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In a Dry Season (The Inspector Banks Series) Paperback – January 12, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: The Inspector Banks Series (Book 10)
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; 1ST edition (January 12, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330392018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330392013
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Anyone who loves a good mystery should curl up gratefully with a cuppa to enjoy this rich 10th installment of the acclaimed British police procedural series. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, on the skids since the breakup with wife Sandra, languishes in "career Siberia" until old nemesis Chief Constable Riddle sends him to remotest Yorkshire on a "dirty, pointless, dead-end case." It seems a local kid has discovered a skeleton in dried-up Thornfield Reservoir, constructed on the site of the deserted bucolic village of Hobb's End. Banks taps into his familiar network of colleagues to identify the skeleton as that of Gloria Shackleton, a gorgeous, provocative "land girl" who worked on a Hobb's End farm while her husband was off fighting the Japanese decades ago. Apparently, Gloria had been stabbed to death. As Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot struggle to re-create the 50-year-old crime scene, wartime Yorkshire, with all its deprivations and depravities, springs to life. (Banks revives, too, showing renewed interest in his job, and in women.) Robinson brilliantly interweaves the story of Banks's investigation with an ambiguous manuscript by detective novelist "Vivian Elmsley," a 70-ish woman once Gloria's sister-in-law. Is the manuscript a memoir of events leading to Gloria's vicious murder, or "all just a story"? Either way, every detail rings true. Once again, Robinson's work stands out for its psychological and moral complexity, its startling evocation of pastoral England and its gritty, compassionate portrayal of modern sleuthing. Agent, Dominick Abel. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Peter Robinson's award-winning novels have been named a Best-Book-of-the-Year by Publishers Weekly, a Notable Book by the New York Times, and a Page-Turner-of-the-Week by People magazine. Robinson was born and raised in Yorkshire but has lived in North America for over twenty-five years. He now divides his time between North America and the U.K.

Customer Reviews

Highly recommended to all mystery fans.
Glenn McLeod
Robinson's characters are well played and the complexity of the plot keeps the story moving.
Ca Barnes
The characters, plot and setting were all well developed.
razzey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By wolf_mom@hotmail.com on September 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is just a small departure from the normal Detective Banks format, but Peter Robinson is a gem when it comes to British murder mysteries. His books just keep getting better, and this book is so beautifully crafted that you are drawn into the story and wonderful characters. Each Inspector Banks book moves us further into his life and ties us closer to his very believable characters.This book takes a short detour into the past with a wonderfully creditable portrayal of wartime England, while moving the reader subltly along in Bank's life. Incredibly good read, stayed up all night to finish it. Peter Robinson sets new standards for British police proceedurals. Can hardly wait until the next one! I strongly recommend that you read absolutely every Inspector Banks mystery you can lay your hands on!!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable on March 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
Peter Robinson alternates between the present and the past in an effective narration of the story. By doing this, we are treated to both the lead up and the aftermath of a time surround by turmoil. 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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Glenn McLeod on March 24, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson Viking 1999
I have been a fan of Peter Robinson and his protagonist Alan Banks from the beginning and this book is one of the best I have read so far. When a dry season empties a reservoir and exposes the remains of a 50 year-old village, a young boy discovers a skeleton, an apparent a murder victim from the wartime. Banks and local detective Sargent, Annie Cabbot, begin to untangle the relationships of old and in a beautiful recreation of that time of blackout lights and Glenn Miller in the diary of a contemporary of the murder victim, the secret lives and lusts of the old village and its inhabitants. The two stories, the diary and the present investigation, flow contiguously and powerfully, drawing the reader along at a furious pace. The clues a subtle and the ending somewhat of a surprise.
Bank's marriage has fallen apart and as he struggles with the changes in his life and those of his children, Robinson presents a very credible sub plot. The falling into bed with Annie and the resulting shift in their perceptions of each other is brilliantly written and quite believable. The last book I read nearly this good was also by Peter Robinson. Highly recommended to all mystery fans.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In A Dry Season is a very written written book with well-developed, multi-dimensional characters, and a descriptive style that makes you feel that you are right there in the small English town in which the story takes place. What it is not, however, is a mystery that has a lot of excitement, suspense and surprises; which is what I was looking for when I decided to read this book. My 3 1/2 star rating is based on the fact that the book did not deliver well enough on my in-going expectations. Nonetheless, Peter Robinson is a very good writer and I will know better about what to expect from him the next time I decide to read one of his books. And there will be a next time. If you are in the mood for a mystery that is built more on character development versus one built more on plot development than In A Dry Season is a book I think you might enjoy very much.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Swimmer on August 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love mysteries and also enjoy books that paint a vivid picture of a time and place. Peter Robinson does both in this entertaining book. His description of the countryside of the UK during the World War II was wonderful. Also his description of the trip to London is great.

Inspector Banks is an interesting character. I have read a previous book that was early in the series when he was happily married. The only real suggestion is to read these books in order because it is hard to understand Banks out of order.

This is such a good book it really did not matter that the murderer's identity was not very important.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Robinson on March 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a key book in the Banks series. Robinson seems to shift away from his reliance on British trivia as we see in prior novels and he has given the novel a strong set of characters. Also, he introduces a police woman, Annie, which makes the story a lot more interesting. Robinson has written almost 20 novels, this is approximately #13, written about 10 years after the first and we see some progress in the complexity of the work. This is one of his best.

As a side note, the present book is available from Pan as ISBN 0330 43265 6 which is two novels in one book, i.e.: In a Dry Season and Dry Bones That Dream. That is a great value since you get two Peter Robinson novels for the price of one.

I have read seven novels in the Inspector Banks series of the near 20 Robinson novels in print. I liked most of the other novels but some are not great while a few are very good. My impression here is that In A Dry Season is probably his best, or among the best. It rates 4 or 5 stars. It is a solid 500 page effort and has good characters and an interesting plot. It is well balanced and has a good story that keeps the reader entertained. Robinson injects humour at all the right spots, and the crime remains a mystery until the end. It is a quick light read. It has some flaws but they are minor.

A flaw in the Banks series, especially some of the early novels, is that Robinson relies on a lot of British pub trivia to set the mood. That cannot sustain a series. That is present here but thankfully in small doses. Robinson seems to have graduated from that - at least partially - and now uses a strong set of characters to carry the novel, and this is a big improvement for the Banks series. He still has Banks quoting T.S. Eliot, but at least that sort of thing does not dominate the book.
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