Innocent Graves by Peter Robinson

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Innocent Graves by Peter Robinson
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Genre: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Eighth in the Inspector Banks series and one of the peaks. Definitely worth reading.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: September 2001
Publisher: Pan
ISBN: 978-0330482189

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On a foggy night Deborah Harrison was found in the churchyard behind St. Mary's Eastvale. The strap of her school satchel had been used to strangle her. She was just sixteen years old. She wasn't an ordinary sixteen year old though – she went to the best school and her father was a powerful financier who moved with the movers and shakers and knew a lot of secrets. Deborah, it seemed, took after him. She had secrets of her own and Detective Chief Inspector Banks along with D C Susan Gay had their work cut out to untangle all the leads.

There are plenty of suspects too. The body was found by the vicar's wife – she was having an affair and her husband was the subject of accusations of having made homosexual advances to an immigrant worker – who, in turn was accused of having made lewd advances to girls from Deborah's school. Deborah wasn't quite as innocent as her parents would have her seem either – she'd been involved in a sexual relationship with a ne'er-do-well from the local council estate. We see much of the story through the eyes of Owen Pierce who is accused of the murder.

We see a darker side to Banks and his team than we've seen before – the way they treat Pierce comes very close to police brutality as they twist his words and force him to contradict himself. It's certainly another dimension to Banks and he's certainly not as likeable as he was in earlier books. In some ways that's a bit of a relief – no one gets to be Detective Chief Inspector because they have a pretty face and a nice nature. There's a real feel in this book that this is the way that it really is.

There's a real sense of place is this, as in all the other, Banks books with more emphasis on Leeds this time. Occasionally you could actually walk along with the characters. But it's the story you really read the book for and this one is a corker with a twist in the tail which I really wasn't expecting. I certainly hadn't worked it out. Start at the beginning of the series as there are plot spoilers in some books, but this is one of the peaks.

For another crime novel with a fictional Yorkshire setting you might enjoy Playing With Bones (DI Joe Plantagenet) by Kate Ellis.

Peter Robinson's Chief Inspector Alan Banks Novels in Chronological Order

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