Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks, #6)” as Want to Read:
Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks, #6)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks #6)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,526 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates the chilling case of Brenda Scupham, a welfare mother who unwittingly hands her seven-year-old daughter, Gemma, over to child abductors claiming to be social workers.
Mass Market Paperback, 333 pages
Published 2001 by Penguin (first published September 1st 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wednesday's Child, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wednesday's Child

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
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
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
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
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)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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.
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.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detektivky s Banksem mají atmosféru, napínavou zápletku , dobře psychologicky vykreslené postavy - Robinson prostě umí. Je unesena malá Gemma a rozbíhá se pátrání , která hlavně zpočátku přináší stále více nezodpovězených otázek. Pro mne jsou zajímavé i typy zde se vyskytující - matka na podpoře, detektiv, který se musí vyrovnat s prázdným hnízdem a novou fází života, detektiv, který je na konci své kariéry - všechny postavy jsou věrohodné. Velmi dobrá detektivka, i když zrovna téma únosu malých ...more
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
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
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
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Robinson is one of my favorite British mystery authors. I keep his books, and will buy his latest in paperback whenever I see it. As in the best British mysteries, the characters and their development are far more important than the plot. This book is one of the earlier ones of his work. His books keep getting more complex as he continues this series. This review would apply equally to the work of Ian Rankin, Elizabeth George (not that she is actually British), and Reginald Hill.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another high quality Banks' novel. While not as good as the previous entry, still thoroughly enjoyable. POV diverged from Banks and went to his boss, which I found less intriguing than sticking with Banks.
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2016-challenge
When a child is abducted by phoney social workers, DCI Alan Banks is called in to investigate.

When a body is found on the moor, all hell breaks loose.

Great read. Subject is an emotive one, but well handled.

Highly recommended.
D.I. Alan Banks, Susan Gay, Gristhorpe, Hartley, Jenny and the gang hunt down the abductor(s) of a young girl. Pretty straightforward and well-written British mystery.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, and what an ending
Jul 31, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've amassed a number of Peter Robinson's 'Banks' novels throughout the years, but I've never gotten round to reading one. This year I'm determined to get through some of my owned novels, so I found the oldest novel that I have in the series, and took the leap into the unknown world of a new author.

I have to say that I was really disappointed, and while I think I'll at least try the others in the series it won't be with enthusiasm.

Perhaps it was because this novel felt rather dated that I grew
Lisa Keating
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These books are amazing! I really adore this author and plan to collect first editions if possible for my future library. Every book in the series is a complex twisted ride. Robinson writes very clear characters and evil bad guys. This book has all of the characters evolving and kids growing up, which I really enjoy when reading a new author. I am so happy that I stumbled upon this author on this website as I had never heard of him before. I would highly recommend this author for anyone looking ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
A child is taken away by two people claiming to be social workers, and disappears. That's the ony thing this book has with the TV episode. Here, it's a 6 year old girl whose mother is actually neglectful and who has a worthless live-in boyfriend. As Banks and his team work to track down the couple, they find evidence that it was a carefully executed kidnapping, with little forensic evidence. Banks has his suspicions about a wealthy man living in one of the Swainsdale villages because of the man' ...more
Balthazar Lawson
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an enjoyable read in the Inspector Banks series. It has all that I like about the series. It starts out with a missing girl but the investigation leads to murder, murder and more murder. I enjoy the characters, the setting and multi faceted story lines. They all come together to make for an enjoyable read.

Highly recommend read.
Edward Weiss
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't particularly like novels with child victims. This one was a semi-exception. Robinson has a great character here in Alan Banks, and both of them do a bang-up job here, Robinson describing the investigation and having Inspector Banks performing it.
Another excellent novel as we all have come to expect.
sandra sprenger
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love, love, love this series. each book keeps your interest and holds you tight. this is one of the few mystery authors I just can't ahead of. have not figured out the end before time. the characters are very well formed and developed. the story moves along at a good pace. this series has me hooked for sure.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dying to Sin (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #8)
  • Bloodline (Tom Thorne, #8)
  • The Wood Beyond (Dalziel & Pascoe, #15)
  • The Shadows in the Street (Simon Serrailler, #5)
  • Set in Darkness (Inspector Rebus, #11)
  • Fever of the Bone (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #6)
  • In a Dark House (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #10)
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
More about Peter Robinson...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Banks (1 - 10 of 24 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
More quotes…