Past Reason Hated is another Inspector Banks mysteries that delivers surprising endings. Peter Robinson has me eager to read more of his Inspector Banks series. I made a purchase of 7 more of his paperbacks based on the few books I have already read.
Have you ever read a series where you can picture the main characters in such detail they become real people to you? I can almost smell that cigarette Alan Banks sneaks now and then; I can see him slide from his Cortina after popping out the latest music cassette, ready for business.
This novel is sets us up in Yorkshire just before Christmas. Caroline Hartley is found dead in her home, naked on the sofa, her throat cut by a cake knife. Gruesome scene to come upon and the main suspect is of course, the person who finds the victim. In this case it’s Caroline’s lesbian lover, Veronica Sheldon and Veronica’s ex-husband. Seems the ex was at the scene delivering a Vivaldi recording to Caroline earlier in the evening. (Now, wouldn’t your ex partner be upset if you left him/her for another?)
We have a new character introduced here, Inspector Susan Gay. She assists in the investigation. In addition to Veronica and her ex, other suspects include the cast and crew of Caroline’ theater group and her disgruntled brother who evidently had sole charge of caring for their sick father. This is a good mystery, watching Banks and newcomer Susan Gay work with multiple suspects and scenarios, methodically eliminating the growing mysteries with each character.
Banks makes his usual stops for pints and pub meals while sorting this out, blasting and enjoying his music in his old Cortina. One of Peter Robinson’s best, so far, in the series. I look forward to following Chief Inspector banks on more cases.
Lamb is one thing I enjoy and associate with English pub meals. Let’s share a meal of grilled lamb chops, vegetables and an earthy Zinfandel to celebrate this book.