Many Rivers To Cross by Peter Robinson – Review – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

A skinny young boy is found dead – his body carelessly stuffed into wheelie bin.

Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his team are called to investigate. Who is the boy, and where did he come from? Was he discarded as rubbish, or left as a warning to someone? He looks Middle Eastern, but no one on the East Side Estate has seen him before.

As the local press seize upon an illegal immigrant angle, and the national media the story of another stabbing, the police are called to investigate a less newsworthy death: a middle-aged heroin addict found dead of an overdose in another estate, scheduled for redevelopment.

Banks finds the threads of each case seem to be connected to the other, and to the dark side of organised crime in Eastvale. Does another thread link to his friend Zelda, who is facing her own dark side? 

The truth may be more complex – or much simpler – than it seems . . .

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via Pigeonhole. Many Rivers To Cross is the latest novel in the Inspector Banks series. I found it slightly different to the previous books. Banks seemed to feature less with more focus on Gerry and Annie. When he does appear though, you still see his love of music and fine wine. My thoughts about his character though are changing with each novel. Maybe because of the TV series but also because his increasing loneliness makes him more vulnerable and a little needy with the women he knows.

There is also more focus on modern day news than in previous books. Politics, particularly Brexit, human trafficking, drugs and racism. All of which is seen daily in the news. One of these topics in particular, is covered more than the others and its heartbreaking and unfortunately very real.

One of the more interesting parts of the novel was Zelda’s story. She was a character I really liked. What she went through before her arrival in the UK was horrific and I can see her appearing in a few novels in the future.

This series has the potential to be successful for years to come. I can see it changing, some characters appearing more as Banks gets closer to retirement age but there are still plenty of stories there.

Peter Robinson will be appearing at First Monday Crime on Monday 7th October .

Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson – Review.


About the Book

A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course.
But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for.
When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.

My Review

Whilst I have not read all of the Inspector Banks series I have read enough of them to know the characters well as well as any back story. You could probably read this quite well as a standalone.
This new investigation is one that you only hear about in this country occasionally. That of a mass shooting. Understandably there is a huge media frenzy, the team are under pressure to act quickly, the weather isn’t helping the situation and one of their own team is one of the injured. They think they have got who is responsible quickly but when they start to look closer they question whether they were too quick to react.
I’ve always found this series to be quite contemplative. There is always a crime but it almost seems peaceful. Of course a mass shooting is far from peaceful but there is no big city approach to the investigation. Instead, when they start to dig deeper there doesn’t appear to be any urgency. It is all done quietly, without the media picking up on what is happening. It isn’t all about Banks, Annie and Gerry also feature strongly and show how different policing is with the younger officers.
Music features strongly as ever, regular readers will be aware that Banks loves his music and his choice of music reflects his mood. In this novel he is melancholic, an old flame had died and his own health is questionable.
I enjoy this series, if you have seen the TV series it doesn’t do the books any justice. They are so much better.

When the Music’s Over by Peter Robinson.



All this week there have been a series of blog posts discussing the work of Peter Robinson and today I am delighted to feature him on my blog answering a couple of questions about his latest novel in the Inspector Banks series followed by my own review.

Day Four

A Modern World

The events in When The Music’s Over reflect recent celebrity scandals, I am sure most readers will be aware of Operation Yewtree. Is researching and writing about topics which may make readers uncomfortable an unwelcome challenge?

It’s not unwelcome, but it is a challenge, and it can be uncomfortable. Both subjects in the book, grooming and historic abuse, are so complex and controversial that it can be very difficult to stay on track and remain honest. That to me is the main thing, to illuminate honestly many of the complexities and ambiguities as possible, while being careful not to be exploitative towards the victims.

How do you decide which dastardly deeds will feature in the next novel? Is there a pressure to make the crimes more grand/lavish/despicable with each new book?

No, I don’t feel any pressure to make the crimes more dastardly. If they are, it may be reflection of the fact that the world is becoming more dastardly, but I don’t think so. It’s not so much the sordid or gruesome aspects crime itself that grabs my attention as the psychology of the characters and their relationships. Sometimes the crimes are shocking in their details, and I do believe it’s important not to fudge that aspect. But there can be a thin line between realism and gratuitousness in crime fiction.

About the book

While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is faced with a similar task – but the case Banks must investigate is as cold as they come.

Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton, yet no investigation ever took place. Now Caxton stands accused at the centre of a historical abuse investigation and it’s Banks’s first task as superintendent to find out the truth.

While Annie struggles with a controversial case threatening to cause uproar in the local community, Banks must piece together decades-old evidence, and as each steps closer to uncovering the truth, they’ll unearth secrets much darker than they ever could have guessed…

My Review

I have enjoyed reading and watching on TV the Inspector Banks series for a few years now so jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of the latest book. I have missed a few of them but it hasn’t really mattered, even though the character’s personal lives are ongoing the book could easily be read as a stand alone novel.
There are two cases that Banks is involved in. Both are investigations that appear far too often in our news. One is a cold case, a celebrity accused of rape and the other is child sex grooming. Neither were easy to read but both were very well written and made very compelling reading. Banks was mainly involved with the investigation into the celebrity who was one of the most convincingly obnoxious characters that I have come across. I can only admire an author who can create such a despicable character. The other is being handled by Annie Cabbot, and a new DC Gerry. Banks has to get involved to smooth over ruffled feathers. The police in the area concerned don’t appreciate having two women from another force on their patch.
It’s very modern, the first crime novel I have read that features a historical sex case alongside modern day sex abuse and murder. Some may not appreciate its storyline, I don’t think it will be for everybody but I really liked it. Its gritty, topical, and thought provoking. There were twists, not everything was how I assumed it to be. It’s one that I will read again, I will probably appreciate the writing even more on a second read.
With thanks to Hodder for the copy received.