Peter Robinson’s multilayered twenty-fourth Alan Banks novel is a mystery that depends less on action than on his detectives’ thought processes. Sleeping in the Ground moves gently, but assuredly, Robinson’s unravelling of the novel’s core conundrum done with great care. It’s well-plotted and satisfying right to the end.
Sleeping in the Ground opens with a carefully planned and executed shooting at a wedding in a small Dales church. Superintendent Banks, fresh from attending the funeral of his first love — a recurring thread — leads the manhunt for the killer, who is quickly identified and located. Case closed? Not quite. It all seems a bit too neat and tidy for Banks. Too easy. And when certain discrepancies come to light, Banks and his team are forced to re-work the case from a fresh angle, which seems them investigating a murder from decades ago.
The action flits between series favourites, Banks sharing the spotlight with Annie Cabbot and rookie DC Geraldine Masterson, the narrative shifting into a higher gear as various investigatory threads are tied together. Sleeping in the Ground combines conscientious detection with heartfelt reflections on life and the roads not taken. Pulses won’t pound, but this is an enthralling mystery, and a fine addition to the Banks canon
Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 13-Jul-2017
Country of Publication: United Kingdom