Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire but now spends most of his time in Canada. His Inspector Banks series has been awarded numerous prizes in the United States, Britain and Canada.
Robinson, author of In a Dry Season and ten other novels featuring British Inspector Alan Banks, returns again to contemporary crime in his latest Yorkshire mystery, which traces the evildoing of a serial rapist and murderer who preys on young women. No Robinson tale is ever clear-cut, however, and this one is complicated by issues of child abuse (the murderer's wife was the subject of brutal sexual victimization and abuse as a child), spousal abuse (the murderer is alleged to have terrorized his wife), and police brutality (the arresting officer hit the murderer so many times after he killed her partner that she is brought up on charges herself). For Robinson, hidden in the past is the answer to his suspicion that the murderer's wife was not only a participant in the assaults on these young women but an instigator. Meanwhile, Banks's personal life continues on its convoluted way: his ex-wife of 20-odd years is pregnant by her husband-to-be and waiting for Banks to sign the divorce papers, and his relationship with Detective Annie Cabot is complicated by the job. Some readers may wish that the inspector's personal life were less muted here; others may long for the simpler days of less violent, non-serial murder mysteries. Nonetheless, this multilayered novel puts Banks firmly in the upper echelon of British mystery writers. [Mystery Guild featured alternate.] Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
'It demonstrates how the crime novel, when done right, can reach parts that other books can't... A considerable achievement' GUARDIAN 'Move over Ian Rankin - there's a new gunslinger in town looking to take over your role as top British police procedural author. With AFTERMATH, Chief Inspector Alan Banks emerges as a definite contender for fiction's new top cop...' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Dark, darker, darkest endless shades of ebony seem to envelop Acting Det. Superintendent Alan Banks in this grim, compelling, character-driven mystery (after 2000's Cold Is the Grave). As the head of the North Yorkshire half of a two-county joint task force, Banks is helping look into the disappearances of five young girls. As the title implies, the answer comes early on in an explosive scene where the girls' grisly fate is discovered. But Banks is left with the aftermath: a cop facing possible charges for excessive force, a woman who may be a victim or may be guilty of monstrous crimes, an "extra" body and one that isn't where it ought to be. Banks also faces plenty of personal challenges as his wife, Sandra, still pressing for divorce, finds a new way to shock him, while sometime girlfriend and colleague, Annie Cabbot, seeks to change their relationship. Robinson's never tackled darker themes: child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, torture and murder. And while he never indulges in needlessly graphic descriptions, it is still horrific stuff. Introspective, thoughtful and plagued by uncertainties, Banks battles to maintain focus as the investigation plods on. As always, the author scrupulously details the police work, from the forensics to the efforts of a consultant psychologist (i.e., a profiler), who delves into a past case that may be related. A proven master of the British police procedural, Robinson should find a large audience for this gripping, psychologically astute tale. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Oct. 9) Forecast: Stronger than Cold Is the Grave, which won the Anthony and the Ellis awards, this novel stands to rack up even bigger sales, fueled by a five-city author tour and 25-city national radio campaign. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.