'If you haven't caught up with Peter Robinson already, now is the time to start.' - "Independent Sunday". One foggy night, Deborah Harrison is found lying in the churchyard behind St Mary's, Eastvale. She has been strangled with the strap of her own school satchel. But Deborah was no typical sixteen-year-old. Her father was a powerful financier ...
'If you haven't caught up with Peter Robinson already, now is the time to start.' - "Independent Sunday". One foggy night, Deborah Harrison is found lying in the churchyard behind St Mary's, Eastvale. She has been strangled with the strap of her own school satchel. But Deborah was no typical sixteen-year-old. Her father was a powerful financier who moved in the highest echelons of industry, defence and classified information. And Deborah, it seemed, enjoyed keeping secrets of her own...With his colleague Detective Constable Susan Gray, Inspector Alan Banks moves among the many suspects, guilty of crimes large and small. And as he does so, plenty of sordid secrets and some deadly lies begin to emerge...'The novels of Peter Robinson are chilling evocative, deeply nuanced works of art'. - Dennis Lehane.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-06-03 Moving his ever dependable Yorkshire-based copper, Alan Banks (Final Account, 1995, etc.), to the periphery of this work, the equally dependable Robinson focuses instead on the tragic plight of a possibly innocent man charged with murder. In the process, Robinson adds another level of nuance to his already fully dimensioned fiction and takes a quantum leap as a writer. A schoolgirl is murdered on church ground. Her school bag is left open, and her clothes are disturbed. The local vicar is already embroiled in a sex scandal, and his adulterous wife is wandering drunkenly through the grounds when the body is found. Without a decent motive, but with a plethora of damning evidence, Banks is led to one Owen Pierce, a moody young schoolteacher. Pierce is revealed as a man with enough minor aberrations in his life to fashion a believable criminal. His smutty tastes in literature, photography and teenage women invite easy condemnation, and he is further burdened with a past lover who nurses a deep grievance against him. If Banks has occasionally appeared a shade too decent and placid in past works, this eighth appearance finds him with a new, sharper edge. Banks is still a kindly enough soul, but he knowingly occupies a world that has suddenly become more richly treacherous. (Aug.)
Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-25 Published in 1996, this eighth entry in his series about Police Chief Inspector Alan Banks marked a change in formula for Robinson who, in order to delve deeper into justice's dark side, allowed his humane Yorkshire policeman to share the spotlight with Owen Pierce, an unlikable schoolteacher accused of murdering a pretty teen in a cemetery. The dueling protagonists help explain why James Langton's narration initially sounds too gentle for a police procedural. However, he quickly establishes his versatility, creating an assortment of properly accented and modulated voices for witnesses, lawyers (there's an extended courtroom section), and coppers, including a deep, commanding voice for Banks. But Langton's main success is in capturing the many moods of the hapless Pierce-confusion, arrogance, petulance, self-pity, despair, and, eventually, fierce anger-as he faces the growing circumstantial case against him. It's a performance that adds a punch to the book's powerful conclusion. An Avon paperback. (March) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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