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on 5 April 2014
Wednesdays Child the sixth in the Chief Inspector Banks series is by far and away the most brutal book in the series so far.

Banks and the team are instructed to look into the case of missing school girl Gemma Scupham who was last seen leaving the family home with two people posing as social workers. Brenda, Gemma's mother, allowed the two to take her child as they claimed allegations of abuse had to be investigated and they needed to take Gemma away for further tests. However when Gemma doesn't return the next morning panic sets in and it soon becomes clear that Gemma is the victim of kidnap.

Soon everything from Gemma's relationship with her mother and her mother's partner are being investigated and serious questions are having to be asked as to why Gemma was picked and why a mother would allow strangers to leave with her child.

Around the same time ramblers discover the body of a known criminal with ties to Gemma's step-father. Could the two cases be linked and if so can Banks put a stop to the people behind them and bring young Gemma back home to her mother before it is too late.

This was a fascinating book. A real departure for Peter Robinson in my opinion as this is by far and away the darkest member of the Banks series. True evil lurks in this book and the conclusion is both shocking and well written. All in all this is an excellent book and I would strongly recommend it.
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Seven year old Gemma is abducted by a couple pretending to be social workers. DCI Banks and his team are tasked with investigating and they seem to be banging their heads against brick walls without even a suspect in sight. Then a body is discovered by Fell walkers but the body isn't Gemma's and they're faced with investigating two cases with very little to go on in either of them.

This is a harrowing and absorbing read and it features Banks' superior Superintendent Gristhorpe more that some of the novels in this series do. Missing children affect him very deeply as he was involved in the search for the Moors Murders' victims.

I read the book in less than a day and I found I kept turning the pages faster and faster because I had to know what happened and who the murderer was. There is a hilarious scene towards the end of the book featuring Sgt Jim Hatchley which lightens some of the tension but doesn't detract from the overall suspense of the plot.

This is a well written and well plotted series with some likeable and believable characters and without too much on the page graphic violence. The Yorkshire background is almost a character in its own right as is the Lake District in Martin Edwards' Lake District series of crime novels. If you like police procedural novels and want something which isn't set in London or the Home counties then give this series a try. The books can be read in any order.
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on 26 January 2016
This book has a disturbing story line concerning a missing child. A seven-year old girl is taken away for 'tests' by a couple posing as social workers. The mother has a chaotic lifestyle and lives with a shiftless, drunken, petty thief. When the child does not return next morning, her mother calls the police.There are some very unsavoury characters in this generally very dark story. There are murders involved and Banks and team begin to look for connections. The book is well written and in spite of the unpleasant characters and events, I was gripped by the storyline. The characters of Banks and his team are well described and sergeant Hatchley makes a brief cameo return to give some drama to an interrogation! He is out of sight but makes a lot of (faked) noisy fuss which alarms the suspect so much that he decides to give a bit of information. There is also a tiny hint that all is not as well as it could be with Banks and Sandra's marriage.
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VINE VOICETOP 100 REVIEWERon 15 August 2014
The sixth in the series of Inspector Banks novels and the first one I've read. Worked well as a stand alone and I had no problem fitting the pieces together and working out who was who.

Wednesday's Child is punchy and dark, stronger than I'd anticipated, and kept my interest from start to finish.

The disappearance of a young girl with the subsequent anxiety and mayhem around the event, and its aftermath, were nicely worked and I enjoyed the growing tension as the cat and mouse, running out of time, began.

Robinson does a good job of opening up his characters to allow the reader a glimpse of the dark and the light within each of them. He also builds a decent level of empathy for the missing girl and those close to her which adds balance to the harder hitting themes. There's a plenty of shadow and shade in the world of Detective Banks where no one is ever entirely innocent.

The ending wasn't a complete surprise but satisfying enough with most loose ends nicely rounded up.

One of the better crime novels I've read in a while and certainly worth a donwload.

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on 19 August 2014
My first intro into the world of Inspector Banks was this book, Wednesdays Child. I have to say the writing style really lends itself to TV translation. From page one you get the feeling that your reading an outline for a TV plot. At first I found this style of writing slightly uneasy. Once I was a chapter or so in though I found the book to be an easy read and rather found I liked the style of the authors written word.

The plot is fast paced and has some great characters, well observed perhaps or just well imagined, either way this book is a no nonsense well directed thriller. The subject matter may not to be some tastes but dealing with child molestation and kidnap is never going to be a comfortable read. The book runs to about 340 pages and ends very abruptly but in a satisfactory manner with justice seen to be served, always a bonus for me.

I would say that you don't need to read the Banks books in order but in some ways it would be helpful as the cast of characters does develop in the series. However this is the first one I have read and really it didn't spoil it for me.

This book was published in the early 1990's so in some ways the book has dated, when did you last see a Ford Cortina on the road in the UK? Also the lack of mobile devices and references to Computer systems also date the book but in some ways it was also refreshing to see how things used to be before the wide spread use of "Smart" phones and the internet.

Would I read another Banks book? Yes I would. I enjoyed this book even though it was somewhat darker than most books I read.
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on 7 June 2017
All the Inspector Banks books are a terrific read. I started with "Cold is the Grave" first and wondered why I was missing things. This is because it is a series and while the books can be read on their own it is better to start at the beginning of the series and follow on from there. The author sometimes mentions previous crimes or people from previous crimes and seems to do this in all the books. I would highly recommend these to anyone who likes crime novels.
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on 9 February 2018
A fine detective novel, with some horrid scenes, including references to the \Brady and Hindley murders of children. A businessman, who thinks he is above the law, kidnaps, abuses, and finally kills a young girl. The characters are well-drawn, and the plot is plausible, and is settled finally.
Too much gory information for me, but will be liked by some people.
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on 14 August 2014
Robinson has done something right in the pacing and inticacies of the plot, but the writing style and character development leave a great deal to be desired. Far too much 'cascading manes', 'tucking in', 'Theakstone swigging' and reliance on music and literary taste as a vapid shorthand for saying something about a character. Definitely a tell-rather-than-show style that leaves you wondering why you invested the time and I half wish I hadn't, a bit like tucking in to an ice cream sundae and washing it down with ale...
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on 7 January 2013
Only just started reading the DCI Banks novels as a result of them being televised. Started at the end so have now bought the earlier ones for my Kindle and am reading them in order. Would thoroughly recommend doing this to other readers as although they are stand alone stories, the relationship with his wife and growing family move onwards through the series (as they would in real life). For that reason it is more enjoyable to read them in the order they were written. I found this one thoroughly absorbing and well written though I will admit some are better than others, but I intend to read the whole series now for completeness. I find Banks' obsession with the music he listens to slightly irritating and can't actually believe a detective, even in this day and age, walks around with ear phones clamped to his ears, particularly given his age. Have not got to any of the stories involving Annie (though saw a televised one) and am looking forward to doing so. I can understand the negative reviewer's comments as Peter Robinson has a style in all of these Banks' books which you either like or don't. In my case I am avidly reading the next one, so each to his own.
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on 8 December 2016
A good few red herrings and twists and turns in this one. Part way through the book, I thought it might ber a certain person responsiible, then was put onto another path and away from that person, only to find it was him. I won't say who or what as it would spoil the book for people who have not yet read it. However, there was also some predictibility regarding certain scenarios and the ending was a bit disappointing. There was a bit more of a suspense the further on one read in the book, so all in all, quite an exciting read. It would have been nice to have had a mored detailed outcome with the characters involved in this book.
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