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In A Dry Season (Inspector Banks Mystery) [Hardcover]

Peter Robinson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 April 2000 Inspector Banks Mystery (Book 10)

During a blistering summer, drought has depleted Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering the remains of a small village called Hobb's End - hidden from view for over 40 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 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. Anyone else might throw in the towel but Banks sets out to uncover the murky past buried beneath a flood of time...

'A WONDERFUL NOVEL' Michael Connelly

Frequently Bought Together

In A Dry Season (Inspector Banks Mystery) + Cold is the Grave (The Inspector Banks Series) + Aftermath (The Inspector Banks Series)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 1 St UK edition (21 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333780639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333780633
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada. Peter has written twenty-two books in the bestselling DCI Banks series as well as two collections of short stories and three standalone novels, the most recent of which is Number One bestseller BEFORE THE POISON. The critically acclaimed crime novels have won numerous awards in Britain, the United States, Canada and Europe, and are published in translation all over the world.

Peter's DCI Banks is now a major ITV1 drama by Left Bank productions. Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart, Ballykissangel) plays Inspector Banks, and Andrea Lowe (The Bill, Murphy's Law) plays DI Annie Cabbot. The first series aired in Autumn 2011 with an adaptation of FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, the second in Autumn 2012, and the third in February 2014.

Peter's standalone novel BEFORE THE POISON won the IMBA's 2013 Dilys Award as well as the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. This was Peter's sixth Arthur Ellis award.

Find out more from Peter's website,, or visit his Facebook page,

Product Description

Amazon Review

On the outs with their superiors, Detective Inspector Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot are lumbered with a case that is supposed to frustrate and annoy them--and find the challenge fascinating. When a reservoir dries out, a flooded village emerges and a boy finds a skeleton buried in an outhouse By solid police work, and the use of experts, Banks and Cabbot find out who she was and when she died, and then have to find out why. The reader knows more than they do of course--elderly crime writer Vivien has written her own account of what happened during World War II when she was an intense unhappy teenager, which we get in alternate chapters--but there are surprises still in store... An intense sense of period and a celebration of the virtues of solid investigation, this admirable combination of the police procedural and the psychological period thriller has been nominated for the Edgar, the US crime writers' best-of-the-year award. Peter Robinson's acute portrayal of his flawed, humane detectives and the charismatic doomed victim the truth of whose death they are trying to uncover has a desperate sadness which comes together in a climax of unexpected power. --Roz Kaveney

From the Publisher

Wonderful advance praise and reviews
"IN A DRY SEASON is a wonderful novel. From Peter Robinson's deft hand comes a multi-layered mystery woven around the carefully detailed portraits of characters all held tightly in the grip of the past. At its heart is Inspector Banks. A man for all seasons, he knows that often the clues to the answers he seeks can be found hidden in his own soul." --Michael Connelly, author of BLOOD WORK "Anyone who loves a good mystery should curl up gratefully with a cuppa to enjoy this rich 10th installment of the acclaimed British police procedural series...Robinson's work stands out for its psychological and moral complexity, its startling evocation of pastoral England and its gritty, compassionate portrayal of modern sleuthing." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL/A GREAT FIND ! - Super 13 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Re : IN A DRY SEASON by Peter Robinson...
'In a dry season' is probably the most involving novel I have read since 'Black Dog' by Stephen Booth. The characterisation totally enchanting and the plot just sucks you in, but at all times there is this subtle menace, just shimmering on the surface, like the petroleum rainbow on a greasy puddle.
This is my first Inspector Alan Banks novel, and will not be my last, as I have just picked up 'COLD IS THE GRAVE' and then I must read 'AFTERMATH', so please forgive me if some of the back-story on Banks is somewhat fuzzy. Alan Banks is a wonderful character, middle aged angst and cynicism, and just enough lack of respect for authority that makes a great series character. Separated, starting a new life with a real tosspot of a boss ACC Jimmy Riddle, Alan Banks is given a blind-alley of a case, the investigation of a skeleton found in a drained reservoir. The skeleton dates from WW2, and an involving case (partially told in first person by one of the protagonists).
From here the story is woven like a fabric carpet, between Banks's life and the investigation vis-a-vis the story of the Skeleton from the past.
Wonderful, Wonderful and totally bewitching, with an ending that just zaps you totally. I read this book slowly firstly as I was/am still suffering from this head-cold, but also to savour Robinson's mastery of the English language. I had figured all the possible endings, and was not surprised at the close, but more amazed at how he pulled it off so deftly.
The real mystery is how I had not discovered Inspector Banks before !
Well done Mr Robinson...
I can not recommend this book highly enough, world-class and extremely moving with something to say about the human condition and relationships.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and interesting 28 Aug 2008
This was on someone's list with other books I've enjoyed and the initial interest for me was that it was about a flooded village as I knew of the Lady Bower Reservoir near Sheffield which is similar.

