ROBINSON - DCI BANKS SERIES*
*Robinson's non-DCI Banks
novels are now also listed.
Peter Robinson, who emigrated to Canada in 1974, is best known for his novels featuring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks of the Eastvale Criminal Investigation Department, Yorkshire.
Robinson's Chief Inspector Banks series is built around the character of Alan Banks and the quiet, methodical, and ruminative way in which he sets about solving crimes in the Yorkshire Dales with the assistance of his investigative team. Banks is relatively new to the Dales, having recently transferred from London in search of (ironically, given the number of murders that fall his way) a quieter professional life. He is married to an independent woman who challenges rather than acquiesces to him. A consummate family man, Banks runs miniature trains for relaxation, relishes his Sunday beef with Yorkshire pudding, and mourns his children's adolescent trajectory away from hearth and home. He enjoys a good working partnership with his superior, Detective Superintendent Gristhorpe, a gritty Yorkshireman who struggles to replicate the ancient technology of dry stone wall-building on his Dales farm. In employing cool logic, honed instinct, and sheer doggedness in pursuing his inquiries, and in avoiding violence for the most part, Inspector Banks is very much the classic police investigator—which is not surprising, given Robinson's acknowledgment of writers like Simenon, Maigret, and Christie as early influences upon his work.
Yet Banks is distinctive in the robust psychological contours that Robinson affords him. A working-class lad who had failed his "eleven plus" exams and barely escaped being shoehorned into a manual trade of little interest to him, Banks is acutely aware of his good luck but also of his lack of formal education. He hungers for knowledge and culture. He loves classical music, especially opera, and crams his home and his mind with the detritus of things he wishes he knew more about—from Dickens and winemaking to bird eggs and local geology. He has an instinct for ferreting out white-collar and class-motivated crime as a result of what Robinson calls a "working-class chip on the shoulder" and exploits what is second nature to him, that sense of cautious distrust that characterizes the perpetual outsider. Marilyn Rose's article continues here.
POLICE INCIDENT REPORT
(Taken from PIECE OF MY HEART published in 2006 and updates from BAD BOY)
NAME: ALAN BANKS
RANK: Detective Chief Inspector. DEPARTMENT: Major Crimes. LOCATION: Western Area Headquarters, Eastvale North Yorkshire. PLACE OF BIRTH: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DATE OF BIRTH: May 24 195?*. SIGN: Gemini. FATHER: Arthur Banks, sheet metal worker made redundant in the early 80s. MOTHER: Ida Banks, retired cleaning woman. EDUCATION: Grammar School, two A-Level GCEs; London Polytechnic; Higher National Diploma in Business Studies; various police training courses. MARITAL STATUS: Divorced from Sandra, who has now remarried and has another child. CHILDREN: Brian, lead guitarist in a successful rock band, The Blue Lamps. Tracy, a recent university graduate now working in a bookshop. *Note: In the first book, published in 1987, Banks was said to be 36.
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES: Scar beside right eye. HEIGHT: 5' 8 1/2". WEIGHT: 150 pounds.GENERAL APPEARANCE: Lean and wiry with short, cropped black hair greying a little at the temples. Dark blue eyes. Not especially handsome in the classic sense,but attractive to women. CLOTHES: Casual dresser, hates wearing a tie, and if he has to wear one, he will tie it loosely and leave his top shirt button undone.
DETAILS AND HABITS
POLITICS: Not a particularly political creature. Moderate socialist/liberal humanist. RELIGION: Cautious agnostic. MUSIC: Fanatical about it. Almost all genres – opera, chamber, vocal, orchestral, jazz, rock, especially 60s – but is less fond of country and western, funk, fusion, operetta or hip-hop. Likes to listen as he drives. Started with a portable cassette player, then switched to CDs and now has an iPod. FILMS: His favourites are old war films, James Bond type action films, historical epics like Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, espionage and thrillers. Not much interested in horror or romantic comedies. Likes old black and white film noir such as The Third Man and Touch of Evil, and the old Ealing Comedies. FAVOURITE ACTOR: Alec Guinness. FAVOURITE ACTRESS: Julie Christie. BOOKS: Largely self-taught in the field of literature. Mostly enjoys writers such as Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, Len Deighton and John Le Carre. Not much crime fiction other than Sherlock Holmes. Has many more books on his "should read" list than he will ever get around to reading. CIGARETTES: Used to smoke Silk Cut but has stopped and occasionally struggles with urges to start again. ALCOHOL: Enjoys a pint of bitter, especially Theakston's Tetley's or Black Sheep. Also enjoys a single malt whisky especially Laphroaig, but recently has switched to red wine. He rarely drinks to excess, but stress can sometimes push him there. It's more likely to be emotional stress though, rather than the stress of his job. He is slowly starting to regain his taste for Laphroaig. VACATIONS: Prefers exploring a new city on foot to lounging on a beach in the sun. HOME: After his divorce from Sandra, he moved from their semi-detached house in Eastvale to a small cottage in the hamlet of Gratly, isolated at the end of a cul-de-sac by the waterfalls and the woods.The house has recently been restored after a fire.
