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Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks) MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Robinson may be one of the most underrated writers of British mysteries today. His hero, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, is a thoughtful, intelligent, humane cop who often doubts his ability to cope successfully with the demands of career, marriage, and parenthood. Robinson's descriptions of police procedures are thorough and knowledgeable, and he paints a lively, vivid picture of rural Yorkshire. Best of all, in each successive book, Robinson shows real growth in the complexity of his characters, in his creative, thought-provoking plots, and in the philosophical battles Banks wages in dealing with crime both petty and vicious. Here Banks is investigating the kidnapping of seven-year-old Gemma Scupham, who has been taken from her neglectful mum by two people posing as social workers. It's as if the child had disappeared from the face of the earth; but despite the lack of clues and the daunting possibility that Gemma is already dead, Banks pokes and prods, questions and probes, until the pieces start to fall together and he finds himself confronting one of the most ruthless villains he has encountered in his entire career. Provocative, mesmerizing, and memorable, this chilling story is a must for mystery collections of every size. Emily Melton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

There's precious little time for Yorkshire Inspector Alan Banks's worries about his distant wife or teenage daughter; he's hot on the trail of the couple, plausibly masquerading as social workers, who took 7-year-old Gemma Scupham away from her slatternly mother. When a family touring the nearby lead mines discovers, not Gemma's body, but that of ex-convict Carl Johnson, the trail seems cold; but after Banks' tense, inconclusive confrontation with Johnson's boss, diamond magnate Adam Harkness, and the disheartening discovery of Gemma's clothing thirty miles away, Constable Susan Gay ties Johnson to Gemma- -and to Jeremy ``Smiler'' Chivers, a grinning psychopath who seems all too good a suspect. Expert lesser work from Robinson (Past Reason Hated, 1993, etc.): an unsurprising but thoroughly accomplished British procedural that puts its lowlife denizens through their paces with all the withering mastery of a lion tamer. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Banks (Book 6)
  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400162742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400162741
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,294,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Peter Robinson's "Wednesday's Child" is about the abduction of a young girl named Gemma by a man and woman posing as child care workers. They take Gemma from her negligent and abusive mother who is too ignorant to realize that this couple are a pair of impostors . In addition, a low-class hoodlum is found viciously murdered near an abandoned smelting mill. Are these two events related? Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his colleagues, Superintendent Gristhorpe, Susan Gay and Phil Richmond, combine forces to uncover a cunning plan by a pair of malevolent criminals, one of whom is extremely dangerous and unpredictable. Robinson, as usual, captures the Yorkshire ambiance perfectly. His ear for dialogue is uncanny and he has a remarkable talent for setting a scene perfectly and creating memorable characters. The mystery and its solution are thoroughly satisfying. "Wednesday's Child" is a wonderful and engrossing thriller by a master of the genre.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on March 20, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chief Inspector Banks is called in to investigate the disappearance of a little girl named Gemma. Her bewildered mother has let her go with people who claimed to be from a child welfare agency, but instead they kidnapped her. Banks is haunted by the picture of the child, as she resembles the inspector's own daughter. Following this, there is a grisly murder of a man who may have been connected to the missing girl. It is up to Banks and Detective Superintendant Gristhorpe to put together the pieces of the two puzzles into a coherant whole. All of this time these grizzled policemen keep a mental picture of Gemma in mind as motivation to solving the crimes. This is another well-written Detective Banks Mystery by Peter Robinson.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Asher Gabbay on December 15, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Tam on May 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those who enjoy a police procedural, not to be confused with a thriller/suspense novel/mystery, this will not disappoint. Inspector Banks makes another appearance when a well-dressed couple pose as social workers and take away Gemma Scupham on the pretense of abuse allegations. The mother, Brenda, accepts them at their word and lets them take her away. A far from exemplary parent, the child is described as "woeful" if not abused physically, then abused by maternal neglect. Banks is on the case leading him down to various possibilities. Is it a pornographic/prostitution ring? Is it connected to a recent electronics warehouse heist? Is this related at all to another murder of a two-bit small time crook? What makes this one an exceptionally interesting read to fans of the Inspector Banks series, is Superintendant Gristhorpe, usually a behind the scenes player, takes the forefront in the investigation. We learn a bit more of his character and what his detective abilities are. He is taking this case personally after being haunted for over thirty years by a similar case. The story is far from contrived and the ending is truly surprising. Robinson does it again.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rafik on June 29, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As far as police procedurals go, this is sort-of ok. For my taste though, the characters are a little flat and too one dimensional. I could not get through this bland piece of soft-boiled prose and had to put it down unfinished. I found Banks and his companions very wooden and not believable. Excluding the victim, there was not enough to go on to feel any true sympathy for the other characters. The plot line IS interesting but gets to a point of being turgid. Perhaps I'll give it another try someday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tina Culbertson on January 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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