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Wednesday's Child

(Inspector Banks #6)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  4,356 ratings  ·  201 reviews
Shortlisted For The Edgar Allan Poe Award 1995 For Inspector Banks and Superintendent Gristhorpe the abduction of a young girl brings back dreadful memories of the Moors Murders When two social workers, investigating reports of child abuse, appear at Brenda Scupham's door, her fear of authority leads her to comply meekly with their requests. Even when they say that they mu ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Pan MacMillan (first published September 1st 1992)
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,356 ratings  ·  201 reviews

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Wednesday's Child: Inspector Banks' Discomfort

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Little Gemma Scupham is seven, the portrait of a child of woe. Da is long gone, if she ever knew him. Mum is Brenda Scupham, who frankly finds Gemma a child not wanted. B
Bill Lynas
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best entries in the Inspector Banks series, so far, sees the detective involved in the search for a kidnapped child.
Amidst the fiction there are references to real life Moors murderers Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, which adds authenticity to the story. Robinson's plotting & characterisation are as good as ever, but I did find one aspect of the writing a bit distracting. Although the author is English he has lived in Canada for many years & sometimes uses Americanisms (or shoul
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every mystery lover
Wednesday’s child is full of woe…. From a children’s nursery rhyme

In this sixth novel in Peter Robinson’s DCI Alan Banks series, the titular Wednesday’s child is Gemma Scupham, a pitiful 7-year-old, long abandoned by her father and woefully neglected by her blowsy, self-centered mother, Brenda Scupham. When a man and a woman passing themselves off as social workers come to the Scruphams’ dirty flat and remove Gemma overnight — or so they say, Brenda, ignorant and automatically deferential to aut
Stephen Robert Collins
This one of his very early books but I read this long before anyone had heated of Banks & the only copy I could find was large print one.
It wasn't one of my favorite ones but it was Full of woo
Nikki Magennis
Feb 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I maybe should have guessed that given the subject matter this book might contain disturbing material. And I am a squeamish reader, and can't stand graphic violence in a novel.

BUT, I think it's very, very wrong to use details of real crimes in a work of fiction. Especially as the author has done here, going into such vivid and disturbing and harrowing detail of the crimes of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady that I did actually have to physically drop the book.

Of course books can and should
Thomas Strömquist
Starting out, this felt like it was going to be a nice British police procedural in the middle of the bunch. It really sucked me in though and convinced me yet again that for me, the Banks series is among the best of the class.

Great characters in this one and a perfect mix of plot twists and plausibility. Banks and his super, Gristhorpe, run parallel investigations of a grisly murder and the bold but odd abduction of a 7 year old girl and their investigations soon converge.

Very reminiscent of
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
In this, #6 in the Inspector Banks series, a young schoolgirl is abducted from her home by a couple posing as social workers.

If you are seeking fast paced thrills, this is not the story for you. I love Peter Robinson's style - the story meanders along at its own pace, drawing conclusions - both erroneous and correct - concerning suspects and motives, before arriving at the truth.

I am sad that this is the last audio in this series available at my library....but I will keep reading this very satis
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
A favorite series. What I wrote back then (17 years ago): An Inspector Alan Banks mystery. Who abducted seven-year-old Gemma, and why? Who gutted Carl Johnson? Very good, as usual.
Young Gemma Scupham has been taken from her neglectful home by two social workers. The next day, her mother calls in the police to report her missing, and Chief Inspector Alan Banks begins to search for the seven year old. Two days later, a body is discovered by the old lead mine, but it isn't the girl, it's a 30 year old man who's been slit up his chest and left under a flume. The four person detective team is now split into two searching for the killers, and slowly the evidence begins to show ...more
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
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Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The saga continues....I was very curious to see how this one ended but then it was like the very ending was a cliff hanger- what came next??? A final chapter on closing would have been nice but overall it was a good story.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A child is abducted from her home. Her mother doesn't really love her, and her live-in boyfriend is known to the police. The child's clothes are found by a couple near an old mine; however, the body the police discover belongs to a gardener. Because of an old case, Supt. Gristhorpe takes an active role in the child's disappearance and assigns the gardener to Inspector Banks. They are fairly certain the two cases are linked, but how and why? This one kept me interested. I especially enjoyed Grist ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Superbly satisfying. The novel starts off by the abduction by subterfuge of a 7 year old girl. This leads to the police taking one plodding step after another but written so well that my interest never waned and each step of a new discovery was logically followed through and welcomed and as the plot thickens one’s desire for the apprehension of the psychopathic killer intensifies.
This is what a police procedural should be.
It also allows Banks to ruminate about Banks' basic nature (hopefully, th
Natalie M
4.5 ⭐ Chief Inspector Banks returns for instalment number six in the series. The intricacies and fine details are abundant in this highly intriguing crime novel. As only the British could solve crime, with patience, tenacity and old-fashioned hard work. Captivating, clever and I’ll definitely be reading the next one. ...more
Nov 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The disappearance of seven year old Gemma Scupham is just the beginning of another well thought out mystery by Peter Robinson. Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his team methodically follow the clues that lead them to figure out exactly what happened to Gemma…with several twists and turns along the way.