FEARS: Blindness even more than deafness, despite his love of music. Loss of mobility; confinement; spiders. SENSE OF HUMOUR: He prefers anarchic and satirical humour, even surreal, and not averse to slapstick, but he is equally fond of verbal humor: Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, W.C. Fields, The Goon Show, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Have I Got News For You, The League of Gentlemen, That Mitchell and Webb Look, Little Britain (note: this last was omiiteed in the update). MOST CLOSELY GUARDED SECRET: That would be telling!
Banks is a bit of a maverick in that he likes to get things done his own way, but he doesn't bend the rules to the point of beating suspects or forging evidence against them. He doesn't respond well to authority unless he respects the person who has the job. He's empathetic, interested in people and curious about their motives, saddened and angered by murder. His mind is agile and he is earger for new experiences – new music new books. Though he is a man of reason, he is not afraid to use his intuition. Since his divorce he has had a couple of romantic relationships but has been unable to sustain them and is often baffled by the whole relationship "thing". He loves women, though, and has many female friends. Normally even-tempered, he can become very frustrated if he feels he is not making progress in a case, and can sometimes be abrupt or sarcastic with people.
Click here for details of recurring characters and here for a DCI Banks page I wish I had written
GALLOWS VIEW: Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks has recently moved to the Yorkshire Dales from London to escape the stress of the metropolis. But he soon finds that life in the country is not quite as idyllic as he had imagined. A peeping Tom is frightening the women of Eastvale. Two glue-sniffing thugs are breaking into homes. An old woman may or may not have been murdered. In addition, Banks has to deal with his attraction to a young psychologist Jenny Fuller. As the tension mounts, both Jenny and Banks's wife are drawn deeper into events. And Banks realizes that his cases are weaving closer and closer together. R11/12
A DEDICATED MAN: Near the village of Helmthorpe, Swainsdale, the body of a well-liked local historian is found half-buried under a drystone wall. Harry Steadman has been brutally murdered. But who want to kill such a thoughtful, dedicated man? Chief Inspector Banks is called in to investigate and soon discovers that disturbing secrets lie behind the apparently bucolic facade. It is clear that young Sally Lumb, locked in her lover's arms on the night of the murder, knows more than she is letting on. And her knowledge could lead to danger. R12/12
THE HANGING VALLEY: A faceless corpse is discovered in a tranquil, hidden valley below the village of Swainshead. And when Chief Inspector Alan Banks arrives, he finds that no-one is willing to talk. Banks's frustration only grows when the identity of the body is revealed. For it seems that his latest case may be connected with an unsolved murder in the same area five years ago. Among the silent suspects are the Collier brothers, the wealthiest and most powerful family in Swainsdale. When they start use their influence to slow down the investigation, Inspector Alan Banks finds himself in a race against time. O-R01/13
but first published in 2003
SONG aka THE FIRST CUT
[non-DCI Banks]: A university student
has unwisely decided to walk though a
night-shrouded park. She is savagely assaulted
and wakes in hospital with her memory of the
attack wiped clean. Through her tortured
consciousness, impressions slowly begin to
appear: memories of her attacker begin to
coalesce. Robinson's sympathy and understanding
for the anguish of the student, Kirsten, is
detailed with much understated skill and we
become as keen as she is to crack the identity
of her attacker. But this is only one of
Robinson's plot strands: his other protagonist,
Martha Browne, has made her way to the historic
seaside town of Whitby with a hidden agenda.
Outwardly she is an author doing research for a
forthcoming book, but beneath the surface she is
tracking down, with steely determination, a
malign figure. Who is this mysterious quarry?
