cover image Gallows View: An Inspector Banks Mystery

Gallows View: An Inspector Banks Mystery

Peter Robinson. Scribner Book Company, $17.95 (225pp) ISBN 978-0-684-19266-6

The considerable appeal of this first novel, an English village police procedural, lies in Robinson's updating of the genre with realistic treatment of contemporary violence and sexual issues, while maintaining the charm and civility of the setting. Chief Inspector Alan Banks, a big-city detective newly arrived in the Yorkshire town of Eastvale, is suddenly confronted with a minor crime wave. A Peeping Tom is alarming his victims and arousing Eastvale's strident feminists. Then a pair of young toughs take to harrassing and robbing the elderly. When an old woman is murdered in her home, Banks must determine if yet a third criminal--a killer--has surfaced, and if any or all of these events are related. Complicating matters is his attraction to the psychologist brought in on the Peeping Tom case and the fact that his own wife has become one of the Peeper's targets. In a climactic moment, these two women are in simultaneous but separate danger and Banks must try and save them both. There is one final secret to be revealed in this impressive debut. (Dec.)