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In a Dry Season (Inspector Banks, #10)
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In a Dry Season

(Inspector Banks #10)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  8,720 ratings  ·  496 reviews
When a drought drains the local Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering a long-drowned small village and the skeleton of a murder victim from the 1940s, Detective Alan Banks and Detective Sergeant Annie Cabot must investigate the decades-old crime and unmask an evil secret from the past.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published July 3rd 2000 by Avon (first published January 1st 1999)
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George Cynthia is correct as to the facts, but I disagree with her conclusion.

I very much prefer to read any series in order, and in this one, I'm glad I di…more
Cynthia is correct as to the facts, but I disagree with her conclusion.

I very much prefer to read any series in order, and in this one, I'm glad I didn't get spoilers from later books on what happened with DCI Banks's family.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  8,720 ratings  ·  496 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Nov 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
When Thornfield Reservoir is drained by demand during a blistering summer five decades after it was created by flooding a valley and burying the village of Hobb’s End, a lad on an explore plunges through the roof of an uncovered building and finds the remains of a young woman. DCI Alan Banks is assigned to the case, joining local DS, and fellow outcast, Annie Cabbot. The story alternates between the account of a contemporary investigation and a recollection of the WWII era as written by a succes ...more
The Cats’ Mother
This is the first of his I have read but I will definitely look for more - gently gripping, great story and interesting background.

Reread 13 Sep 2019.
It’s very rare for me to read a book twice - there are just too many others that I want to get through - but this was my introduction to DCI Alan Banks, and in the eleven years since I have slowly worked my way through the series from the beginning. I couldn’t remember anything about the plot, so rather than skipping over it, reacquired a copy to r
Bill Lynas
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a summer drought depletes a reservoir & uncovers a small village, a human skeleton is discovered amidst the ruins.
Peter Robinson's 10th DCI Banks novel gives us two stories, set sixty years apart. Each is meticulously plotted & as well thought out as you would expect from this ever improving author. What lifts this crime story (& much of Robinson's work) above others in the genre is the superb characterisation. When reading most crime novels I find that the character's home lives & life aw
Thomas Strömquist
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the top Banks'! A really cold case and with the inspector himself out in the cold in more ways than one. We get to know a lot of background and not seldom does his own history and life mirror the happenings of the past that Banks is called upon to investigate. All that and the introduction of the lovely DS Annie Cabbott! This book saved me from a reading slump I was edging towards and I enjoyed it very much. So much, in fact, that I'll do one more as I still have a few unread in the serie ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks remains in the doghouse to which the jealous, stubborn, petty Chief Constable Jimmy Riddle confined him in the previous novel, Blood At The Root. In this novel, Banks investigates a decades’ old skeleton exposed when the Thornfield Reservoir dries out during a summer drought. With Hobb’s End already a dying village due to the closure of the flax mill, the remaining villagers were evacuated, resettled hither and yon, and the village flooded in 1953 to create t ...more
Stephen Robert Collins
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Of all The Banks book of early books this is one of best.You get two stories for the price of one.A village hidden away under water when the water is dry all the secret WWII Ghosts return to claim there serving relatives This like the Morse story were when he is in hospital he solves an 19th century murder .
Dry Season proves that you never no when justice 's sword will chop your bollacks
Natalie M
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A ‘never-fail’ solid detective read. Robinson’s character of Banks is very easy to enjoy, with his dry sense of humour and self-deprecating nature in regard to his abilities.

The crime in this 10th instalment of the series is interesting and the flashbacks to WWII add intrigue and depth. Another great read.
Erica Verrillo
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In a Dry Season is Robinson's most complex, most sensitive and most satisfying novel. A skeleton, the victim of a violent murder 50 years past, is discovered in a ghost town. Banks, more for personal reasons (his marriage is falling apart) than for anything else, sets out to solve the crime. But who is the victim? Why was she murdered? After fifty years these questions are not easily answered. As Banks unravels this mystery, a second mystery, a story told by an unidentified witness, takes us bac ...more
Shirley Schwartz
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-5-star-reads
I agree with a number of people that this is a great series and that this book is where the series steps over to be a serious contender in the great mystery series genre. I have enjoyed the books up to now, but they did not really prepare me for the complexity of this novel. Robinson's Chief Inspector Banks is a wonderful creation. This is a book that blends the past and the present and Robinson does this seamlessly. We flit back and forth from present-day England to England during the Second Wo ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I listened to the audiobook version of this book, mainly because Anna Massey co-narrated it. Her narration is always wonderful in my opinion.

As far as content is concerned, this is a basic crime story. It definitely kept me entertained, but there wasn't a lot of depth to it. I feel like it focuses more on the personal lives of the characters than the actual crime. A strong 3/5 rating for me.
Excellent plot, great writing and a good series to be explored.

