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

by Peter Robinson

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5331118,919 (3.86)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
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Wednesday's Child by Peter Robinson (1992)

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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 |
This one just didn’t grab me, the entire time reading felt more chore like. Partly I think as I didn’t believe all was lost when the victim was announced, but maybe more so in that it seemed Robinson was not going to be prone to detail with any of the characters. After finishing I think I see why that was, but still, the story could have been so much more, instead it really left you unexcited as to what the central characters might get up to from here. ( )
  debavp | Jul 15, 2012 |
Part of the Inspector Banks-series. Entertaining as always. ( )
  JustJoey4 | Jun 13, 2012 |
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n de woestijn zo wreed zwerft jouw kind alleen. Hoe kan Lyca haar ogen sluiten terwijl haar moeder huilt? Sluimerend ligt Lyca daar terwijl de roofdieren voor haar uit hun diepe holen komen, om het meisje te zien dromen. (William Blake, The Little Girl Lost)
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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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