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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 . . .
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on 27 February 2006
It started slow but eventually picked up speed. DCI Alan Banks and DC Susan Gray are mired what seems to be a racially motivated murder. The brutally beaten victim is a member of a neo-Nazi group and three Pakistanis had an altercation with the victim in the local pub before he died. As Banks and Gray explore the neo-Nazi group in Eastvale and Leeds, their social lives take divergent paths. While Banks and his wife are growing apart, ultimately leading to separation, Susan Gray is starting to date again. With his love of classical music and devotion to work, Banks is a ubiquitous, amiable character.
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on 15 April 2014
Dead Right the ninth book in the Peter Robinson authored Alan Banks series and sadly is in my opinion a slight step backwards from the highs of the previous three books.

The first thing to note is that this book is yet another departure for Robinson as it is the first book to be dominated by Banks personal life. Whilst the state of his marriage and his relationship with his children have always played a part in the books, Dead Right is almost dominated by developments in Alan Banks personal life and the effect these developments have on his frame of mind.

The case itself sees the team trying to track down the killer of a young man who has been kicked to death outside a club. A little digging reveals that the victim Jason Fox is a an active member of the very right wing Albion League and his extreme political views could possibly be the reason for his death.

This was a very enjoyable but somewhat dark book. The nature of the victims political views and the crisis developing in Alan's life means this is at times a very dark book. The story telling as usual with Robinson is wonderful, the twists and turns that you would expect are all here as are the wonderful cast of characters that Robinson has created.

One slight criticism is Susan Gay and her horrifically bad decisions in the men she dates. Sadly I felt that not only was this a rehashed story from a previous book, but it was also not very well hidden and the consequences could be seen coming from early on.

All in all this was a very enjoyable book that was a very good read. While it doesn't quiet hit the heights of the last two sensational Banks books I would still recommend it to any fans of the Banks series or fans of the crime genre in general.
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on 18 November 2001
Once again another brilliant Inspector Banks investigation. You get to know Inspector Bank's personality through the books and learn about his life and Yorkshire countryside where the books are based. The crime is never straighforward and try as you might you will not know the outcome until the last few pages. Once again I could not put the book down
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A young man is found battered to death in an alley in Eastvale. What seems like a simple case of a fight after the pubs close going too far turns into a nightmare for DCI Alan Banks when it becomes clear that the dead man was a member of a sinister far right organisation. This is a story of friendship turned sour, confidences betrayed and it could just spell the end of Banks' career as the new Chief Constable seems to want to find fault with everything he does.

Banks has personal problems with his wife, Sandra, leaving him as she doesn't feel there is anything left in their marriage partly because he always puts work first. I enjoyed this tightly plotted story with its various strands all coming together in what seems like a conclusion but which actually has some more twists and turns to catch the reader out.

This is probably one of the best books in the series which I've read so far. Well written with believable and likeable characters and with villains whose motivations the reader can understand. Altogether this is an excellent series and I recommend it to anyone who likes police procedural crime stories which are more than angst ridden policemen hunting down vicious villains with blood spattering every page. Yes there is violence but it is described in a low-key factual style which somehow makes it more shocking than pages of graphic description would do.
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on 6 January 2002
To all fans of Inspector Rebus this will be a good book. While Banks differs from Rebus in a number of ways Robinson has the same ability to hook you into the characters. This was the first one I read (not the first in the series) and I'm now working my way back through the others and enjoying each one.
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on 19 February 2015
I found this novel quite hard to get into and it remained unread on my Kindle until I basically ran out of other stuff to read, and decided to give it another try. It feels quite dated - I notice that it was published in 1997 - it feels like the author is making a rather heavy handed attempt to be politically correct with regard to female police officers/ethnic minorities and it doesn't quite come off. A lot of the time I felt preached at/patronised. His female cop, Susan, didn't seem very convincing to me and I think he is better at male characters. (Also does every female have to be secretly in love with Alan? - it becomes a bit tiresome after a while). Another problem is that the victim - a neo Nazi thug isn't particularly sympathetic and it's hard to drum up much concern about whether his killer is caught or not.

About halfway through interest in the investigation tails off and the focus switches to our hero's personal life - his wife has left him, his career isn't going well either and he copes with this mainly by getting drunk, listening to loud classical music (I felt for his neighbours!)or fantasising about various females in his life who might become more than friends due to his new single status. A lot of this stuff seems like classic middle aged male fantasy, but I can't say I was sorry to see the back of Sandra his wife whom I found intensely irritating.

The best part of the book by far is a trip to Amsterdam and there intriguing hints that the simple murder might be something much more, but after that it goes downhill rapidly and the ending is a bit of a disappointment, leaving the future of our hero Alan more or less hanging in the balance. Definitely more 'to be continued' than a proper ending.

Worth reading at the reduced price I paid for it, but I wouldn't pay the price they are currently asking it's not one of his better ones.
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on 30 August 2013
Having discovered Robinson accidentally, am now reading the Banks canon

Having discovered Robinson - and Banks - accidentally, am now reading the Banks canon in correct order. I love the way Robinson pulls reader into the world of Banks's fiefdom, the sights and smells of Yorkshire are well depicted and the plotting of the investigation is always compelling.
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on 7 December 2014
This is a so-so Banks story from the period when his marriage is breaking up.

The plot concerns the murder of a young man from a far right organisation whose life was a bit of a mystery. Who killed him? Local Asians or something more complex like his rivals from the Albion League?

This is the usual police procedural with Bank's investigations taking him to Leeds - and briefly Amsterdam. DC Susan Gray features strongly and is instrumental in unearthing some treachery.

Banks more or less gets his man (I can't say more) but there are unsatisfactory aspects.

- How will Banks resolve his "differences" with the Chief Constable? He obviously does as there are more books (which I have read).

- The murder of a main suspect also seems to unresolved.

Both of these suggest that Peter Robinson got fed up and didn't really bother to finish the book.
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on 7 July 2014
I actually love The inspector Banks novels however this was advertised as a new edition when in fact it is a couple of years old and i already have it in my collection.WILL BE VERY VERY CAREFUL When purchasing books from Amazon.
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