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In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson

In a Dry Season (1999)

by Peter Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Banks (10)

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1,241379,750 (3.89)73
  1. 00
    On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill (ehines)
    ehines: Another drowned village emerges and another murder investigation is launched.

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» See also 73 mentions

English (35)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
In this early novel, DCI Banks is in "career Siberia", an unspoken discipline for past infractions. Chief Constable Riddle gives him what appears to be a dead-end case as a further sign of ill-will. A skeleton has been found in a village that has been flooded to form a reservoir for the past fifty years and is now dried up. His sidekick is DS Annie Cabbot, who because of her past record with the police, is regarded as another kind of punishment for Banks. The story is told in alternating parts: the modern investigation and the account of one of the principal characters of the crime scene. It was an interesting look back at Yorkshire in wartime and the modern understanding of the times. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Aug 31, 2017 |
The village of Hobb's End was abandoned and flooded to make way for a reservoir. With the drought in Yorkshire, the water levels have receded, and a body has been discovered in the outbuilding of one of the houses. Alan Banks is assigned to the case, as is one of the local detective sergeants, Annie Cabbot. The case takes them through the Second World War, present-day secrets, and a personal relationship.

While the Second World War story was interesting, as such stories often are, I found the story of Banks and Cabbot hooking up to be inappropriate, primarily because they are working on a case together. If they were on different forces and did not work together regularly, it would be less weird, although the difference in rank does introduce a power dynamic that could be problematic.

I very nearly didn't finish this book because the personal subplot was making me cringe so much, and also it was over 500 pages in my edition, which felt excessive. This is one I won't be holding onto. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 19, 2017 |
Great combo of anthropology, police procedural detective story, murder mystery, great characters, forensic science and how a cold case can always be resurrected. I continue to enjoy the Inspector Banks series. ( )
  tututhefirst | Feb 12, 2017 |
One of the better suspense mysteries I've read in a long time. ( )
  dottieph | Jan 9, 2017 |
In a Dry Season is Peter Robinson’s tenth Inspector Banks novel. I’ve read only two of the others, which were good. This one is very good, indeed.

North Yorkshire Police Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks has finally gotten a field assignment after a very long “dry season” of disciplinary desk work. He is sent to investigate the accidental discovery of the long-buried bones of a hand that turns out to be human. Excavation of the area where the hand was found - at the bottom of a reservoir that had dried up over the summer (in yet another allusion to a dry season) - uncovers the complete human skeleton of a young woman who appears to have been savagely murdered by repeated knife thrusts. Unfortunately, physical evidence indicates that the murder took place 40-50 years earlier, possibly during World War II.

The novel then alternates between a third person narrative of Banks’ investigation and a first person narrative of a woman living in the area of the murder during the war. Both stories are well constructed and, no surprise here, they somehow come together in the dénouement. The description of civil life in war-time England is particularly fascinating, where the predominating experience is one of shortages and rationing of the necessities of life. Banks’ investigation encounters many loose ends and red herrings, but Robinson skillfully brings all of them together with a clever concluding twist.

For fans of the series, this is the book in which Inspector Banks first gets together with Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot. DS Cabbot has been having a “dry season” of her own after a traumatic incident nearly two years before. As the book ends, the long rainy winter results in the reservoir filling up once again, and with a hint that the dry seasons of Banks and Cabbot may be over as well.

Evaluation: Robinson does not try to create the harrowing suspense or terror of a Steig Larsson or Jo Nesbo thriller, but his handling of the step-by-step solution to a puzzle is worthy of comparison to Arthur Conan Doyle.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Jul 18, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Robinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Janssen, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
keith, ronNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dad and Averil,

Elaine and Mick,

and Adam and Nicola
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It was the Summer of Love and I had just buried my husband when I first went back to see the reservoir that had flooded my childhood village.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380794772, Mass Market Paperback)

Detective chief inspector Alan Banks is a walking midlife crisis, full of rage because of his recently failed marriage, a career crippled by a jealous superior, and problems with his son. In less skilled hands, Banks could have quickly become a royal pain, but Robinson makes him instead a very likable character, who is slightly baffled and bemused by his bad luck. When he criticizes his son Brian's decision to drop out of college to become a rock musician, Banks quickly regrets it--recognizing the same impulses that made him rebel against his own parents, and some of the pain he felt when a college friend died of a drug overdose. The realization that Brian's heavy-metal band is actually quite good brings genuine pleasure to a man whose idea of rock is Love's Forever Changes and other 1970s delights.

Banks is assigned to work on a case that the Yorkshire police department considers to be somewhat of a joke. The skeleton of a woman wrapped in World War II blackout curtains has been found in a dried-out reservoir. This man-made watering hole was a village--Hobbs End--that had been flooded many years earlier. Through the journal of a major player we realize early on who the dead woman is, but a large part of the fun is watching Banks and an edgy, attractive female cop put the pieces of the puzzle together. In a Dry Season is a stylish and gently reflective tale of secrets and lies.

Banks's other books include Wednesday's Child, Final Account, and Blood at the Root. --Dick Adler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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 are called in to investigate.

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