Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire but now lives in Canada. His Inspector Banks series has won numerous awards in the US, Britain and Canada.
After the body of a well-to-do archeologist is found buried near a stone wall outside the English village of Helmthorpe, detective chief inspector Alan Banks, last encountered in Gallows View , has trouble finding anyone with motive and opportunity for murder. The main beneficiary of Harry Steadman's substantial fortune, his frowsy widow, Emma, has a solid alibi and seems to grieve genuinely for her husband. Further probing takes Banks back many years, when the Steadmans summered in the village and the archeologist formed a friendship with teenager Penny Cartwright--later a famous folksinger and object of scandal--whose boyfriend of the time, Michael Ramsden, became Steadman's publisher and good friend. When a local girl who may have learned too much about the murder disappears and is found dead, Banks must move swiftly to untangle the skein of old emotions and avert further tragedy. Robinson vividly evokes English village life and the passions animating both its residents and the police who protect them. (Aug.)
'The novels of Peter Robinson are chilling, evocative, deeply nuanced works of art' Dennis Lehane; 'If you haven't encountered Chief Inspector Alan Banks before, prepare for a crash course in taut, clean writing and subtle psychology. And watch for thsoe twists - they'll get you every time' Ian Rankin
After an old Yorkshire farmer discovers a half-buried body in his pasture, excitement interrupts routine in the small community of Swainsdale. Series detective Alan Banks ( Gallows View , 1990) begins investigating the habits and background of the victim, a dedicated professor who left his job upon receiving a sizeable inheritance. Suspicion falls on his charmless wife, his long-time publisher, his local drinking buddies, a younger woman, and others. Before Banks can narrow the list, the murderer strikes again. Readers of English village mysteries should enjoy Robinson's promising second step.