‘The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are the best series on the market. Try one and tell me I'm wrong.’ - Stephen King.
Innocent Graves is the eighth novel in Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series, following on from Dry Bones That Dream.
A murdered girl. Dark Secrets. Deadlier lies.
One foggy night, Deborah Harrison is found lying in the churchyard behind St Mary’s, Eastvale. She has been strangled with the strap of her own school satchel.
But Deborah was no typical sixteen-year-old. Her father was a powerful financier who moved in the highest echelons of industry, defence and classified information. And Deborah, it seemed, enjoyed keeping secrets of her own . . .
With his colleague Detective Constable Susan Gay, Inspector Alan Banks encounters many suspects, guilty of crimes large and small, in his search for the killer. And as he does so, plenty of sordid secrets and some lethal lies begin to emerge . . .
The Inspector Banks series became the British ITV drama DCI Banks. Innocent Graves is followed by the ninth book in this Yorkshire-based crime series, Dead Right.
Published in 1996, this eighth entry in his series about Police Chief Inspector Alan Banks marked a change in formula for Robinson who, in order to delve deeper into justice's dark side, allowed his humane Yorkshire policeman to share the spotlight with Owen Pierce, an unlikable schoolteacher accused of murdering a pretty teen in a cemetery. The dueling protagonists help explain why James Langton's narration initially sounds too gentle for a police procedural. However, he quickly establishes his versatility, creating an assortment of properly accented and modulated voices for witnesses, lawyers (there's an extended courtroom section), and coppers, including a deep, commanding voice for Banks. But Langton's main success is in capturing the many moods of the hapless Pierce confusion, arrogance, petulance, self-pity, despair, and, eventually, fierce anger as he faces the growing circumstantial case against him. It's a performance that adds a punch to the book's powerful conclusion. An Avon paperback.
Another enjoyable work by Robinson but unlike some of his other writings, I couldn't help feel short changed with the ending.
After a great journey, I felt short changed with the last chapter.