Within 3 pages I was engrossed. The dual timeline is nicely done as you get to know the characters more and the war aspect was interesting. It's nicely written and I've since bought more of his books. However, I have to agree with other reviewers that although the story was interesting, the references to the cd collection were tedious and I began to skip over them after the first few.

I also thought the ending was a bit strange and felt as if the writer must have had a few more pages to fill but maybe that's just me... Nonetheless, an enjoyable read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I had never heard of Peter Robinson until I saw the spec on Amazon. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Mr Robinson is very understated and sadly unknown author. He is a literary genius in my books (Excuse the pun!) In A Dry Season is a fantastic tale of morals, sisterly love and devotion set throughout world war two. When I found out the book was in the shadow of the war, I thought I would easily become bored and disinterested. However, the similies, description and the intensity of feeling are as real as if you were actually there. The storline is involved and thoroughly believeale. A heartfelt and honest book which I could not put down. Peter Robinson should be very proud of himself and YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY BUY IT!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent British detective story 31 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Robinson is a "new" author to me and I thoroughly enjoyed this murder mystery which reminded me of Barbara Vine/Ruth Rendell in its fidelity to character. Generally Robinson avoids plot contrivances. If I have a complaint it is with some of the single dimensional characters and although I like the two main protagonists Banks and Cabbot, and realise that they are destined to be attracted to each other (as the formula demands), it does happen a bit hastily. That said there are other interesting romantic tensions which keep the reader guessing almost as much as the murder enquiry which deals with a skeleton dating from 1944 whose identity they have to discover. The solution unfolds steadily from two angles (the present investigation and an old diary by one of the suspects) without any real shocks and, while there is a bit of a twist at the end, there is a predictable but satisfying denouement. The period detail is great, the procedural bits are convincing enough and there is some good dialogue. Enjoyable possibly because it is quite unmelodramatic and unlike the staple American stuff. If you like this I can recommend Barbara Vine's "Asta'a Book" or "River of Darkness" by Rennie Airth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars they are getting better 30 Mar 2010
The inspector banks novels are getting better . The prinicpal character gains more depth . New supporting characters are introduced. His marital situation deteriorates but does not get in theway of the plot. I loved the story the only reason this does not get five stars i guessed the killer. I hope this does not happen again. Looking forward to the next one
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing dry about this novel 8 Aug 2009
By Jane Baker VINE VOICE
I had not heard of Peter Robinson or his Inspector Banks before I was introduced to him by someone in a bookshop. So this was my opening to what I hope will be a very rich seam of books and a new relationship with author and inspector. I was barely able to put this down. From the start I was rapt. There is so much in this book to admire - meaty characters, the grimness of war, family secrets and a touch of love. Banks is reluctantly separated from Sandra,having problems with his son, meets Annie, re-meets Jenny from the past and at the same time has an old murder on his hands and a battle of wills with his senior, the unloveable Riddles. I don't know the area of which Robinson writes but no matter. He brings it alive and takes the reader with him. There are many very descriptive scenes of the countryside and long moments of reflection from Banks. Enthralling. The story through the eyes of Vivien Emsley is sharp, focussed, very different and original. I aready have the next Banks mystery to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great and interesting plot
Published 8 hours ago by kathryn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Yet another fantastic Peter Robinson crime story
Published 1 day ago by Frank Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
As usuall a very good read. Kept in suspense right until the end.
Published 2 days ago by Mrs A E Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, fascinatingly written
Excellent read, fascinatingly written. Connecting the past to the present was masterly. Couldn't stop reading this well thuoght out story.
Published 3 days ago by Ann Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the series so far
I've been working through the Inspector Banks series chronologically and enjoyed every one, however, on reading this story, it seemed that the author had taken a quantum leap and... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Roz Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Tales
I enjoy The Inspector Banks Series, have read many of them, still more to read. This I will do.
Published 8 days ago by Mrs. P. J. Usherwood
5.0 out of 5 stars An author well worth reading
I really enjoy all Peter Robinson's Thrillers. They are well written, with interesting character analysis and generally keep you gripped till the end. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Carla 46
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 20 days ago by I. Boyd
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling reading
Well worth the wait, another excellent book in the Peter robinson DCI Banks series of books, already on the next one
Published 1 month ago by allyjb
4.0 out of 5 stars Now in the mid-period of the DCI Banks series, ...
Now in the mid-period of the DCI Banks series, this is a more neatly crafted murder-mystery that takes us back to the 2nd WW period as the now-marginalised Banks is given the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by psoro
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