And what is the connection with the hospitalised
student? R03/13 Note:
See also FRIEND OF THE DEVIL
PAST REASON HATED: It should have been a cosy scene:log fire, sheepskin rug, Vivaldi on the stereo, Christmas lights and tree. But appearances can be deceptive. For Caroline Hartley, lying quietly on the couch, has been brutally murdered. Inspector Alan Banks is called to the grim scene. And he soon has more suspects than he ever imagined. As he delves into her past, he realises that for Caroline, secrecy was a way of life, and her death is no different. His ensuing investigation is full of hidden passions and desperate violence. R01/13
WEDNESDAY'S CHILD: For Chief Inspector Banks and Superintendent Gristhorpe the abduction of a young girl brings back dreadful memories of the Moors Murders. When two social workers, investigating reports of child abuse, appear at Brenda Scupham's door, her fear of authority leads her to comply meekly with their requests. Even when they say that they must take her seven-year-old daughter Gemma away for tests... It is only when they fail to return Gemma the following day that Brenda realises something has gone terribly wrong. Particularly worrying is the calculated manner of the abduction, and the fact that one of the 'social workers' was a woman. For Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks ritual Satanic abuse is a dreadful possibility. At the same time, Banks is investigating a particularly grisly murder at the site of an abandoned mine. Gradually, the leads in the two cases converge, guiding Banks to one of the most truly terrifying villains he will ever meet. R01/13
ANNA SAID (18pp): DCI Alan Banks investigates a love triangle that is dismantled with a very contemporary and highly appropriate weapon that has historical precedents. O-R05/13
Note: Originally published in Cold Blood IV 1992. Re-published in 2004 as one of the NOT SAFE AFTER DARK collection.
GOOD PARTNER (20pp): DCI Banks
investigates yet another
devious and murderous love triangle. O-R05/13
Note:The text places this story in November 1993. Originally published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in March 1994. Re-published in 2004 as one of the NOT SAFE AFTER DARK collection.
DRY BONES THAT DREAM aka FINAL ACCOUNT:It was 2.47am when Chief Inspector Alan Banks arrived at the barn and saw the body of Keith Rothwell for the first time. Only hours earlier two masked men had walked the mild-mannered accountant out of his farmhouse and clinically blasted him with a shotgun. Clearly this is a professional hit – but Keith was hardly the sort of person to make deadly enemies. Or was he? For the police investigation soon raises more questions than answers. And who, exactly, is Robert Calvert? The more Banks scratches the surface, the more he wonders what lies beneath the veneer of the apparently happy Rothwell family. And when his old sparring partner Detective Superintendent Richard Burgess arrives from Scotland Yard, the case takes yet another unexpected twist. R02/13 (TV-2.3/4, 2012)
SUMMER RAIN (21pp): DCI Alan Banks attempts to solve the mystery of a young Californian man who claims to have been murdered in Yorkshire in a previous lifetime. O-R05/13
Note: The text clearly places this story in July 1998 however it was originally published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in December 1994. Re-published in 2004 as one of the NOT SAFE AFTER DARK collection.
NO CURE FOR LOVE [Non-DCI Banks]: A British actress transplanted to Hollywood, Sarah Broughton plays cool, efficient homicide detective Anita O'Rourke in the hit network series Good Cop, Bad Cop. She seems to have it all - a beach house in Pacific Palisades, all the peace and privacy she needs to forget her troubled past, then she starts receiving disturbing letters from someone who signs himself only as "M". Soon, she is plunged into a nightmare of twisted, obsessive love that threatens her sanity, her life and the lives of her friends. Detectives Arvo Hughes and Maria Hernandez from the LAPD Threat Management Unit must explore the lost years of Sarah's life in order to save her. But Sarah's memories of the long roller-coaster ride of drugs, sex and rock and roll are vague and blurred. When "M's" obsession escalates to murder, the two detectives find themselves in a race against time to save Sarah's life.
