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Cold Is the Grave: A Novel of Suspense Hardcover – September 19, 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews
Book 11 of 22 in the Inspector Alan Banks Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This 11th book about Yorkshire police officer Alan Banks is disappointing after 1999's Edgar-nominee, In a Dry Season, but contains enough elements of the familiar formula to satisfy dedicated fans. DCI Banks, his romance with police colleague Annie Cabbot having cooled off, is seriously thinking of asking his wife, Sandra, to end their separation and give the marriage another try. He's also applied to the National Crime Squad to escape his loathsome boss, Chief Constable Riddle. But just as Banks is packing for a weekend train jaunt to Paris, the wretched Riddle calls to ask a favor. Riddle's nine-year-old son, snooping around on the Internet, has come upon a naked picture of his 16-year-old sister, Emily, who ran away from home and disappeared into the London drugs and smut cesspool. Despite their mutual hatred, BanksArealizing what it took for Riddle to ask for his help in finding the girlAjust can't refuse. This part of the story works well; Robinson makes no attempt to soften the nastiness of the stupid, resentful and politically ambitious Riddle or the apparent coldness of Riddle's wife. But things begin to get more complicatedAand less believableAwhen the powerful London criminal with whom Emily has been living appears to be implicated in murder and business fraud in Yorkshire. Too many plot coincidences and clich?s (a man is described as being "bald as a coot" twice) finally work against Robinson's greatest strength: his ability to keep Banks an interesting, realistic and changing human being. Agent, Dominick Abel. 6-city author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The latest installment in the Alan Banks series, and the sequel to the Edgar-nominated In A Dry Season [BKL Mr 15 99], again expands the boundaries of the traditional English village with Robinson's canny exploration of contemporary evil and his wry characterization of a detective who remains a mystery to himself. Chief Inspector Alan Banks, whose children he admits to ignoring until their problems grew too great, finds his domestic situation of estranged wife, rogue son, and rebellious teen daughter looking rosy compared to that of his archenemy and boss, Chief Constable Riddle. Six months after Riddle's 16-year-old daughter, Emily, ran away from a posh boarding school, her younger brother discovers her, naked, on a pornographic Web site. Despite his longstanding detestation of Banks, Riddle begs him to find out what has become of his daughter. Banks must investigate as a private citizen, because of Riddle's fears for his own reputation, complicating his tour of the London high-end drug world that Emily now inhabits. Banks discovers the precariousness of Emily's position in her new life and, more disturbingly, the grotesque truth behind a facade of perfect family life. A cunningly constructed plot, enhanced by Robinson's engaging descriptions and insights. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 11)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (September 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380978083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380978083
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Bigelow VINE VOICE on December 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this eleventh outing for Inspector Banks, he is asked by his Chief Constable and nemesis to go to London to find the Chief Constable's daughter who ran away from home several months earlier. Locating the daughter is not that difficult, even taking her back to Eastvale is easy. But once she's home a series of events, including several murders, has Banks trying to determine who did what to whom and why. The main suspect is a man who seemingly gets away with any crime to which he puts his mind. Banks is a fortysomething divorced man who is coming to terms with his private life and trying to get his professional life back on track as well, but whose choices that are not the best to succeed at either. Robinson reintroduces Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot, newly transferred to Banks' neck of the woods. As she and Banks unravel the story behind the murders, it is painstaking police work with no leaps of faith or suppressed major clues that appear later in the book and sprung upon an unsuspecting reader. As the clues are discovered,the reader is privy to them. This is police procedural at its best and a great read that you will be loathe to put down. Even if you don't like British procedurals, you should give this series a try. Reading it from the beginning is best since you'll be able to see Banks grow and change from the first in the series to this one.
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Format: Hardcover
Any new book featuring one of my favorite detectives, Alan Banks, is always welcome. In "Cold is the Grave," Peter Robinson continues the saga of the brilliant but troubled Banks. Jimmy Riddle, Banks' superior and arch-enemy, reluctantly asks Banks for help in bringing back Riddle's runaway daughter, sixteen-year-old Emily. Banks accommodates Riddle, and he gets embroiled in a very difficult and depressing case. While working on this case, Banks has to cope with the fallout from his rocky marriage to Sandra, his estranged wife. In addition, Banks has to work again with Annie Cabbot, his former girlfriend, with whom he has a strained relationship. The dialogue and the characterizations in this book are as sharp as ever. Unfortunately, "Cold is the Grave" really collapses at the end. Robinson makes the huge mistake of introducing, late in the book, some very unlikely and melodramatic plot points. The ending is extremely hackneyed and unsatisfying. What a shame, since Robinson is capable of terrific writing. His last book, "In a Dry Season," was a masterpiece of detective fiction. I hope that Robinson gets back to top form in his next novel.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the authors last book In a Dry Season well written and quiet enjoyable. It even won an award from the Mysteries Writers of American. But I found I liked this book even better. So if you read and liked In A Dry Season you will without a doubt like this book. The story kept me interested from the begnning to the end. There wasn't one dull moment in the entire book and as always Inspector Banks was great. Annie Cabbot from the last novel re-enters Inspector Banks life which makes for some interesting situations. A must read for any fan of Inspector Banks. Or for that matter anyone who enjoys a good and solid English police investigation.
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Format: Hardcover
Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson William Morrow 2000
Peter Robinson is one of my favorite mystery authors and this his latest book did not disappoint me. This book again finds Inspector Banks under the thumb of his boss Chief Constable "Jimmy" Riddle and a bit confused when Jimmy asks Banks to do him a favor and find his 16 year-old daughter Emily, who has run away to London. Banks finds her living with a very unsavory criminal, Barry Clough, and on drugs. Banks persuades her to return home but a short time later she is found murdered with strychnine laced cocain and the suspects include her former lover, Barry.
Banks sorts through all the suspects and clues and develops a likely theory but then uncovers some darkness in the Riddle family that throws new light on the problem. The surprise ending doesn't leave you gasping but has a neat twist.
Detective Annie Cabot has been assigned to work with Banks and the tension between them because of their failed affair creates problems that they finally work out. This is aided and abetted by Banks former wife who wants a divorce so she can marry her live-in lover.
This is not quite up to "In a Dry Season", the last Robinson book, but a very acceptable mystery and one I would recommend to all mystery fans.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the better ones in the Inspector Banks series. What stands out in Robinson's Banks series is there is a touch of Scots in it that distinguishes it from some of the other British crime series. What is also superior about Robinson's books is his ability to build a novel based on hints raised in earlier stories, and to lay down hints in early stories and then letting them brew without giving the reader a sense that the instant story is incomplete. I never give great ratings even to the best books if they end with the central mystery unresolved. Loose ends are fine. Life is like that. But writers who leave their protagonists at the edge of a precipice must realize that this is not a television mini series where the audience only needs to wait a week to see what happens. Robinson does not make us suffer in that way, and that has made me a fan.
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