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Peter Robinson

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Piece of My Heart: An Inspector Banks    Novel (2006)
Strange Affair (2005)
Playing with Fire (2004)
The Summer That Never Was (2003)
Aftermath (2001)
Cold is the Grave (2000)
In a Dry Season (1999)
Not Safe After Dark (1998)

Dead Right (1997)
Innocent Graves (1996)
Wednesday's Child
Past Reason Hated (1992)
Caedmon's Song (1990)
A Necessary End (1989)
The Hanging Valley (1989)
A Dedicated Man (1988)
Gallows View (1987)

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Piece of My Heart: An Inspector Banks Novel

The year is 1969. Rock 'n' roll, psychedelic drugs, and peace-loving hippies are thriving in Britain. But in the aftermath of a rock music festival, cold reality strikes when a woman is found murdered in her sleeping bag, callously left among the debris in the concert's wake. Detective Inspector Stanley Chadwick is the hard-headed, straitlaced copper assigned to the case who must reluctantly enter a counterculture world to find a killer. When clues lead him to an up-and-coming rock band, the Mad Hatters, with whom the victim was connected, Chadwick experiences firsthand the dangers of this dark new world of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.In the present day, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is called to the scene of a murder victim who turns out to be a freelance journalist working on a piece for MOJO magazine about the classic rock band the Mad Hatters. Since the sixties, the band has gone through a number of tragedies, losing one member to madness and another to the shallow end of a swimming pool. Putting their checkered past behind them, the Mad Hatters have now revamped their sound and are set to celebrate their forty years in the biz by embarking on their first big concert tour in years.Banks and Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot discover that the dead journalist was onto something big hidden in the band's past, and had stirred up some very serious trouble. As Banks and Annie dig deeper into the phenomenon of the Mad Hatters, they find more than they bargained for, and soon realize that their generation's former free-love lifestyle often comes with a deadly price.In the course of twin narratives, Robinson expertly weaves the stories of two interconnected murders that occur decades apart. As only he can, Robinson has created a novel that is as explosive as your favorite rock album and a plot that moves at breakneck speed, traversing through the tumultuous swinging sixties to present day and back again. Piece of My Heart is an extraordinary thrill ride that uncovers the gritty and violent underbelly of the generation of peace, love, and harmony.

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Strange Affair

While Inspector Alan Banks struggles to put his life back together after a near death experience, his estranged brother Roy leaves a disturbing message on his answering machine and then mysteriously goes missing. Banks discovers that Roy’s disappearance may be connected to the death of a young woman found with Banks’ address in her pocket. In a race to save his brother, Banks’ investigation draws him and his family into a dark and dangerous circle of corruption, mobsters and murder.

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Playing with Fire

When the bodies of two squatters are found in the burning remains of a couple of derelict barges, Inspector Alan Banks has to wonder whether one of their occupations caused their deaths. One victim was a local artist, with plenty of turpentine and oil paint at hand; the other was a young woman, a junkie, who evidently shot up her final fix just before the fire started. But if the fire was an accident, why did her boyfriend bolt from the scene when the police arrived? And why did the neighbour who discovered the fire not call it in right away?

As they start their investigation, Banks and his colleague (and former lover), DI Annie Cabbot, find more than enough motives for murder – and more than one person with a reason to kill. Worse, one of the two detectives themselves discovers firsthand the seductive thrill and terrible danger of playing with fire.

In his fourteenth Inspector Banks mystery, Peter Robinson once more displays his extraordinary skill in creating memorable characters, a haunting narrative, and a subtly unveiled plot, a talent that has made him one of the best writers of crime fiction in the world today.

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The Summer That Never Was

While recuperating from the events of Aftermath on a Greek island, Inspector Alan Banks reads that the bones of his childhood friend, Graham Marshall, have been dug up in a field not far away from the road where he disappeared more than thirty-five years earlier.

Intrigued by the discovery, and still consumed with guilt because of a related incident he failed to report at the time, Banks returns to his hometown in Cambridgeshire and becomes peripherally involved in the investigation, headed by newcomer Detective Inspector Michelle Hart. At the same time, a few counties away, the case of another missing teenager – the son of a famous model and step-son of anex-footballer, is handed to DI Annie Cabbot. Banks shuttles between the two cases far apart in time but perhaps not so far apart in character. When the lives of both detectives are threatened, Banks searches his own memories for clues, until he is finally forced to confront truths he would rather avoid, and finds that, in these investigations, the boundary between victim and perpetrator, guardian of the law and law-breaker is becoming ever more blurred.

A gripping crime novel, set in the present day, The Summer That Never Was is also a gritty and evocative portrait of northern England in the sixties, and an exploration of the nature of memory, the destruction of families, andadolescence.

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Aftermath

One early morning in May, Banks is called to a steep, overgrown street in Leeds, where two police officers answering a domestic call have stumbled on a scene of unbelievable horror. In the cellar of 35 The Hill, two people are dead, a third is dying, and behind a door more bodies lay buried. This seems to be the end of a grisly case Banks has been working on for some time, but ironically it turns out to be only the beginning. It is apparent who the murderer is, but Banks quickly finds out that nothing in this case is quite as straightforward as it seems. Many people are entangled in this crime--some whose lives are shattered by it, and some with unspeakable secrets in their pasts. The dead, Banks learns, are not the only victims, and the murderer may not be the only person to blame.

