Thursday, February 18, 2010

No Birds Sing, by Jo Bannister

No Birds Sing is #4 in Jo Bannister's Castlemere series.  The series began with A Bleeding of Innocents, where we met the main characters Frank Shapiro, Liz Graham and Cal Donovan, all of the Castlemere police.

Although Castlemere is a small town, it seems to get its share of crime. This time around it's train robbing, dog fights, ram raiding (in which the criminals plow their car into a store window, grab the loot and scurry off), and sadly, a series of rapes directed at 40-ish, professional women.  The team certainly has its hands full, trying to stave off this wave of crime, but for two of the team things spin out of control, making their jobs even more difficult.

The opening sequence of the train robbery in this book is very well done, but the rest of the book is just so-so, definitely not one of my favorites by this author. Nor is it one of my favorites in the world of British police procedurals. What is has going for it is the author's positive views on the post-rape experience,but the rest is pretty much formulaic and predictable, with not a lot of oomph mystery-wise or plot wise. 

I would recommend the book to people who have started the series and are intent on seeing it through to the end, but probably not to anyone else.  There are much better police procedurals out there that are more worth the reading time. 

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