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In A Dry Season (The Inspector Banks Series) by Robinson, Peter (2002)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | In A Dry Season (The Inspector Banks Series) by Robinson, Peter (2002).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Peter Robinson(Author)

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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Peter Robinson(Author)
  • Pan; New Ed edition
  • Unknown
  • 5
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Review Text

  • By Baking Enthusiast on May 25, 2008

    A drought dries up a reservoir that was the Yorkshire hamlet of Hobb's End, leading to the discovery of human skeletal remains. Having been relegated to desk duty for insubordination, DCI Alan Banks is assigned what is assumed to be a dead-end case as further punishment. It is soon determined, however, that the skeleton is that of a murder victim. With his partner, DS Annie Cabbot, he must dig deeply into the past, the England of WWII, if he's to solve this crime. Told in alternating voices, the reader soon realizes that the war brought a different sort of tragedy to this tiny village, a tragedy that reverberated to the present.I was actually predisposed to liking "In a Dry Season." I enjoy mysteries revolving around decades-old crimes due to the added challenges presented to the fictional detective. There's also my fascination for long-forgotten eras and how their time and place influence or lead to a murder. I also often enjoy the clever style of storytelling through parallel narrations. Having all these elements would have ensured at least a 4-star read for me, but regrettably, I was not wholly satisfied.There are four reasons for my dissatisfaction. First, I felt too much attention was lavished on Bank's love affair with Cabbot and Bank's past. After awhile, it became banal. I would have preferred that attention be concentrated on the crime and the investigation instead. Second, the main character of Gloria Shackleton, around whom the crime revolved, had no complexity and no depth. She was supposed to have inspired adulation that results in extreme conflicts, but apart from being told she was beautiful and a free spirit, there was nothing about Gloria that elicited caring and understanding. Third, the book is billed as a novel of suspense, and it could very well have been if not for the constant detours to Bank's love affairs and his failed marriage, as well as the long-winded descriptions of things and places that have no relevance to the story. As is, whatever suspense there may have been loses momentum. Last, the resolution of the crime is rather questionable. Banks relies on evidence of a single item that could have belonged to a number of individuals, yet he's able to target the criminal absolutely without further corroboration.I don't ordinarily write off an author because of one disappointment. I've found that even the most established ones produce uneven work. I'm still eager to try Peter Robinson's other novels and hope my next experience will be better.

  • By History Teacher on January 14, 2016

    I had trouble deciding how many stars to give this. It is a page turner and I really, really wanted to know who had killed the heroine. I couldn't put the book down (even though there were things I didn't like about it that I will get to in a minute). The main reason I decided to give it only three stars is because when I got to the end, I felt the author had cheated. He went to all this trouble to set up the relations the victim had with people, and her psychology and character--and then none of it applied. so there were no real clues, in my view. Also--the end kept going too long. Not in terms of being dragged out, but in terms of, in my view, TOO many surprises. Whenever you thought things were finished and tidy (though they were never tidy, it's a very 'post-modern' book), there would be yet another wrinkle. Up to the very last sentences.Some readers may like that, of course. And its not the only reason for me giving the book a mediocre rating. I hesitated a lot because there were things I really liked--the author is excellent at description and physical detail and putting you in a place and time. A lot of the book is set in 1940's wartime England, which is a fascinating period and the level of detail he has is amazing, physically you feel you are there--you can SEE things by the time he finishes his descriptions. However, he is not good at all with the mindset of the period, which got on my nerves after a while. His 'good' characters in the past, the likeable ones, think like modern people and have modern morals and values. The 'bad' people, the ones he judges, harshly are traditional in their mindset. the 1940's was still a very traditional time. In spite of the meticulous physical settings and amazing descriptions of clothes, hairstyles, current events, he ultimately didn't convince me that so many people really would have been behaving as if it were the 1960's (free love, large amounts of drinking, putdowns of religion) back then--and that they were so--well, so post-modern. The patriotism of the time, the sense of duty and sense of honor that got England through the Blitz and the travails of wartime--none of that is there. If you are someone who likes to think that everyone who was 'good' in the past thought as if it were the 1990's (the date at which the book was written and it shows), then you might not mind find yourself getting continually irritated even as you kept reading on to see the end, as I was. He also seemed to hit every single politically correct contemporary issue that he could, with real caricatures as authority figures. If someone was in a position of authority in this book, they were bad. To me, it took away from the interest of the story.I also just didn't like Inspector Banks and didn't care about his divorce, his girlfriends or lack of them or problems with his kids. Plus his grinding, annoying constant introspection.I probably won't read another book by this author, but I can see that lots of readers will truly enjoy this book and didn't want to put them off from something they'd like--up until the ending anyway.


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