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Cold is the Grave

In recent years, the career of Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks has been stalled-and, in fact, very nearly destroyed-by the petty animosities of his politically ambitious senior officer Chief Constable Riddle. But when nude pictures of Riddle's runaway teenage daughter show up on a pornographic Web site, he turns to Banks for help. NP The trail leads Banks first to London's Soho, an area of strip clubs and sex shops, then to the upmarket Little Venice, where Emily Riddle is living with a dangerous gangster with ties to world of rock music. At first she refuses to come home, but later Emily turns up at Banks's hotel, bruised and frightened and asking for his help. Soon she is back with her family in Yorkshire, and Banks's work appears to be done. NP Other concerns occupy Banks's time. A major reorganization and expansion of Eastvale Regional Headquarters has brought Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot back into his life, and she soon finds demons of her own to face. As they begin an investigation into the slaying of Charlie Courage, a low-level petty crook, a murder occurs at an Eastvale nightclub, filling the tabloids with headlines that scream of scandal, sex and high-level corruption. It is a cold and savage homicide that shakes Banks to his core, and it soon leads to shocking revelations that suggest it is somehow linked to the Charlie Courage affair. NP The grim discoveries of the unfolding investigation lead Banks in a direction he does not wish to go: the past and private world of his most powerful enemy, Chief Constable Riddle.

 

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In a Dry Season

When a boy finds a skeleton buried in a dried-up reservoir built on the site of a ruined village, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is brought in by his arch-enemy Chief Constable Jeremiah "Jimmy" Riddle to head what looks like being a dull, routine investigation. It turns into anything but. With the help of Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot, Banks uncovers long-kept secrets in a community that has resolutely concealed its past. NP One former resident, now a writer, reveals her memories of Hobb's End, the village that died before the reservoir was built. Her first person narrative, touched with both innocence and irony, takes us from 1941 to 1945, recreating another age, an era of rationing, of Land Girls, of American airmen, of jitterbugging and movies. And of murder. NP As Banks and Annie unravel the deceptive and disparate relationships of half a century ago, suspense heightens and the past finally bursts into the present with terrifying consequences.

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Not Safe After Dark

A collection of thirteen stories, this book features three Inspector Banks tales, the award-winners "Innocence" and "The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage" along with nine other stories, one written specially for the collection.

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Dead Right

On a rainy night in Eastvale, a teenager is found in an alley, smashed over the head with a bottle and then kicked to death. At first it looks like a typical after-hours pub fight gone terribly wrong, but Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and Detective Constable Susan Gay quickly learn that the victim, Jason Fox, was a member of a white power organization known as the Albion League. Football-mad Jason, it seems, was very good at his office job--bright, energetic, quick to learn--but was let go because of his racist views. As Banks follows the leads, he comes up with a number of possible suspects: the Pakistani youths Jason had insulted earlier in an Eastvale pub; Jason's business partner, Mark Wood, and his shady friends; someone in the Albion League itself, someone who resented Jason's growing power and influence. Or are things even more sinister than they appear? The investigation takes a surprising twist when Banks is mysteriously summoned to Amsterdam, where he is introduced to the bizarre world of cyber-Nazis on the Internet.

As the detectives struggle to solve the mystery of Jason's death, they also battle their own problems. Susan finds herself in a puzzling relationship with a fellow DC, and tensions that have been brewing for some time between Banks and his wife Sandra finally come to a head. Banks also has to face the challenge of working with Chief Constable Jeremiah "Jimmy" Riddle, a high-flyer who favours a hands-on approach to the job, and who is more concerned with appearances than he is with truth. Just when everything seems cut-and-dried, Banks discovers something that turns the case on its head. Something that might cost him his job.

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Innocent Graves

When last seen alive, sixteen-year-old Deborah Harrison was on her way home from school. Her friend Megan thinks she saw the shadowy figure of a man behind Deborah as they waved goodbye on the bridge, but the fog was so thick that evening she can't be sure. Not long after, Deborah's body is found in the local cemetery. The murder terrorises the wealthy enclave of St Mary's, Eastvale, and because Deborah was the daughter of a prominent industrialist, high-flying new Chief Constable Jeremiah "Jimmy" Riddle puts pressure on Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his team to catch the killer without delay. And soon, partly thanks to the work of new boy Detective Inspector Barry Stott, it looks as if they have done.....

But Banks is not convinced. While the community breathes a collective sigh of relief and turns into a lynch-mob, Banks examines the loose ends: a vicar, accused of sexually harassing a refugee worker, who lies about his whereabouts at the time of the murder; his straying wife; a schoolteacher with a dark secret; the accused's vindictive ex-girlfriend; a teenage thug who has threatened Deborah and her family with violence. And then there are Deborah's own family secrets. With each new piece of information, a different pattern is formed, until Banks is forced to incur the wrath of Jimmy Riddle if he hopes to solve the case.

