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Sleeping in the Ground: DCI Banks 24 Hardcover – 13 Jul 2017
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The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are the best series on the market. Try one and tell me I'm wrong. (Stephen King)
Top-notch police procedure (Jeffery Deaver)
A mighty force to be reckoned with in crime fiction (Publisher's Weekly)
Peter Robinson has for too long, and unfairly, been in the shadow of Ian Rankin; perhaps PIECE OF MY HEART, the latest in the Chief Inspector Banks series, will give him the status he deserves, near, perhaps even at the top of, the British crime writers' league. (The Times)
Classic Robinson: labyrinthine plot merged with deft characterisation (Observer)
Long may Peter Robinson keep writing these books! I envy anyone who has not yet discovered this series (Breakaway Reviews)
Robinson's interrogations, many of them conducted in pubs, have the rare quality of steadily illuminating and thickening both the speakers and their subjects. The result is a slow-burning intensity that deepens from beginning to end (Kirkus Reviews)
Robinson also has a way of undercutting the genre's familiarity. With a deceptively unspectacular language, he sets about the process of unsettling the reader. (Independent)
A canon that is on the way to rivalling Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot . . . Superbly textured, this dark story reveals that Banks is growing even more suspicious and melancholy as he grows older - which makes him even more captivating. (Daily Mail)
The thrilling twenty-fourth instalment in Peter Robinson's Number One bestselling Banks Series.See all Product description
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If you've never read a Peter Robinson then I can recommend starting at the beginning. Yes, the very early ones are now a bit dated - like Agatha Christie is a bit dated - that's part of their interest! And then keep going. They get more varied, more complex, more contemporary (obviously) and just - better!
Having said that, I feel that the series is now grinding to an end. With 'Sleeping in the Ground' I was convinced that Mr Robinson's writing and plotting was back on track, after one or two lack-lustre books. Then I reached a page where, half way down, I could recognise almost the very line where the writer lost interest.
So, Here's To You, Mr Robinson, Heaven has a place for terrific writers. Maybe in your next book Alan and Annie could retire to build dry-stone walls together.
Don't let this review put you off. Most of Mr Robinson's books are brilliant.
I found Bank's maudlin mulling over of his "first love" annoying and irrelevent and whilst there was a bit less this time the references to music and wines are still annoying (I skip over them). The poetry references are also pretentious , are they supposed to show what a sensitive man Banks is? All in all not a bad read, if a little predictable. I think Jenny Fuller turning up again was unlikely but perhaps timely, she and Banks can get married and ride off into the sunset (Lake District-Wordsworth country?)
Even after 23 previous books, the plot was fresh. A killing spree in the Dales, a man framed for the crimes, the mass murderer still at large intent on more revenge. The team search for connections and DC Gerry Masterton is again prominent- yet another in Robinson's line of determined young policewomen. The background of the Dales is, as ever, well described and the climax would have made a satisfyingly dramatic end on TV. But DCI Banks has been axed. Happily Superintendent Banks lives on on paper and on this evidence has some way to go before retirement.
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