Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson
|Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The fifth book in the Inspector Banks series and still fresh and engaging. Definitely recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: December 2002|
It was only a few days to Christmas and most of Eastvale CID were celebrating a wedding of one of their number. DC Susan Gay was the one left behind to mind the shop. After a few quiet months in Eastvale there was news of a murder on only her second day in the job – and she could be forgiven for not knowing whether she was pleased or scared. Veronica Shildon had returned home from doing some last-minute Christmas shopping, carefully hiding the presents and then went downstairs to discover that her partner, Caroline Hartley, had been brutally murdered.
It should have been a traditional scene with a cosy fire burning and classical music playing in the background. Caroline was elegantly lounging on the sofa, but there was blood all over her and she'd been stabbed. Chief Inspector Banks was one of the first on the scene and it wasn't long before he had a long list of suspects. Few people had known that Caroline was a lesbian and she had a reputation as something of a flirt with the men in the local dramatic society. She had something of a past, too – the post mortem showed that she'd given birth to a child whom no one knew anything about and her family, or what was left of it, lived in stately squalor in Harrogate.
So many people had a motive for wanting Caroline dead that the case soon began to look like a ball of wool after the cat has played with it and just to complicate matters some youthful vandals are creating mayhem in various community buildings around Eastvale. The police have their suspicions about who is involved – but proving it is another matter and this case has fallen to Susan Gay.
This is the fifth book in the Inspector Banks series and there's still a wonderful freshness. Banks is maturing, but the pressures of the job are gradually putting space between him and his family. His wife is developing her own interests and his children are growing up – and away. You sense impending middle age without ever being told as much. The team is changing with Hatchley moving out to the coast and Richmond moving up to Sargeant.
There' a real sense of North Yorkshire too, but with just a hint that the research might not have been as thorough as usual when DC Gay apparently drives through the centre of Harrogate – going the wrong way through the one-way system. That's nit-picking though and I shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The Chameleon's Shadow by Minette Walters.
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