Nominated for a Hammett Award by the International Association of Crime Writers. Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best seven mysteries of 1996. Winner of the 1996 CWC Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel.

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Wednesday's Child

When a well-dressed couple, claiming to be social workers, appear at Brenda Scupham's door, saying they must take her seven-year-old daughter, Gemma, into care after allegations of abuse, Brenda is confused and intimidated enough to hand the child over. But when the couple, Mr Brown and Miss Peterson, fail to bring Gemma home, Brenda realizes she has made a terrible mistake. As the days go by, Detective Chief Inspector Banks begins to lose hope of finding Gemma alive. Then a rambler finds a body in the ruins of an old lead mine, and the two cases begin to converge in a terrifying way, leading Banks to a showdown with one of the most chillingly evil criminals he has ever come up against. Nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America.

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Past Reason Hated

The body of Caroline Hartley is found one evening before Christmas by her lover, Veronica Shildon. It is a cosy scene--log fire, sheepskin rug, Vivaldi on the stereo, Christmas lights and tree--but Caroline is naked and covered in blood. Detective Constable Susan Gay is the first detective at the scene. She has recently been promoted to C.I.D. and the case soon takes on overwhelming professional and personal importance for her. DC Gay and Chief Inspector Alan Banks soon find plenty of suspects as they begin to delve into Caroline's past and the women's present life: Veronica's ex-husband, who is a well-known composer; a feminist poet; the cast and crew of a play Caroline was rehearing; and Caroline's eccentric, reclusive brother, Gary Hartley. Inspector Banks's fifth case is an ironic, suspenseful tale of family secrets, hidden passions and desperate violence. Winner of 1991 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel.

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Caedmon's Song

One warm June night, a university student called Kirsten is viciously attacked in a park by a serial killer. He is interrupted, and Kirsten survives, but in a severe physically and psychologically damaged state. As the killer continues, leaving a trail of mutilated corpses, Kirsten confronts her memories and becomes convinced not only that she can, but that she must remember what happened. Through fragments of nightmares, the details slowly reveal themselves. Interwoven with Kirsten's story is that of Martha Browne, a woman who arrives in the Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby with a sense of mission. Finally, the two strands are woven together and united in a startling, chilling conclusion. Non-series novel.

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A Necessary End

Violence erupts at an anti-nuclear demonstration in Eastvale, leaving one policeman stabbed to death. At first there are over a hundred suspects, but then things narrow down to the people who live on "Maggie's Farm", an isolated house high on the daleside: Seth Cotton, the quiet, strong owner; Mara Delacey, his girlfriend; Paul Boyd, a young drifter with a violent background; Zoe Hardacre, an astrologer; and Rick Trelawney, an artist with strong Marxist leanings. Also among the suspects is Dennis Osmond, a social worker involved with Jenny Fuller, Inspector Banks's friend. As if this isn't enough to cope with, Banks finds his freedom hampered by the politically-motivated appointment of an old enemy, Detective Superintendent Richard "Dirty Dick" Burgess, to head the investigation. Finally, warned off the case, the only way Banks can salvage his career is by beating Burgess to the killer. As the two head for a final confrontation, Banks pieces together the full story behind his most tragic case so far.

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The Hanging Valley

A faceless, maggot-ridden corpse is discovered in a tranquil, hidden valley above the village of Swainshead. When the identity of the body is discovered, so is a possible connection with an unsolved murder in the same area five years ago. Among the annoyingly silent suspects are the Collier brothers, the wealthiest and most powerful family in Swainsdale; John Fletcher, a taciturn farmer; Sam Greenock, cocky owner of a Local guest house; and his troubled wife, Katie, who knows more than she realizes. When the Colliers use their influence to slow down the investigation, Inspector Alan Banks heads to Toronto to track down the killer. He soon finds himself in a race against time as events rush towards the shocking and haunting conclusion of his fourth case.

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A Dedicated Man

The body of a well-liked local historian is found half-buried under a drystone wall near the village of Helmthorpe, Swainsdale. Who on earth would want to kill such a thoughtful, dedicated man? Penny Cartwright, a beautiful folk singer with a mysterious past, a shady land-developer, Harry's editor and a local thriller writer are all suspects--and all are figures from Harry's previous, idyllic summers in the dale. A young girl, Sally Lumb, knows more than she lets on, and her knowledge could lead to danger. Inspector Banks's second case unearths disturbing secrets behind a bucolic facade.

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Gallows View

A Peeping Tom is frightening the women of Eastvale; two glue-sniffing young thugs are breaking into homes and robbing people; an old woman may or may not have been murdered. Investigating these cases is Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, a perceptive, curious and compassionate policeman recently moved to the Yorkshire Dales from London to escape the stress of city life. In addition to all this, Banks has to deal with the local feminists and his attraction to a young psychologist, Jenny Fuller. As the tension mounts, both Jenny and Banks's wife, Sandra, are drawn deeper into the events. The cases weave together as the story reaches a tense and surprising climax.

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