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MYSTERY/Robinson, Peter
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Subjects
Published
New York : Avon Twilight 1999.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
422 p.
ISBN
0380975815
Main Author
Peter Robinson, 1950- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ Chief Inspector Alan Banks' life is a shambles. His wife has left him, he's estranged from his kids, he's drinking too much, and his boss seems intent on humiliating Alan by assigning him boring cases a junior constable could handle. Alan's latest assignment--to identify a skeleton discovered in the ruins of a flooded Yorkshire village--seems just one more attempt on his boss's part to grind Banks' nose in it, especially when Alan finds he'll be working with Sergeant Annie Cabbot, whose outspoken rebelliousness has made her the black sheep of the Yorkshire constabulary. As Alan and Annie partner on the case, they also become lovers in an affair that's both satisfying and frustrating. Eventually, they identify the skeleton as beautiful, mysterious Gloria Stringer, who died nearly 50 years earlier. Gloria's life and death prove both complex and sad, and Alan and Annie find threads of her story stretching through the decades to the present. When they ultimately solve the case, they discover an unexpected truth that is both tragic and explosive. The fate of their romance, although not so dramatic, is just as unexpected. Undoubtedly the best book of Robinson's outstanding career, this superb crime novel offers a provocative exploration of human behavior, plumbing the human psyche with keen insight and razor-sharp precision. ((Reviewed March 15, 1999)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Inspector Banks looks into a decades-old murder uncovered when drought drains lush Yorkshire's reservoir. Copyright 1999 Library Journal Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Robinson's latest in the Inspector Banks series is actually two parallel stories: the brutal post-World War II murder of a young British woman and the solving of the crime some 40 years later. A major complication for the investigators is that the town where the murder was committed has been covered by a reservoir for decades, eliminating most physical traces of the crime. Banks must painstakingly piece together the spotty record of the townspeople long after most of them have moved to other areas or died of old age. Robinson switches back and forth from present-day sleuthing to the time of the actual murder, with the characters of both time periods well developed and complex. Robinson tells a compelling story of war-time England that rings true. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/99.] Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR Copyright 1999 Library Journal Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Anyone who loves a good mystery should curl up gratefully with a cuppa to enjoy this rich 10th installment of the acclaimed British police procedural series. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, on the skids since the breakup with wife Sandra, languishes in "career Siberia" until old nemesis Chief Constable Riddle sends him to remotest Yorkshire on a "dirty, pointless, dead-end case." It seems a local kid has discovered a skeleton in dried-up Thornfield Reservoir, constructed on the site of the deserted bucolic village of Hobb's End. Banks taps into his familiar network of colleagues to identify the skeleton as that of Gloria Shackleton, a gorgeous, provocative "land girl" who worked on a Hobb's End farm while her husband was off fighting the Japanese decades ago. Apparently, Gloria had been stabbed to death. As Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot struggle to re-create the 50-year-old crime scene, wartime Yorkshire, with all its deprivations and depravities, springs to life. (Banks revives, too, showing renewed interest in his job, and in women.) Robinson brilliantly interweaves the story of Banks's investigation with an ambiguous manuscript by detective novelist "Vivian Elmsley," a 70-ish woman once Gloria's sister-in-law. Is the manuscript a memoir of events leading to Gloria's vicious murder, or "all just a story"? Either way, every detail rings true. Once again, Robinson's work stands out for its psychological and moral complexity, its startling evocation of pastoral England and its gritty, compassionate portrayal of modern sleuthing. Agent, Dominick Abel. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 1999 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

YA-A fascinating whodunit. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is called to attend to a skeleton found in the ruins of a deserted village. Flooded by a reservoir shortly after World War II, Hobb's End had been under water until a recent drought exposed its remnants. Thanks to modern forensics, Banks and the local Detective Sergeant, Annie Cabbot, learn that the remains were those of a young woman who had been strangled and then viciously stabbed numerous times. An apparent 50-year-old crime faces Banks and Cabbot as they go about gathering facts in an attempt to determine the identities of the victim and her murderer. The charm of this story lies in the way it is played out. Readers are privy to the thoughts of the characters from 50 years ago as their story is told as it happened. Chapter by chapter, readers learn about life in a small village in England during World War II. Interspersed with these chapters are the investigations, interviews, and research conducted by the detectives in the present day. The traits and foibles of the townspeople take shape and a portrait of the victim emerges. Despite its length, mystery buffs will find this book an easy read, and they'll be left with some questions to ponder that would make for an interesting and lively book discussion.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a drought drains the local Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering a long-drowned small village and the skeleton of a murder victim from the 1940s, Detective Alan Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabot must investigate the decades-old crime and unmask an evil secret from the past.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a drought drains the local Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering a long-drowned small village and the skeleton of a murder victim from the 1940s, Detective Alan Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabot must investigate the decades-old crime and unmask anevil secret from the past

Review by Publisher Summary 3

New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author Peter Robinson delivers an unforgettable, compelling thriller of a lost village and the deadly secrets that are unearthed upon its discovery—secrets that include murder.In the blistering, dry summer, the waters of Thornfield Reservoir have been depleted, revealing the ruins of the small Yorkshire village that lay at its bottom—ruins that house the unidentified bones of a murdered young woman. Detective Chief Inspector Banks faces a daunting challenge: he must unmask a sadistic killer who has escaped detection for half a century. For the dark secrets of Hobb's End continue to haunt the dedicated policeman, even though the town that bred them has died and its former residents have been scattered to far places—or even to their graves.Demonstrating once again why Peter Robinson is a master of suspense, In a Dry Season is a powerful, insightful, and searing novel of past crimes and present evil.