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In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson
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In a Dry Season (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Peter Robinson

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1,118357,379 (3.9)48
Member:katiekrug
Title:In a Dry Season
Authors:Peter Robinson (Author)
Info:Avon (2000), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, contemporary, British, mystery

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In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson (1999)

  1. 00
    On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill (ehines)
    ehines: Another drowned village emerges and another murder investigation is launched.
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English (33)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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 |
A very good book - a body is discovered in a house of a village that has been covered by a Reservoir. The village having been uncovered following a drought. Who is the victim, let alone the murderer? This book has a time slip element telling the story from the 1940s as well as following the current investigation.
Will definitely be reading the other books in the series. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
A village that has been flooded to create a reservoir is uncovered during a particularly dry summer. While exploring, a boy discovers a human skeleton that, in all likelihood had been put there over 50 years ago. Was the person murdered or was it an accident? Will it be possible to solve such an old case?
The man chosen for the job is DI Alan Banks. He's been out of favour with his superiors, prompting his selection for what sees to be a hopeless, dead-end job. But, through determination, perseverance and help from local sergeant, Annie Cabbot, he makes slow progress. As Inspector Banks uncovers clues and chases up leads, we are taken back to when it all took place and get to witness every detail first hand. It really is a technique that works extraordinarily well.

As far as police procedurals go, this ranks very highly with pieces of the puzzle revealing a more and more tragic story, leading right up to the consequences played out in the climactic present-day scenes. This is definitely a book to put on your must-read list, particularly if you are a fan of well-constructed mysteries. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
As "In a Dry Season" opens, a prolonged drought in Yorkshire has revealed the remains of a village that decades earlier had been flooded to make a reservoir, and in the village are found the remains of a young woman. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is assigned to the case by his superior, Chief Constable Riddle, who hates his guts and sees this assignment as a punishment. In the meantime, Banks’ wife of 20 years has left him, and he has no idea if he can start a new life on his own, or even if he wants to…. This is the 10th Inspector Banks book, and it’s a corker - lots of intrigue dating back to World War II and lots of contemporary matters concerning marriage, letting go and how to relate to your grown children. There were few scenes with most of the ongoing characters and instead we focus primarily on Banks and on a new woman in his life, in addition to dealing with the murder inquiry itself. Recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | May 9, 2016 |
If you like a good mystery, this one should fit the bill. The story flashes back and forth between life in a rural English village in World War II and the present day, where the tiny hamlet was at the bottom of a now-dried-up reservoir. The drought also exposes the skeleton of a murder victim, so Inspector Banks and his attractive new partner are brought in to investigate the crime.

Overall, I found it to be a good read; I had minor quibbles about the way the sub-plots were handled and I thought the book was a couple hundred pages too long and could have used a good editor, but I’m sure die-hard Banks fans would wish it were longer.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Robinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
keith, ronNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dad and Averil,

Elaine and Mick,

and Adam and Nicola
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AUGUST 1967

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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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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