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 care of her child very well, not physically harming her but neglecting her and so, she surmised this was all legitimate. She allowed the “social workers” to make off with her daughter. Now it’s considered an abduction case, the detectives fearing pornographic ring and poor Gemma.
In the meantime, the body of man is found in an abandoned mine shaft. He was gutted so it’s a murder by someone he knew or trusted to get so close to him. Are both crimes related? Could it be a connection to the child abduction or a recent warehouse heist?
For a change Superintendant Gristhorpe (Banks boss and more of a supporting “cast member” in these mysteries) has a larger role, taking over the investigation of the child abduction. It’s interesting to read some of his back story and see him in action.
Among the many wonderfully descriptive phases in this novel, this one stood out as a favorite of mine:
“Sometimes, thought Banks, the creaking machinery of the law was a welcome prophylactic on his desire to reach out and throttle someone.”
I totally get that. The planet would be a better place eliminating evil people causing heartache. Banks restrains himself from taking them out because he IS an officer of the law and not a vigilante. But like Walter Mitty, sometimes we find our own solutions in our imaginations, never acting on them but…. the thoughts arise all the same.
Food items are mentioned
Wensleydale cheese-and-pickle sandwich
Le Bistro’s Shrimp Provencale and a glass of wine – Le Bistro was one of Eastvale’s newest cafes. Tourism, the dale’s main industry, had increased and many Americans drawn to do the “James Herriott” tour wanted more than fish and chips and warm beer.
Gristhorpe and Banks ate roast beef sandwiches as they compared leads. Getting close to solving the mystery as they exchanged information and ate their lunch was a good place to take my inspiration. Drinks figure prominently the daily activities of our hard working detectives. But I didn’t want an ale or wine for this book. Liquor was the ticket. A drink is always offered by those who are visited by Chief Inspector Alan Banks.
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