“When the Music’s Over” by Peter Robinson is the twenty-third book in the immensely popular Inspector Bank’s series that is set in England.  Stephen King calls this “The best series on the market.”

The book contains two mysteries.  One is a cold case, a fifty year old rape allegedly perpetrated by a much beloved celebrity, Danny Caxton.  The other is a 15 year old girl found naked and dead in a ditch.

The cold case is handled directly by recently promoted Deputy Superintendent Banks, the women accusing Caxton claims she was raped when she was 14.  She and her mother went to the police when it happened, but nothing was ever done.  Fifty years later, she is now a poet and she has learned that he has done the same thing to others.  Because of her background and the time since the attack, Deputy Superintendent Banks suggests she write down what happens.  What she writes is a melancholy, poetic description of the incident she experienced.

The current case is being addressed by Detective Inspector Anne Cabot. This 15 year old girl, a budding artist, name Mimosa, is from a poor family whose mother is a recovering heroin addict. Social Services has failed her. They refer to Mimosa in the book as being third generation unemployed.

While the mystery is solid, this is more of a philosophical look at society today.  In both cases we are looking at underage girls that are raped.  The first is ignored because the culprit had power and celebrity.  The second is much darker and describes the sad situation many people find themselves in trying to escape poverty.  It also examines Islamophobia and the equally terrifying opposite, the refusing by police to intervene for fear of appearing prejudice.

I think this would be a terrific book for book clubs to consider reading.  They could have their choice of controversial topics to discuss.

Five stars out of five.

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In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge. I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review.  All they expect is an honest review of the work.