Reading a Peter Robinson mystery always makes me feel warm and cozy. There is something about the way this author writes that keeps me very satisfied. Inspector Banks is a huge drawing card for me, b
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seven year old Gemma's incredibly stupid and slatternly mother gives her child to two people who say they are from child protective services and are investigating "abuse" allegations. They promise to return her the next morning. However, she is "busy" and doesn't get around to calling the police until late in the day. Then a body of a young man turns up in an abandoned lead mine. The two don't seem to be related. Peter Robinson is one of the authors who is at the top of my crime-reading list. On ...more
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks' novels for some time, so I have some paperbacks. I think he and the other characters - Gristhorpe, Gay, Richmond, etc. are interesting enough characters to have decided to read the novels from the start, and am now trying to read them in order. I download the ones I haven't read onto the Kindle, and read the paperbacks where I have them. I enjoy crime novels and these are good ones. The town of Eastvale is very recogniseable, and Banks and othe ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little Gemma is taken from her mother's house by people claiming to be social workers, checking up on reports of child abuse. After that, the story is a solid police procedural, as one would expect from Robinson. What happened to the girl, and why? The search begins. Meanwhile, a body is discovered--a young man brutally killed. Two seemingly unrelated cases so the police divide their forces. I won't give anything away, but the story is tightly plotted and well-told.
Andrew Mcq
Disappointing. I read several in the Banks series before, but I found this one disjointed and uneven. The ending was rushed and unsatisfactory, yet there were times the rest dragged unnecessarily. It was almost as if he finished, found it was a little short, and threw in an an extra sentence of unnecessary description in one hundred places.
Diane Morter
This is Peter Robinson's 6th Inspector Banks novel but it is the first I have read, so perhaps that is one of the reasons I didn't get the 'feel' of the characters. The story is about a little girl, Gemma, who is taken from her mother by a couple posing as Social Workers. There is also a murder of a young man and the two turn out to be connected. Those who were 'not liked' by Banks and his colleagues, turned out to be the 'baddies'. I found the plot to be under-developed and the ending seemed ru ...more
A child has been taken from her home, supposedly by child care professionals, but when she doesn't come home after 24 hours, her mother goes to the police. Inspector Gristhorpe gets involved in this case, and when a report comes in that a body is found at an old lead mill, he and Banks expect the worse. The body, though, is a small man. So Banks gets the job of searching for the killer of the man, while Gristhrope continues the search for the young girl. The ending is very sudden, and I would ha ...more
David Highton
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read some of the Banks series out of order, trying to get back in shape- this is quite early in the series as he begins to deal with his son going off to college and his daughter having a boyfriend. This is a good police procedural in which a child abduction case and a murder star to converge into the search for a dangerous criminal.
I couldn't put it down. Excellent right up to the finish.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I continue to be very entertained by this series. This one was notable in that it referenced the satanic child abuse hysteria of the late 80s. I didn't know that it had infected England as well. One reason I so appreciate this author is that he doesn't dwell in details of violence. The emphasis is on the solving of the crime and I like inspector Banks' slow methodical method. I also really like that he isn't a screwed-up guy.
Judith Stewart
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic plotting and the resolution of the kidnapping was very thought-provoking. I always love an Inspector Banks novel. It's like spending time with an old friend.
Dec 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson is another good read in the Inspector Banks series. These detective procedural books always keep my interest. I have grown to like Alan Banks and am happy there are at least 10 more books in the series for me to follow.

This book focuses on two mysteries, seemingly without connection to one another. Seven-year old Gemma Scupham is abducted when a well-dressed couple pose as social workers, taking her away on the pretense of abuse. Gemma’s mother didn’t take car
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Langton is the right narrator for the job. Every character in the book, from Inspector Alan Banks, to DCI Susan Gay, and the long list of minor characters and walk on roles, has their own distinctive voice. And Langton does all of them justice.

A child abduction case that does not turn out well for a lot of people involved, especially the young girl. A man and a woman posing as a pair of social service workers arrive at Brenda's house to take the young girl out of her care. But soon Banks a
Kathleen Hagen
Wednesday’s Child, by Peter Robinson, A-minus, narrated by James Langton, produced by Tantor Media, downloaded from

Banks is called to the home of a woman whose 7-year-old daughter was seemingly kidnapped. A young attractive male and female couple came to the home and informed the mother that her daughter needed to be taken for some tests. They alleged that they were social workers from the government. The mother let them take the child, but when the child was not returned by the nex
John Lee
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy novels more when I know where they are supposed to be taking place and with the D.I.Banks books I think that I know the market town in which they are set. As a bonus here, I also know Weymouth quite well and perhaps even the Fish and Chip shop !
I find this authors style very easy to read and I had no problem picturing any of the characters. The story moved along well without any noticeable 'quiet' spells.
Although the subject matter is quite 'dark' the author handles it without the gratu
Bev Taylor
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2 social workers go to a house stating that they r investigating reports of child abuse. the child, gemma, is taken away

but they r not social workers and banks is called in to investigate her abduction

at the same time he is investigating a grisly murder in a disused mine - r the 2 connected?

a right mix of characters r unearthed, all with their own secrets. can banks and his team get to the bottom of them before it is too late to save the child?

wonderful characterisation once again of the goo
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter Robinson was born in Yorkshire. After getting his BA Honours Degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds, he came to Canada and took his MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, with Joyce Carol Oates as his tutor, then a PhD in En

Other books in the series

Inspector Banks (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • Gallows View (Inspector Banks, #1)
  • A Dedicated Man  (Inspector Banks, #2)
  • A Necessary End (Inspector Banks, #3)
  • The Hanging Valley (Inspector Banks, #4)
  • Past Reason Hated (Inspector Banks, #5)
  • Dry Bones that Dream (Inspector Banks, #7)
  • Innocent Graves (Inspector Banks, #8)
  • Blood at the Root (Inspector Banks, #9)
  • In a Dry Season (Inspector Banks, #10)
  • Cold is the Grave (Inspector Banks, #11)
“He had been working at the wall for too long. Why he bothered the Lord only knew. After all, it went nowhere and closed in nothing. His grandfather had been a master waller in the dale, but the skill had not been passed down the generations. He supposed he liked is for the same reason he liked fishing: mindless relaxation. In an age of totalitarian utilitarianism, Gristhorpe thought, a man needs as much purposeless activity as he can find.” 1 likes
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