20 April 2020

Gallows View

By Peter Robinson

My Review

First published in 1987, Gallows View is the start of the popular Inspector Banks British crime series which currently spans 26 books, with another due in 2021. By today's standards it's considerably dated and rather simplistic but I enjoyed it nonetheless. What immediately struck me was how times have changed since it was written.

In 1987 in Gallows View it was perfectly normal for police officers to drink and smoke on the job. Even conducting a crime scene investigation whilst drunk wasn't cause for concern, let alone gross misconduct! Female workers generally weren't taken very seriously and men tended to think using the contents of their underpants. DNA forensics was in its infancy and mobile phones were cleverly disguised as bricks. How on earth were crimes ever solved?!

The book centres around three cases — a peeping tom who gets his kicks by spying on unsuspecting women, a spate of home burglaries by local hoodlums, and the death (or possible murder) of an old woman.

Overall it was an enjoyable read but definitely lacked thrills and chills. There was no killer twist at the end and the characters were rather cartoon-ish. It needed to be more menacing and suspenseful to elevate it to another level. I fully suspect, and hope, this may be the case as the series progresses.             

Book Source: Purchased copy
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Pan; New Edit/Cover edition (28th Jun 2018)

The Blurb

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks has recently relocated with his family to the Yorkshire Dales from stressful London but soon finds that life in the countryside is not quite as idyllic as he had imagined.

Three cases come to the fore: a voyeur is terrorizing the women of Eastvale. Two thugs are breaking into homes, and an old woman is dead, possibly murdered. As the tension mounts, Banks must also deal with his attraction to a young psychologist Jenny Fuller, and when both Jenny and Banks's wife are drawn deeper into events Banks realizes that his cases are weaving closer and closer together . . .

The Author

Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada. Peter has written twenty-four books in the Number One Bestselling DCI Banks series as well as two collections of short stories and three standalone novels, the most recent of which is Number One bestseller BEFORE THE POISON. Peter's critically acclaimed crime novels have won numerous awards in Britain, the United States, Canada and Europe, and are published in translation all over the world.

Peter's DCI Banks is now a major ITV1 drama by Left Bank productions. Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart, Ballykissangel) plays Inspector Banks, and Andrea Lowe (The Bill, Murphy's Law) plays DI Annie Cabbot. The first series aired in Autumn 2011 with an adaptation of FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, the second in Autumn 2012, and the third in February 2014.

Peter's standalone novel BEFORE THE POISON won the IMBA's 2013 Dilys Award as well as the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. This was Peter's sixth Arthur Ellis award.

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