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In A Dry Season by Peter Robinson
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Jun 03, 10

bookshelves: fiction-crime-detection
Read in June, 2010

Robinson, Peter. IN A DRY SEASON. (1999). *****. This in as an extremely well-written and plotted mystery from Robinson featuring his series character, DCI Alan Banks. In the early 1950s, the small village of Hobbs End in Yorkshire was ultimately buried under tons of water as the hollow it occupied was turned into an additional reservoir for the surrounding towns. Now, in the late 1990s, several years of drought have caused the old village to reappear. A young boy was playing in one of the old buildings, climbing on the roof and acting out one of his superhero fantasies, when the support beam gave way and he fell to the old building’s floor. Fortunately, he was not badly hurt, but the fall caused his arm to be buried in the mud. When he pulled his arm out, he pulled with it a skeletal hand. Turns out that the hand was attached to the skeleton of the rest of a young woman’s body, a woman who had been murdered by numerous stabbings with a knife. Enter DCI Banks. He was sent out to take over the crime scene, an assignment given him by his superior who was trying all he could to get Banks to quit the force. There was bad blood between them and a recent argument that had led to a physical confrontation. Banks recruits a local DS, Annie Banks, a bright and resourceful woman who would be of immense help in solving this mystery. This was a crime that had been committed at least fifty years ago, and facts and memories tend to become faint in that amount of time. Were there even any people alive who could provide the information that the police needed? Who was this woman whose skeleton was found? Who was her killer? Why did this happen? Robinson treats the reader to parallel narratives from the present crime investigation to ones from the past involving former residents of Hobbs End, and exposes the roots of the murder that started during the days of WW II. This is a fascinating and masterful mystery from one of England’s finest writers. Highly recommended.
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