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A Difficult One for Banks
on 3 June 2007
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.
Having said that I can understand to a degree why some readers may not like the books. Banks is a character that has grown over several books and the author is very comfortable not only with the character of Banks, but all the other character too. To me this makes the stories flow because the author instinctively knows how his characters are going to react in certain situations. The books are produced as a series and it is nice if you can read them all in the order they were written, but this is by no means compulsory as each book stands alone. They are what I would call `light' reading. By that I mean that they flow and not that they are third rate in any sense, in fact quite the opposite.
A young man has been kicked to death in a filthy alleyway. The victim is a known racist and at first it looks like the result of a pub fight gone wrong, until that is Banks learns that Jason Fox, the victim was a member of a white power organization known as the Albion League. Fox was bound to have enemies but who hated him enough to kill him? The young Pakistanis he had insulted in the pub earlier? Shady friends of his business partner, mark Wood? Someone who resented the teenager's growing power in a brutal and unforgiving organization? One thing is for sure Banks is not going to be short of suspects . . .