This third outing for DCI Banks of Eastvale in north Yorkshire includes a generally well thought out plot, though the clues to the reader are a bit thin -- but it's the characters who really stand out. There's a small anti-nuclear demonstration on the town square which turns into a brawl when the police attack the demonstrators and one of the out-of-town cops is knifed. For political reasons, a special investigator is sent up from London -- a right-wing bully-boy named Brewster interested only in fitting up one of the local anti-government politicals for the murder rather than actually solving the crime. He outranks Banks, who is forced to go along with his illegal methods, at least for awhile. Most of the suspicion centers on a communal farmstead where half a dozen artistic activists live and work, and the reader is given plenty of reason to suspect most of them at one point or another. The actual (anticlimatic) solution, however, involves bringing in a new character and new information in the last chapter, which isn't quite playing fair, is it? I really enjoy Robinson's style, though, and the fact that Banks is a very human (and generally humane) person. Though the loathsome Burgess is probably more typical as a cop. (It's also obvious that Robinson has never had to deal with white cops in the American South, who could make Burgess look like a saint.) My only other complaint is that the author makes rather too much, and in an annoyingly detailed way, of Banks taste for American blues music.