Chief Inspector Alan Banks of Britain's Eastvale Regional Police reappears in another fluently written, superior mystery. In this third outing he plays good cop while Supt. Richard (``Dirty Dick'') Burgess, a special investigator from London CID, plays bad cop in investigating the murder of a young constable sent to keep order at an anti-nuclear demonstration. ``A full-blown riot in Eastvale, admittedly, on a small scale, was near unthinkable,'' Banks muses. It's a drowsy town of 14,000 that time has passed by, yet a murderer--one of the demonstrators--undeniably has struck with a flick-knife (switchblade). Dirty Dick, a notorious stud and heavy drinker, roars into town, convinced that Bolshies and terrorists have killed PCsic Gill. A user of terror tactics himself, he's intent on making a collar even if the evidence must be bent. He brushes off Banks's suggestions that the demonstration may have been used as cover for a grudge killing. In a story that uses considerable psychological subtlety in exploring the afterlives of '60s flower children, Banks traces the crime to its roots in the past. Toronto author Robinson ( Gallows View ; A Dedicated Man ) has created a stalwart cop in Alan Banks, a man who loves justice and understands a woman's heart. Mystery Guild alternate; paperback rights to Avon . (Mar.)
The author of A Dedicated Man ( LJ 7/91) returns with another fine traditional English mystery featuring Inspector Banks.