Sunday, January 19, 2020

Tale Of Crooks, Drugs, Prostitution And Murder: My Washington Times Review Of "Many Rivers To Cross'

The Washington Times ran my review of Peter Robinson’s Many Rivers To Cross.

Peter Robinson’s fictional character Detective Superintendent Alan Banks has been the protagonist of a long series of popular crime novels, beginning with 1987’s “Gallows View.” 

Originally a detective working in London, Banks grew disillusioned with the big city and transferred to a fictional English town near Yorkshire called Eastvale.

Mr. Robinson’s detective character and stories were adapted for a British TV series called “DCI Banks,” which aired on British TV from 2010 to 2016.

Banks has moved up the ranks to become a detective superintendent, and in “Many Rivers To Cross” he and his squad must investigate the murder of a teenage boy left in a trash can, what the British call a “rubbish bin.”  

“Banks put on his thin latex gloves, slowly opened the bin and recoiled from what he saw there: a boy’s body with his knees tucked under his chin, curled up, almost like a fire victim,” Mr. Robinson writes. “But it wasn’t a pugilistic position, and there had been no fire; the boy had been deliberately crammed into the bin.”

The rubbish bin belonged to an elderly retired nurse who told Banks that she didn’t know the boy and didn’t how he ended up in the bin outside of her house.

Banks’ investigating team consisted of Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot and Detective Constable Gerry Masterson. They discovered a bit of cocaine in the boy’s pocket, and after a medical examination they learned the boy had been stabbed to death. He was identified as a Syrian immigrant who had managed to travel to England all on his own,

The police later investigated another victim not far from the boy in the bin. Howard Stokes, a down-and-out diabetic and heroin addict in a wheelchair was found dead by two young boys who were playing in an abandoned house in a housing area being cleared for redevelopment.

Banks interviews a wealthy property developer named Connor Clive Blaydon, whom the coppers call “dodgy.” Although he had no criminal record, his partners in redevelopment deals are well-known to Banks. His partners are Timmy and Tommy Kerrigan, a pair of brothers who are local “villains,” as the British call criminals.

“Timmy and Tommy Kerrigan were, on paper at least, owners of the old Bar None nightclub, now renamed The Vaults, just across the market square from where Banks and Joanna were sitting, along an amusement arcade, also on the square. They were crooks and thugs, suspected of involvement in drug dealing and prostitution, but Banks and his team had never been able to find enough evidence to charge them with anything,” Mr. Robinson writes. “Timmy was suspected of an unhealthy interest in teenage girls, whereas Tommy was gay and preferred young boys. Tommy also had a sadistic streak and a nasty temper, ready to explode at a moment’s notice."

You can read the rest of the review via the below link: 

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