4* In a Dry Season (Inspector Banks, #10)
TR Gallows View (Inspector Banks, #1)
TR A Dedicated Man (Inspector Banks, #2)
TR A Necessary End (Inspector Banks, #3)
TR The Hanging Valley (Inspector Banks, #4)
TR Past Reason Hated (Inspector Banks, #5)
TR Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks, #6)
TR Dry Bones that Dream (Inspector Banks, #7)
TR Innocent Graves (Inspector Banks, #8)
TR Blood at the Root (Inspector Banks, #9)
TR Cold is the Grave (Ins
Mar 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
I went into a mystery book store and asked for recommendations. I was handed several books and I purchased two; The Chill by Ross Macdonald and this book. I read The Chill first, so needless to say I had high hopes. Then I read this book. It was terrible! I can't believe I read the whole thing. It took forever to read because I had to take time out to roll my eyes every other paragraph. Cliche, trite, predictable, boring. This book is why the mystery genre is considered as trashy as the romance ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another mystery for DCI Alan Banks to deal with.
Having problems with his private and professional life Banks is given a job out of the way. A body has been found in the bed of a dried out reservoir in Thornfield. The crime took place forty years ago so is a tricky one to solve but Banks won’t give in until he has some answers.
A great read from Peter Robinson.
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Robinson is always good, but this one to me wasn't as strong as others. For one he keeps flashing back to this character, supposedly hugely formative to his career decision, who we've never heard of before - Jem. Huh??? I also didn't buy into Sandra's little appearance - w/o calling, just showing up at the worst time and being a bit of a biotch. That was out of character and a bit too convenient (read: sloppy). I did enjoy progression of the back story (other than the Sandra appearance). But wha ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not going to write a synopsis of the story because lots of other readers have, but rather just a couple quick thoughts.

Peter Robinson has a really great way at writing dialogue and a point of view that makes it so easy to follow. In this book I thoroughly enjoyed going back and forth between Banks, Annie, Vivian and Gwen. It amazed me how each section from a different characters perspective added just a little bit more to the story and mystery.
Also, I really appreciated how much he researc
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Intriguing premiss: how do you go about solving a murder which took place 50 years ago in a place which no longer exists - let down by somewhat turgid verbosity in places, and slightly embarrassing sexual psychology. Good plot, which kept me coming back to it, but I can't say I'll be returning to Robinson soon. Kept thinking I'd like to see what someone like, say, Henning Mankell or China Mieville would have made of the central conceit. Something a bitmore imaginative, I'd guess. ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
Such a good series! In this one, set as usual in northern England, a skeleton found in an abandoned town which had been under a reservoir until the dry season came, is determined to have been a murder victim from around 1945. The present-day story alternates with the wartime story of those involved. Very, very good.
Judy B
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of my favourite Banks books to date. Couldn’t stop reading it. I normally don’t like when books go back and forth in time but this one was very well done. Both were great stories.
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, very well written in an interesting way. One of my favorites!!
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Not my favorite so far of the Inspector Banks books. I thought this one drug along slowly in the middle and was a bit too long. It was rather unusual for me to wish the epilogue would be shorter and more to the point. (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I am a big fan of Inspector Banks. In a Dry Season is perhaps his best novel. It starts with the digging up of a WW II skeleton. She has been brutally murdered but the crime took place during WW II. Inspector Banks has to research WW II life as well as the modern day. He and his assistant Cabot are able to unravel an evil that took place long ago.
Dec 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery readers,
Recommended to Lisa by: book club
With In a Dry Season, Peter Robinson creates a mostly suspenseful tale in which the much beleaguered DCI, Allan Banks and the freethinking DS Annie Cabbot grapple with a decades old murder, love, their own pasts and family ties. However, brevity is the soul of suspense as well as wit, and this books is not blessed with anything akin to brevity. While I found all facets of book, including the detectives' personal lives,intriguing there were many times when sections could have been neatly pared to ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, unfinished
This is the first Inspector Banks book I've read and maybe it's not representative, but I didn't even feel like finishing it. Banks didn't seem very engaging to me but there wasn't much time to get acquainted with him because we kept getting sent back to WWII era to get to know the victim. I'd rather stay with the detectives as they try to make sense of the mystery, rather than get to know the victim so I feel extra crummy that she dies. But what made me stop reading was when it turned out that ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
i missed this one of his and think it's one of his best. a compelling mystery combined with personal studies of his characters' current lives. well-written... ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was book I really enjoyed. You get 2 perspectives, current time frame with a cold case murder & the past time frame which is WW2. Amazing development of characters by the author.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge, crime
A roasting hot summer and a village that was submerged beneath a dam rises from the water. A young boy playing in the ruins makes a gruesome discovery. Alan Banks, in disgrace with Jimmy Riddle, is sent in to investigate.

An excellent book. Well plotted, well written, and the switches between past and present easy to follow.

This is the book that introduces the character of Annie Cabbot, one of the feistier female police officers to be found in today's crime novels.

Because plenty of back story is
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I've read anything by this author and it is a very pleasant surprise. I found this to be a very well written and interesting read. Set in England a Detective Chief Inspector, on the outs with his superiors is given a cold case that goes about solving. It turns out to be a murder from the end of WW2 that nobody expects him to solve. How he and his new partner go about doing that is very interesting. So if you enjoy a good mystery, this is a good one. ...more
Leslie Ayala
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked that Robinson used a crime that happened during World War two. It was interesting how he went back and forth between Gwyneth Shackleton's story of what happened and life during world war 2 and Banks story of the investigation. Love Banks! ...more
Lynn Vaillancourt
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is my first book in this detective series but it works great as a stand alone novel also. Enjoyed the plot and the intertwining between past and present. Looking forward to reading more novels in this series.
Keith Trullinger
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more from Peter Robinson. Great story!
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Goodreads Librari...: Dutch edition of series misses #... 2 17 Aug 03, 2012 12:22PM  

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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 27 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)
  • Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks, #6)
  • Dry Bones that Dream (Inspector Banks, #7)
  • Innocent Graves (Inspector Banks, #8)
  • Blood at the Root (Inspector Banks, #9)
  • Cold is the Grave (Inspector Banks, #11)

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