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Caedmon's Song Paperback – 2004

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Paperback, 2004
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Stunning. Jan. 7 2002
By Trasie Fowler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I didn't want to believe that the theme of this book was "Monster Begets Monster" but that's exactly what it is, to me. The book is most certainly about a serial killer, but with none of the usual intrusion of police investigative themes. No real forensics. The absence of this, surprisingly, did not take away from the strength of the book. It is most certainly a hunt for the killer, but the hunter is not the usual hunter featured in such stories. For certain, this is a study in trauma; a unique look at victimology.
Add to this vivid scenery of English countrysides and fishing villages, careful character planning, and almost effortless plot development, and this book is most definately a stunner.
If you don't read this one, you're mad.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This Author's Books are Compulsive Reading April 26 2007
By J. Chippindale - Published on
Format: Paperback
Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and is the author of a number of previous novels featuring Inspector Banks. He is the winner of numerous awards in the United States, Britain and Canada, and in 2002 he won the CWA Dagger in the Library. As I also come from Leeds the background to his stories is something that I have experienced first hand and because of this I have a special affection for his books. However they would be first class crime fiction wherever they were based.

It's a warm summer night and a young university student, Kirsten has not got a care in the world as she strolls home through a moonlit park. Suddenly here tranquil mood is shattered as she is brutally attacked. Later when she wakes up in hospital. She has no recollection of that night, or who attacked her. But then, slowly, as if in a waking nightmare the details slowly begin to reveal themselves . . .
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great reading, an excellent novel. Feb. 2 2010
By Belle du Jour - Published on
Format: Paperback
Peter Robinson is one hell of a good writer. I have read his entire Inspector Banks series and every single novel is terrific, compulsive reading. Whilst Caedmon's Song is a departure from his Inspector Banks series, the novel is just as compulsive and quite frankly, terrific.

Kirsten, a young uni graduate attacked and left for dead by a serial killer, survives the attack but with terrible, disfiguring injuries. The novel tells the story of Kirsten's recovery, side-by-side with the vigilante journey of Kirsten's avenging angel alter-ego, Martha Browne. Whilst slightly confusing to begin with, the structure of the novel soon becomes utterly gripping as Kirsten/Martha goes to extraordinary length to track down her attacker in order to extract her own form of justice.

As a psychological thriller, the book succeeds mightily. I devoured it in one-and-a-bit sittings! A fantastic read that pulls you in from page one and never lets go. I have no hesitation in rating it 5 star and urge all lovers of the psychological thriller/crime genre to read it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The First Cut Aug. 30 2008
By Craobh Rua - Published on
Format: Paperback
Peter Robinson was born in Yorkshire in 1950, and is probably best known for his series of Inspector Banks novels. "Caedmon's Song" was first published in 1990, and was the first of his books set away from Banks' world.

Whitby is a coastal town in the north-east of England, and apparently relies heavily on the fishing and tourism industries. When Martha Browne arrives in Whitby in the early autumn, she doesn't have much bother finding a guest house. However, while she tells her landlord she's in town to research a book, it's pretty clear she's arrived to cause someone in Whitby a great deal of trouble. More than that, it seems she may be a little unhinged. (She has arrived with a `talisman' - a small, glass paperweight - and appears to believe that Caedmon - a poet who lived in Whitby in the 7th Century - "was the one who had called her here.")

Kirsten, on the other hand, has just finished her university exams, and will soon be graduating with first class honours. She's originally from just outside Bath, in the south of England - which, of course, means a rich family - although she chose to study in the north. In a bid to stay away from home, she and her boyfriend, Galen, are planning on taking postgrad courses in Toronto. On the night we meet her, she's celebrating her exam results with some friends - although Galen is at home, following his grandmother's death. The group of friends have had their difficulties over the years, but they've all remained close. (Hugo would prefer he and Kirsten were a little closer, but she's a devoted girlfriend to Galen). After being thrown out of the pub, they go to a party at a friends place for a while. Kirsten leaves alone, and walks home through the park - where she is, unfortunately, attacked. She only comes round ten days later, in hospital, with no memory of what happened to her. However, bearing in mind what actually happened to her, that may be something of a blessing...

The book switches back and forward, laying out Kirsten's recovery and Martha's search side by side. Martha seems a very cold, calculating individual and there's very little in the way of warmth or tenderness about her - but, right from the off, there's clearly a link between the two women. It doesn't take too long to figure out exactly what the link is - I suspect most will have it worked out a little more quickly than Robinson hoped for when he wrote the book. It's a little unbelievable at times, and it is a little dated too - you wuoldn't get a B&B for £9.50 today, while Kirsten's music collection is largely on cassette and not CD (or even MP3s, for that matter). At times, I found Robinson's writing is so formal it was nearly funny : Russell, apparently, "sure knew how to choose party music" while one of Kirsten's doctors actually says "And so you jolly well should". However, it's an easy enough read overall and it's a good deal better than some others I've read recently.
Best thriller I have read in ages Aug. 24 2014
By ang - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Best thriller I have read in ages! moves quickly along. It is clear pretty early in the book just who the two key players are, I think we are meant to catch on to that. The ending is an interesting one. It is not bogged down with detail, the only criticism I have is that I found the Kirsten chapters slowed it down a bit, I wanted to skip them. Some of the technical details not quite right, such as when a person takes an overdose of tablets they are just treated at home by their GP, I doubt that would have happened even in 1987 when the book was written.

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