Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson
|Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The eleventh in the Detective Chief Inspector Banks series and one of the best. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: January 2002|
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks had ever had a good relationship with Chief Constable 'Jimmy' Riddle, so he was more than surprised when the Chief Constable summoned him late one night and begged for his help. Six months previously Riddle's daughter, sixteen year old Emily, ran away to London and became involved with drugs and pornography. Riddle wants Banks to go to London and find his daughter – and try to persuade her to return home. He also wants Banks to go as a private individual rather than as a policeman. Banks agrees to go; he knows how he would have felt if the same thing had happened to his daughter Tracy.
No matter how good a series of books is overall, there are always one or two which stand out for the reader and this is one of the best Banks novels to my mind. It's a worry which can keep most parents of teenagers awake at some point and Robinson is adept at wringing every nuance from the situation. And Emily Riddle's escape to London is only the beginning of a real page-turning story which sees upheaval for Banks and the police force.
To some extent the Banks books do read well as stand alones but I read a later book in the series before I read this one and my enjoyment was marred by the fact that although I didn't know who the murderer was I did know of one outcome which is quite shocking. If you can read the books in chronological order you well get more from them. There are plot spoilers in many of the later books.
Don't be put off though – it's a series which it's worth going back to the beginning and working your way through. There's a great sense of location in all the books and the characters come off the page and you really warm to them. The writing is good with a particular talent for dialogue and the plots are well constructed and for the most part believable.
If this book appeals to you then you might also enjoy Bad Traffic by Simon Lewis.
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