Cold is the Grave – 2000
In recent years, the career of Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks has been stalled-and, in fact, very nearly destroyed-by the petty animosities of his politically ambitious senior officer Chief Constable Riddle. But when nude pictures of Riddle’s runaway teenage daughter show up on a pornographic Web site, he turns to Banks for help.
The trail leads Banks first to London’s Soho, an area of strip clubs and sex shops, then to the upmarket Little Venice, where Emily Riddle is living with a dangerous gangster with ties to world of rock music. At first she refuses to come home, but later Emily turns up at Banks’s hotel, bruised and frightened and asking for his help. Soon she is back with her family in Yorkshire, and Banks’s work appears to be done.
Other concerns occupy Banks’s time. A major reorganization and expansion of Eastvale Regional Headquarters has brought Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot back into his life, and she soon finds demons of her own to face. As they begin an investigation into the slaying of Charlie Courage, a low-level petty crook, a murder occurs at an Eastvale nightclub, filling the tabloids with headlines that scream of scandal, sex and high-level corruption. It is a cold and savage homicide that shakes Banks to his core, and it soon leads to shocking revelations that suggest it is somehow linked to the Charlie Courage affair.
The grim discoveries of the unfolding investigation lead Banks in a direction he does not wish to go: the past and private world of his most powerful enemy, Chief Constable Riddle.
“Banks can’t help finding sharply nuanced pain, hard-won wisdom, and moral complexity everywhere he looks-at suspects, at victims, even in the mirror. The result is mystery-mongering at once as sensitive and grandly scaled as P.D. James.” Kirkus (*starred review)
“Fans of British police procedurals who have not yet discovered Robinson are in for a treat. His Inspector Banks series combines intricate, intriguing plots with complex characters and bleakly beautiful Yorkshire settings.” Library Journal (*starred review)
“A cunningly constructed plot, enhanced by Robinson’s engaging descriptions and insights.” Booklist (*starred review)
“In Cold is the Grave author Peter Robinson pulls together far-flung story lines into a cohesive, seamless plot that is full of twists and surprises. While the coincidences pile on top of each other, Robinson cunningly constructs Cold is the Grave so the disparate story threads are convincing rather than contrived.” Oline Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel South Florida
“The thing about the police procedurals starring Chief Inspector Alan Banks, of the Yorkshire police, is that if you somehow stripped out the crime stuff, you’d be left with a good novel about a middle-aged professional and his complicated relationships with his boss, his ex-wife, his daughter and his lover/partner. And with music, whiskey and home..This is crime-fiction writing at its best.” H.J. