is very political. Very lefty. Banks sympathizes with the anti-nuke crowd and pro-civil liberties crowds. When an anti-nuke demonstration turns violent a policeman is stabbed, brought to hospital, and dies.
Banks was near the demonstration when helping some Home Office officers protect a visiting Thatcherite MP. The murder of a policeman brings plenty of scrutiny and a London based police detective is sent to Eastvale rather than trust the case to rural bumpkins.
The London cop sent to investigate is Richard "Dirty Dick" Burgess. Banks briefly worked with Burgess when Banks was posted to London. Burgess is an asshole. He is the face of 1980s British fascist police. A purposefully rude lecher. An over-drinker. Burgess excuses his intentional cruelty and power tripping by saying it's an investigative technique to rile up the interviewee and make something slip. He's disrespectful to all women. He decides on suspects before investigating. He sees a Red under every bed. Ray Davies wrote a song about him.
Banks is still enjoying living in rural Eastvale, North Yorkshire and neither approves of Burgess or his method. Well, that's too damn bad, Banks, because Burgess is now in charge. They start investigating by talking to everyone they can find. Burgess is an asshole. They focus on the protest's organizers.The head out to a local farm that's sort of a casual commune, but with rent. They identify a 20-year-old with a record. A local shepherd finds the murder weapon. Burgess keeps chasing a married barmaid and her jealous and muscular husband. The weapon has prints from the 20-year-old. He's arrested but things are not as clear as it seems.
Things happen. Banks's family went South to visit his wife's ailing father. Banks is lonely and drinks at night. Banks is suppressing his desire for local psychologist Jenny Fuller. When Fuller's new boyfriend is questioned by Burgess things get uncomfortable.
Banks is not supposed to investigate the murdered policeman and he does anyway. The Officer volunteered for crowd duty at any protest and enjoyed beating people. A citizen complaint leads Banks to solve the crime.
1. I really like the narrator, James Langton. His accents are neat to hear. A couple characters speak with an unusual Yorkshire accent where the drop the "t". Langton also narrated Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles and the Moonstone.
2. Ray Davies is a genius.
3. There was an Eau Claire reference.
4. Plenty of beer talk. Banks and Burgess hit the local bars.
5. Burgess enjoys insulting Banks by saying Banks was involuntarily sent to Yorkshire.
6. I presume Robinson creates marital strife in later novels. Banks is irresistibly attracted to Fuller, and she to him.