The blade of the deaccessioner’s guillotine has fallen on my collection of suspense thrillers featuring Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Banks is the invention of English-born Canadian mystery writer Peter Robinson. My library has the trade paperback editions of the first 7 of these police novels, which are set in the fictitious village of Eastvale in Yorkshire. Sadly, I propose to eliminate these 7 from my library.
It was the year 2005 when I started reading the Inspector Banks series. By then Robinson had published a dozen or more volumes in the series and quite by chance I found myself with a newly published hardbound copy of Strange Affair, which turned out to be a real page-turner. I was hooked; so I started reading the series from the beginning.
Gallows View introduces Banks, a former big-city cop who moved with his wife and daughter to rural Eastvale. This novel introduces the reader to Banks, his wife and daughter and the “locals” of Eastvale. A map to aid the reader is printed in the front matter. The mystery opens with a peeping tom and soon becomes a murder investigation that eventually touches the Inspector’s family. The story is gripping and the characters well drawn; just what I like in an English police-procedural novel.
Thus, Robinson sets the theme for the series: terror on the home front, crimes of an increasingly brutal nature set in the seemingly peaceful Yorkshire countryside. In this series, not even the family and associates of the police inspector are immune from criminal attack. Good stuff, perfect for travel or reading on a cold and dark winter night.
A poem given in the front matter of Gallows View sets the stage for the mystery and also for the Inspector Banks series:
“Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their houres,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the ayrie, towers; …”
Thomas Campion (1567 – 1620)
Except for Past Reason Hated (1991), each volume of the Inspector Banks series is available for download as an electronic book on either Kindle or iTunes. The new generation of readers should bear this in mind.
There are now 7 volumes from Carto’s library in the deaccessioner’s hands.
Deaccession: Day 2, Books 7.