Cold is the Grave is a good continuation of the previous DCI Banks book, In a Dry Season. By that, I don’t mean you need to read that one first, you wouldn’t be lost reading these mysteries out of order. The investigations and cases are separate stories altogether. It’s more of a development of Alan Banks’ character, seeing where his personal life is taking him as well as his place in the Eastvale Police Department. So, in that respect you would need to read them in a sequence but the investigations themselves are self-contained.
This book has Banks’ boss, Jimmy Riddle, asking him for a favor. Riddle wants Banks to locate his daughter Emily. Why would Jimmy Riddle ask Alan Banks for anything? He hates him and went out of his way to make Banks’ career a nightmare. Despite disliking Banks on a personal level Riddle quietly admires how tenacious he is as well as Banks’ track record in solving cases. Banks grudgingly agrees to help, knowing Riddle will make his life a little easier for acquiescing to this favor.
When he finds sixteen-year old Emily she is living in London, using drugs, drinking to excess and living with a man as old as her father. Getting her to return home seems hopeless but something happens that convinces Emily to return on her own. It’s after this all the different mysteries and character developments start intermingling. I’m pleased DS Cabbott is in this book and she and Banks work together.
The end was interesting – not wanting to give it away – but there was much action and so much tied up, but so much was extremely unlikely scenario-wise. Still, I am loving Alan Banks in this book as I was the last one.
Banks is doing an interview in a pub: “The food came – balti prawns for Craig and lamb korma for Banks, along with pullao rice, mango chutney and naans……”
“It was one of those places that Banks thought trendy in its lack of trendiness. All scratched wood tables and partitions, pork chops, steaks and mashed potatoes. But the mashed potatoes had garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in them and cost about three quid a side order. Venison sausage with braised red cabbage and garlic mashed potatoes.”
“A jumbo Yorkshire pudding filled with roast beef and gravy, washed down with a pint of Theakson’s bitter……..”
“Rosalind carried on stuffing the wild mushroom, olive oil, garlic and parsley mixture between the skin of the chicken, the way she had learned in her recent course on the art of French cuisine.”
I opted to do the roast chicken. It was fantastic.
Served with asparagus and an ozro dish with peas and corn,
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