Review: Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson


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

ISBN: 9781444786927
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 13-Jul-2017
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Review: Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson

Abattoir BluesThere aren’t too many writers who can make the theft of a tractor riveting reading, but that’s exactly what veteran crime author Peter Robinson has done with the latest Alan Banks mystery. That’s not the only case troubling Banks’ team, however: two local young men have disappeared, and a bloodstain has been discovered at an abandoned World War Two hangar, suggesting a homicide. These seemingly random elements connect: it’s up to the investigators to find out how.

ABATTOIR BLUES is vintage Robinson. It’s a true procedural: its mission is solely to present the reader with a mystery, and hook them into watching it slowly unravel. It is filmic in approach, ready-made for television, for the Law & Order generation, or more aptly perhaps, Midsummer Murders with a darker edge. There’s fleeting character development, though subtle acknowledgements of events from previous novels will keep the fans happy, but ultimately newcomers are just as welcome as veteran readers.

A satisfying whodunnit, then; an enjoyable palette-cleanser before I dig into something more grandiose.