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Wednesday's Child (An Inspector Banks Mystery) (original 1992; edition 2002)

by Peter Robinson

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5471318,310 (3.84)21
Member:ashergabbay
Title:Wednesday's Child (An Inspector Banks Mystery)
Authors:Peter Robinson
Info:Pan (2002), Edition: 3, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Wednesday's Child by Peter Robinson (1992)

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old book but great story , regarding A child abduction and a mother that doesnt really care and criminal underworld involving child trafficking . ( )
  Suzannie1 | Nov 9, 2014 |
My idea of a good fictional story is one that sets realistic people in a fantastic situation. Nobody wants to read about their everyday, mundane life but, for me, when Superman, or Wonder Woman turns up, the connection to the human is broken. Peter Robinson does the ordinary cop very well. Inspector Banks is good at his job, but don't expect him to deduce the murderer from a trace of rare grass on the victim's shoe, or to leap at the criminal and down him with a swift karate chop.

Through the series of Banks books, the characters, not just Banks, but his wife, his boss, Grisethorpe, and the DC's with whom he works, all develop in a believable way. Details mentioned, en passant in an earlier work are enhanced, as necessary, further into the series and the group of characters all have reality.

I do not want to make these books seem too much like great works of literature, they are not intended so to be. They are cracking pieces of escapism. The thing that I enjoy most in these books is that I am always just half a page ahead of the detective. Robinson knows instinctively, just when to release information to the reader and when to allow his hero to recognise the significance. I never find myself chapters ahead and irritated by Banks' dim-wittedness, or amazed by a thought that hadn't struck me; although, it has been known for me to be lead, skilfully, down a blind alley for a while!

The murders are not too bloodthirstily drawn, or the solutions too far fetched. Naturally, they may not be exactly true to police procedure, but, they are sufficiently so to convince me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have each of the other tales in the series. I eke them out as an occasional treat and my only difficulty is in not guzzling all my treats in the one sitting! I can't wait to get to the next time when I think that I deserve a purely for pleasure read!

I shall only say a little about the story: I do not want to spoil it for any new readers of Robinson's oeuvre. This tale concerns the abduction of a child and a particularly brutal murder. The two cases do not appear to be connected but Banks feels that it would be quite a coincidence for two major criminals to be operating in Eastvale at the same time. You'll have to read the book to find out if he is right (and he isn't always - not at first, at least!). ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Nov 5, 2014 |
Wednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson is another good read in the Inspector Banks series. These detective procedural books always keep my interest. I have grown to like Alan Banks and am happy there are at least 10 more books in the series for me to follow.

This book focuses on two mysteries, seemingly without connection to one another. Seven-year old Gemma Scupham is abducted when a well-dressed couple pose as social workers, taking her away on the pretense of abuse. Gemma’s mother didn’t take care of her child very well, not physically harming her but neglecting her and so, she surmised this was all legitimate. She allowed the “social workers” to make off with her daughter. Now it’s considered an abduction case, the detectives fearing pornographic ring and poor Gemma.

In the meantime, the body of man is found in an abandoned mine shaft. He was gutted so it’s a murder by someone he knew or trusted to get so close to him. Are both crimes related? Could it be a connection to the child abduction or a recent warehouse heist?

For a change Superintendant Gristhorpe (Banks boss and more of a supporting “cast member” in these mysteries) has a larger role, taking over the investigation of the child abduction. It’s interesting to read some of his back story and see him in action.

Among the many wonderfully descriptive phases in this novel, this one stood out as a favorite of mine:

“Sometimes, thought Banks, the creaking machinery of the law was a welcome prophylactic on his desire to reach out and throttle someone.”

I totally get that. The planet would be a better place eliminating evil people causing heartache. Banks restrains himself from taking them out because he IS an officer of the law and not a vigilante. But like Walter Mitty, sometimes we find our own solutions in our imaginations, never acting on them but…. the thoughts arise all the same.

Food items are mentioned

Wensleydale cheese-and-pickle sandwich

Le Bistro’s Shrimp Provencale and a glass of wine – Le Bistro was one of Eastvale’s newest cafes. Tourism, the dale’s main industry, had increased and many Americans drawn to do the “James Herriott” tour wanted more than fish and chips and warm beer.

Gristhorpe and Banks ate roast beef sandwiches as they compared leads. Getting close to solving the mystery as they exchanged information and ate their lunch was a good place to take my inspiration. Drinks figure prominently the daily activities of our hard working detectives. But I didn’t want an ale or wine for this book. Liquor was the ticket. A drink is always offered by those who are visited by Chief Inspector Alan Banks.

Manhattan Recipe:
2 ounces rye whiskey
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Maraschino cherry for garnish

Full review, and a drink is here:
http://novelmeals.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/wednesdays-child-by-peter-robinson/ ( )
  SquirrelHead | Dec 25, 2013 |
Inspector Banks is following the leads on a dead body found in a mine while Superintendent Gristhorpe is investigating two fake social workers who have abducted a child, but the two cases soon turn out to have a close connection. This installment works at a slower pace than the others I've read, but that's because there's time spent on properly introducing Banks' coworkers since they play a larger part in this than before. As is true with the rest of the series, this is a solid police procedural with an interesting, if not complex, plot and some very good characters. The audiobook reader, James Langton, does a great job with the voices and doesn't dumb down the Yorkshire dialect too much (one of the previous installments has a truly horrific reader, so I'm very grateful Langton took over). ( )
  -Eva- | Dec 13, 2013 |
“Wednesday’s Child” is the sixth book in the Inspector Adam Banks detective series by Peter Robinson.

Seven-year-old Gemma is kidnapped from her home, willingly given away by her confused mother to a well-dressed and well-spoken couple who claimed to be social workers. A couple of days later, the body of a young man is found in the ruins of an old lead mine. Two seemingly unrelated cases which (surprise!) converge into one intricate case for our dear Inspector Banks.

Except Banks plays somewhat of a secondary role in this book. Robinson has chosen to make Banks’ boss and sometimes mentor, Superintendent Gristhope, the main lead of the kidnapping investigation. A similar case many years back haunts the veteran detective’s memories as he frantically tries to get to the abducted girl before she is murdered. Finding Gemma’s bloodied clothes in a field does not raise hopes that he can win this race against time.

The plot of this book is less surprising that in previous Alan Banks books. The abductor/murderer character is revealed well in advance of the ending. It seems Robinson took somewhat of a pause in “Wednesday’s Child” to develop some of the characters that surround Banks, most notably Gristhope but also others. In a way I found this book to be a more relaxing read, despite the gruesome crime committed in the very first chapter. ( )
  ashergabbay | Dec 15, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380820498, Mass Market Paperback)

When two social workers, investigating reports of child abuse, appear at Brenda Scupham's door, her fear of authority leads her to comply meekly with their requests. Even when they say they must take her seven-year old daughter away for tests.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:36 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates the chilling case of Brenda Scupham, a welfare mother who unwittingly hands her seven-year-old daughter, Gemma, over to child abductors claiming to be social workers.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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