Top positive review
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A very interesting main character does the trick
on 6 May 2004
The main aspect that draws attention to this series is the character of inspector Banks. He lives in a small town in rural England and presents a very interesting picture in terms of his relationship with others, his inner conflicts and his personality. I find this extremely similar to what happens in the case of Henning Mankel's detective, Kurt Wallander, who also lives in a small town and whose life is a little "messier" than Bank's. In both cases, the rest of the plot is almost secondary, with the mystery being mainly an accessory for showing the traits in the main character. However, Peter Robinson does a better job in entertaining the reader and in keeping his attention.
In this first novel in the series, Alan Banks faces three cases simultaneously. The first one deals with a Peeping Tom that makes his appearances after following his victims from pubs. The second one has to do with a series of break-ins into houses of old ladies who live alone. The third and last case is more serious; an old lady was murdered in what looks like an accident after the perpetrator pushed her back. Banks is in charge of untangling the web of mysteries, since there are possible connections among the cases. On top of this, the inspector has to deal with his feelings towards Dr. Jenny Fuller, a psychologist that was brought in by the police department to help in the case of the peeper. The question is: Will Banks be able to solve the cases, while managing to keep his relationship with Jenny from ruining his marriage?
Robinson has created one of the most likable characters I have seen in a long time; and even though the mysteries are straightforward, the author manages to deliver a couple of surprises along the way. This is one of those books you can read in a few hours, and it fulfills what I think his purpose is, deliver a cozy mystery that keeps the reader entertained.