Patience and persistence paid off.
The problems I mentioned regarding the previous two DCI Banks’ books aren’t an issue with this one.
A Necessary End is the third in the series – and it’s a compelling, page turner involving politics and questionable policing practices, brought to a head with the murder of a policeman during a “peaceful” political protest in Banks’ home town of Eastvale.
The potentially guilty parties are narrowed down to a small group who organised the protest: political activists, students, and the alternative lifestyle pursuing residents of Maggie’s Farm (named after a Bob Dylan song*).
A police superintendent from outside of the area is brought in to lead the investigation, and his questionable methods cause a degree of friction and hostility. His goal of getting a result at any cost is at odds with DCI Banks’ need to find the truth.
Was the murder a spontaneous unplanned stabbing, an opportunistic act of terror or a targeted vengeful killing ?
Written in the late 80s when IRA terrorism, Thatcherism, police-busting of a national miner’s strike and ongoing nuclear protests at Greenham Common were fresh in the memory, A Necessary End draws on those political tensions and the suspicions they created.
* U2’s version of the Bob Dylan song, performed only a couple of years before the book was written.