The latest Inspect banks novel, this mystery did not seem as satisfying as his previous works. It tended to drag, and while the topic of historical abuse is a timely one, Banks failed to engage me. His development of the characters rang flat, and there was far less of Inspector Banks, Jazz Singh, and the others we’ve come to like in his novels. Even his descriptions of the landscape, usually evocative, captured only fragments of the harsh cityscape he meant to convey. He did present a nuanced representation of the racial tension in present day Britain and the problems that presents in terms of policing and pursuing cases. In view of the current struggles going in Europe and the U.S. over immigration, the novel did good a good job there. But, perhaps because he was concentrating on the politics of the novel, the book never quite rose to any heights. A pity, that.