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I have been enjoying listening to Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series in chronological order. If you are contemplating purchasing this one, without having listened to the previous ones, I would strongly suggest that you go back and begin listening to this series from the beginning, with "Gallows View." You will see what I mean: This series introduces us not only to protagonist Alan Banks, but also to Yorkshire and its denizens. For those of us not living in Britain, these audiobooks open us up to a new world -- probably more rural, quiet, and leisurely-paced than ours. Each story builds upon the previous one, developing the characters of Alan Banks and his fellow "coppers" a little more. Aside from Banks' nicotine addiction and his incipient alcoholism, I have grown fond of him (who wants a perfect detective, anyway?), always looking forward to his next case. Peter Robinson writes beautifully: always taking time to lyrically describe the Yorkshire countryside and its weather, and to paint us verbal pictures of his characters' appearance and their gestures. (If you prefer fast-paced thrillers, getting impatient when the action slows, then you might not like the Inspector Banks series. These novels definitely qualify as mysteries, but not thrillers.) One can clearly visualize the story as it proceeds, scene-by-scene, almost as if one were watching a movie. And Peter Robinson really does devise excellent plots for his books, each one differing from the others, each one intricately thought out. In "Wednesday's Child," Robinson departs from form a bit, with a funny Hell's-Kitchen-style scene in which all the neighbors get involved in a noisy row between a blowzy woman and her good-for-nothing boyfriend, all contributing their considered opinions. If I were to find any fault with the Inspector Banks series, I would would wish for more humor; but this episode has it.
James Langton's excellent acting talent and his beautiful voice have a lot to do with my enjoyment of this series. In "Wednesday's Child," in particular, he surpasses himself with his perfect rendering of the difficult South African accent. He always distinguishes the characters from one another, even the women.
I recommend this entire series to anyone who enjoys the English-style procedural mystery genre; but, again, start from the beginning, and listen to them in order.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I’m new to DCI Banks, having been first pulled in by the TV series. (That said, I should also note that the books are far more interesting.) This is one of the best I’ve read so far. I don’t know if the pattern is consistent, but the plot unfolds as a series of insights based on slogging police work rather than a series of engineered surprises and red herrings: I especially appreciated that aspect of it. Given the subject matter of this one, it had a stronger emotional impact than most mysteries I’ve read recently. The characters are fascinating and the locales vividly drawn. James Langton does a good job reading it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This is the best so far, great story, villain was a really nasty piece of work. very gritty subject matter.
Really enjoyed the book and glad I listened to it before the TV series started. Find I can listen again and again and hear things I didn't the first time. Engaging story line makes you want to know who did it and how.