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Monday, March 11, 2013

DCI Banks

The last few months and weeks I've been reading through the entire series of Peter Robinson's DCI Banks novels.

Robinson was born in England and lived for a long time in Yorkshire, but he has now moved to Canada. If I remember well, he lives in Toronto now. He's won prizes for his novels and ITV already filmed a few of them. The first episodes were broadcasted last year.

Because I liked the series, I bought one book, and then another... until I had all of them (to date). The last book in the series was published in January of this year.

Who's DCI Banks? In the first book, Alan Banks is the happily married husband of Sandra (or so he thinks) and the father of a boy and a girl. We learn that the family moved from London to Eastvale, Yorkshire because Banks nearly had a burn-out in his previous job. Now he is the DCI of a quiet area, where not so much crime occurs. Wrong thinking! Soon he's faced with his first big murder case.

Also already in the first novel we learn that the marriage of Alan and Sandra is not so great either. Sandra wants more of a life of her own, and she takes a parttime job in an art gallery and also becomes member of a photo club. We soon see how they gradually drift apart, especially when a new and female officer, Annie Cabbot, comes to join their force. Banks is immediately drawn to her, while on the other hand profiler Jenny Fuller feels attracted to him...

In the course of the series - which, by the way, becomes better and better with each new book - we see how Alan and Sandra finally get a divorce, Banks has a short fling with Annie and becomes single once more.

We also learn how Banks still has to cope with guilt. Guilt about cases he could not solve, friends he feels he betrayed. When he was fifteen, his mate Grahm disappears. Only in many books later Graham's body is found. Alan knew about a man who attacked young boys, but he was afraid to tell anyone about it because he was supposed to be at school. He also feels guilty because his college friend died of an overdose.

Banks is a very likeable character and Robinson is a master in describing how he feels. The psychology of these novels is also superb.

I've become a big fan and I can certainly recommend these books to anyone who loves a good crime story!

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