INNOCENT GRAVES: One foggy night, Deborah Harrison is found lying in the churchyard behind St Mary's, Eastvale. She has been strangled with the strap of her own school satchel. But Deborah was no typical sixteen-year-old. Her father was a powerful financier who moved in the highest echelons of industry, defence and classified information. And Deborah, it seemed, enjoyed keeping secrets of her own. With his colleague DC Susan Gay, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks moves among the many suspects, guilty of crimes large and small. And as he does so, plenty of sordid secrets and some deadly lies begin to emerge. R02/13 (TV-2.5/6, 2012)
DEAD RIGHT aka BLOOD AT THE ROOT: The broken body of Jason Fox has been found in a dirty alleyway. At first it looks like a typical after-hours pub fight gone wrong. But Inspector Alan Banks soon realizes that the truth is rarely so straightforward. Jason was a member of the Albion League, a white power organization. And there are many people who might have wished him dead: the Pakistani youths he had insulted in the pub that evening; the shady friends of his business partner; or someone within the Albion League itself. And just as Banks begins to get a grip on the case, an unexpected discovery forces him to reconsider everything he believes. R02/13
IN A DRY SEASON: During a blistering summer, drought has depleted the precious resources of Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering the remains of a small village called Hobb's End - hidden from view for over forty years. For a curious young boy this resurfaced hamlet has become a magical playground...until he unearths a human skeleton. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, unpopular with his superiors for having challenged the system once too often, is given the impossible task of identifying the victim - a woman who lived in a place that no longer exists, whose former residents are scattered to the winds. R02/13
COLD IS THE GRAVE: Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks's relationship with Chief Constable Riddle has always been strained. So Banks is more than a little surprised when Riddle summons him late one night and begs for his help. For Riddle, Banks new case is terrifyingly close to home. Six months ago his sixteen-year-old daughter ran away to London, where she has fallen into a turbulent world of drugs and pornography. With his reputation threatened, Riddle wants Banks to use his unorthodox methods to find her without fuss. But before he knows it, Banks is investigating a murder. R03/13 (TV-1.5/6, 2011)
||AFTERMATH: Number 35 The
Hill is an ordinary house in an ordinary street,
but it is about to become infamous. When two
police constables are sent to the house
following a report of a domestic disturbance,
they stumble upon a truly horrific scene. A
scene which leaves one of them dead and the
other fighting for her life and career. The
identity of a serial killer, the Chameleon, has
finally been revealed, but his capture is only
the beginning of a shocking investigation that
will test Acting Detective Superintendent
Alan Banks to the absolute limit. R03/13
Note: See also FRIEND OF THE DEVIL
||THE SUMMER THAT NEVER WAS aka CLOSE TO HOME: While recuperating from the events of Aftermath on a Greek island, Inspector Alan Banks reads that the bones of his childhood friend, Graham Marshall, have been dug up in a field several miles away from the road where he disappeared more than thirty-five years earlier. Intrigued by the discovery, and still consumed with guilt because of a related incident he failed to report at the time, Banks returns to his hometown in Cambridgeshire and becomes peripherally involved in the investigation, headed by newcomer DI Michelle Hart. At the same time in Eastvale, a few counties away, the case of another missing teenager, the son of a famous model and step-son of a former footballer, is handed to DI Annie Cabbot. Banks shuttles between the two cases far apart in time but perhaps not so far apart in character. When the lives of both detectives are threatened, Banks searches his own memories for clues until he is finally forced to confront truths he would rather avoid and finds that, in these investigations, the boundary between victim and perpetrator, guardian of the law and law-breaker is becoming ever more blurred. R03/13|
||NOT SAFE AFTER DARK and OTHER WORKS: In addition to four DCI Banks stories SUMMER RAIN; ANNA SAID; THE GOOD PARTNER and GOING BACK (see separate entries) this collection consists of the following titles: FAN MAIL; INNOCENCE; MURDER IN UTOPIA; NOT SAFE AFTER DARK; JUST MY LUCK; MISSING IN ACTION; MEMORY LANE; CARRION; APRIL IN PARIS; SOME LAND IN FLORIDA; THE WRONG HANDS; THE TWO LADIES OF ROSE COTTAGE; LAWN SALE; GONE TO THE DAWGS; IN FLANDERS FIELDS AND THE DUKE'S WIFE: O-|
BACK (85pp): Banks returns home somewhat
reluctantly for a family reunion occasioned by
his parents' golden wedding anniversary. He
revisits his teenage years and meets up with an
old flame but also investigates the apparently
saintly newcomer, Mr Salisbury, who appears to
have the elderly of the neighbourhood in his
thrall, including Banks' parents. O-R05/13
Note: An original story first published in the UK as one of the NOT SAFE AFTER DARK collection. In the US it appeared in 2009 in THE PRICE OF LOVE collection. It is set in October of the year in which THE SUMMER THAT NEVER WAS takes place.
