The blurb:The body of disgraced college lecturer Gavin Miller is found on an abandoned railway line by a woman out walking her dog early one winter morning. In the four years since Miller's dismissal for sexual misconduct, he's been living like a hermit, listening to music from his college days and existing as frugally as possible on the outskirts of a small village. So where did he get the five thousand pounds found in his pocket?
Leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks begins to suspect that the victim's past may be connected to his death. Forty years earlier the dead man attended a university that was a hotbed of militant protest and divisive, bitter politics. And as the seasoned detective well knows, some grudges are never forgotten-- or forgiven.
Just as Banks is about to break the case open, his superior warns him to back off or risk losing the promotion he has been promised. Yet Banks isn't about to stop, even if it means risking his career altogether. He's certain that there's more to the mystery that meets the eye, and more skeletons to uncover before the case can finally be closed.
Inspector Alan Banks is gifted investigator who doesn't always follow the proper procedure. He doesn't look for clues or take the traditional detective's route to piece together the story behind a death. When he's called in to look at Gavin Miller's broken body, Banks can't tell whether Gavin jumped to his death or was thrown - suicide, accident or murder?
Banks goes beyond the cash found on the victim and his isolated, hermit like existence. By exploring Miller's tastes in books and music, his old friends and his youth, Banks finds another side of Gavin Miller, one long hidden. His team of women detectives have their own skills and weaknesses and the diverse personalities give the book another layer of humor, tension, and personality. There's DI Annie Cabot, forceful, often angry, more apt to confront a witness than to tease out the truth. But for all of Annie's emotional and aggressive approach, she has a gift of being able to sift through lies to the truth. Gerry Masterson, the beautiful, young researcher who is willing to go beyond the usual boundaries for Inspector Banks, trusting his integrity and instincts. DS Winsome Jackman, who has put up with all sorts of prejudice and hurdles as a large black woman in the police force and is still gentle, patient, willing to listen until an unlikely witness shares a painful secret.
It's the willingness to dig, to listen, to search for unlikely secrets that makes this team unusual. Their digging takes them to a time of upheaval, of striking miners, of rebellious students, of hope for the revolution. Peter Robinson gives us a complicated mystery, complex characters, and a satisfying read.
About the Author:
Peter Robinson's award-winning Inspector Banks novels have been named a "Best Book of the Year" by Publishers Weekly, a "Notable Book" by the New York Times, and a "Page Turner of the Week" by People. Robinson was born and brought up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between North America and the U.K.
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