||PLAYING WITH FIRE: In the
early hours of a cold January morning, two
narrow boats catch fire on the dead-end stretch
of the Eastvale canal. When signs of accelerant
are found at the scene, DCI Banks and DI Annie
Cabbot are summoned but by the time they arrive,
only the smouldering wreckage is left, and human
remains have been found on both boats. The
evidence points towards a deliberate attack. But
who was the intended victim? Was it Tina, the
sixteen-year-old who had been living a
drug-fuelled existence with her boyfriend? Or
was it Tom, the mysterious, lonely artist? As
Banks makes his enquiries, it appears that a
number of people are acting suspiciously: the
interfering 'lock-keeper', Tina's cold-hearted
step-father, the wily local art dealer, even
Tina's boyfriend. Then the arsonist strikes
again, and Banks's powers of investigation are
tested to the limit. R04/13 (TV-1.1/2,
||STRANGE AFFAIR: When Alan
Banks receives a disturbing message from his
brother, Roy, he abandons the peaceful Yorkshire
Dales for the bright lights of London, to seek
him out. But Roy seems to have vanished into
thin air. Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabbot is called
to a quiet stretch of road just outside
Eastvale, where a young woman has been found
dead in her car. In the victim’s pocket,
scribbled on a slip of paper, police discover
Banks’ name and address. Living in Roy's empty
South Kensington house, Banks finds himself
digging into the life of the brother he never
really knew, nor even liked. And as he begins to
uncover a few troubling surprises, the two cases
reveal more sinister connections. R04/13
||BLUE CHRISTMAS (19pp): As
DCI Banks is about to face Christmas at home and
alone he is called out to investigate the
disappearance of an Eastvale housewife. R05/13
*Note: This was written as a gift for friends of publishers in 2005. It was commercially published in 2009 as one of THE PRICE OF LOVE collection.
||PIECE OF MY HEART: As
volunteers clean up after a huge outdoor rock
concert in Yorkshire in 1969, they discover the
body of a young woman wrapped in a sleeping bag.
She has been brutally murdered. The detective
assigned to the case, Stanley Chadwick, is a
hard-headed, strait-laced veteran of the Second
World War. He could not have less in common with
- or less regard for - young, disrespectful,
long-haired hippies, smoking marijuana and
listening to the pulsing sounds of rock and
roll. But he has a murder to solve, and it looks
as if the victim was somehow associated with the
up-and-coming psychedelic pastoral band the Mad
Hatters. In the present, DCI Alan Banks is
investigating the murder of a freelance music
journalist, who was working on a feature about
the Mad Hatters for MOJO magazine. This
is not the first time that the Mad Hatters, now
aging rock superstars, have been brushed by
tragedy. Banks finds he has to delve into the
past to find out exactly what hornets' nest the
journalist inadvertently stirred up. R04/13
EASTVALE LADIES POKER CIRCLE (38pp):
When DCI Banks investigates a dead
body found in the study at the Vancalms'
18th century manor house he discovers
that murder may be just another game of
*Note: This was originally published as Robinson's contribution to DEAD MAN'S HAND ed.Otto Penzler. It was re-published in 2009 as one of THE PRICE OF LOVE collection.
||FRIEND OF THE DEVIL: On a
cliff edge overlooking the North Sea, a
quadriplegic woman in a wheelchair stares
unseeingly at the waves. She had been murdered.
And, miles away, in a storeroom in the Maze, a
medieval warren of yards and alleys at the heart
of Eastvale, Yorkshire, a young woman lies
sprawled on a heap of leather scraps. She too
has been murdered. Their bodies are discovered
at about the same time that DI Annie Cabbot, on
secondment to the Eastern Area force, wakes with
a severe hangover in the bed of a young man she
barely recognizes. From these three strands,
Peter Robinson weaves his latest complex and
compelling story. While DCI Alan Banks tries to
figure out how anyone was able to murder Hayley
Daniels, when the closed-circuit cameras trained
on the entrances to the Maze show that no one
preceded or followed her into its shadows,
Cabbot learns two things that make her blood run
cold: the real intentions of her one-night stand
and the true identity of the quadriplegic woman.
A ghost from the past is back to haunt both her
and Banks. R04/13 (TV-1.3/4,
Note: Although not promoted as such, this is a sequel to AFTERMATH and the non-DCI Banks novel CAEDMON'S SONG
||ALL THE COLOURS OF DARKNESS: A beautiful June day in the Yorkshire Dales, and a group of children are spending the last of their half-term freedom swimming in the river near Hipswell Woods. But the idyll is shattered by their discovery of a man's body, hanging from a tree. DI Annie Cabott soon discovers he is Mark Hardcastle, the well-liked and successful set designer for the Eastvale Theatre's current production of Othello. Everything points to suicide, and Annie is mystified. Why would such a man want to take his own life? Then Annie's investigation leads to another shattering discovery, and DCI Alan Banks is called back from the idyllic weekend he had planned with his new girlfriend. Banks soon finds himself plunged into a shadow-world where nothing is what it seems, where secrets and deceit are the norm, and where murder is seen as the solution to a problem. The deeper he digs the more he discovers that the monster he has awakened will extend its deadly reach to his friends and family. Nobody is safe! R05/13|
VIRGIN (119pp): DCI
Banks revisits 1985, the period in his life when
a terrible crime led him to leave London for
Eastvale. Walking again the narrow alleys and
backstreets of his mind, he remembers the seedy
Soho nights of his last case - dubious
businessmen in dodgy clubs, young girls on the
game and a killer on the loose.
Note: Published in THE PRICE OF LOVE collection.
PRICE OF LOVE - ELEVEN WAYS TO PAY
WITH YOUR LIFE: In
addition to three DCI Banks stories THE
EASTVALE LADIES POKER CIRCLE;
BLUE CHRISTMAS and LIKE A
VIRGIN (see separate entries)
this collection consists of the
following titles: CORNELIUS JUBB;
THE MAGIC OF YOUR TOUCH; THE
FERRYMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER; WALKING
THE DOG; SHADOW ON THE WATER;
THE CHERUB AFFAIR; THE PRICE OF LOVE;
BIRTHDAY DANCE. R05/13
Another story GOING BACK is listed in the US edition of this collection but this is not in the UK edition and does not appear to be available as a separate item: "The novella Going Back opens the volume; it has never been published in the United States before, though portions of it appear in Close to Home (aka The Summer That Never Was). The story deals with Banks's somewhat reluctant return home for a family reunion occasioned by his parents' golden wedding anniversary. Robinson does not begin with pyrotechnics; instead, he pulls off the neat trick of perfectly capturing the tediousness of coming back to a small town and the awkwardness of an adult child around aged parents with whom contact is infrequent and irregular. Even so, Robinson somehow manages to quietly ratchet up the suspense in increments". Holding note 7/5/13: It appears Going Back was published in the UK in the Not Safe After Dark collection....more to follow on this soon.
BAD BOY: Banks isn't back, and that's the problem. If DCI Alan Banks had been in his office when his old neighbour came calling, perhaps it would have turned out differently. Perhaps an innocent man would still be alive. And perhaps Banks's daughter wouldn't be on the run with a wanted man. But Banks is on holiday, blissfully unaware of the terrible chain of events set in motion by the discovery of a loaded gun in a young woman's bedroom, and his daughter's involvement with the ultimate bad boy. O-R05/13
Note: This novel takes place later in the same year as ALL THE COLOURS OF DARKNESS published 2008 so Banks is now ageing more slowly.
[Non-DCI Banks]: After
years of Hollywood success composer Chris
Lowndes wanted only one thing: to take his
beloved wife home to the Yorkshire Dales.
But Laura is gone, and Chris is on his own.
He welcomes the isolation of Kilnsgate
House, and the beauty of the dale. And it
doesn't surprise him that a man died there,
sixty years ago. That his wife was convicted
of murder. That something is pulling him
deeper and deeper into the story of Grace
Elizabeth Fox, who was hanged by the neck
until she was dead. O-R07/13
||WATCHING THE DARK: Detective
Inspector Bill Quinn is killed by a crossbow in
the tranquil grounds of a police rehabilitation
centre, and compromising photos are found in his
room. DCI Banks, brought in to investigate, is
assailed on all sides. By Joanna Passero, the
Professional Standards inspector who insists on
shadowing the investigation in case of police
corruption. By his own conviction that a
policeman shouldn't be deemed guilty without
evidence. By Annie Cabbot, back at work after
six months' recuperation, and beset by her own
doubts and demons. And by an English girl who
disappeared in Estonia six years ago, who seems
to hold the secret at the heart of this case.
||CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION: A college lecturer is found dead – murdered and dumped on a railway line near his home with £5,000 in his pocket. DCI Banks and his team are drafted in to investigate, and soon discover that the case is far from clear-cut. Having spent his last years leading a secluded existence after dismissal for sexual misconduct, Gavin Miller wasn’t short of enemies who have intent to kill, including an individual from the college where he used to teach, who has a venomous score to settle, and a mysterious lady he knew in the political-hotbed of Essex University in the early ‘70s. It doesn’t take Banks long to start digging up old connections that many many people in power think would be far better left buried. Banks is told to back off before he pushes his enquiries too far, but if he did as he was told, he wouldn’t be Banks. O-R09/13|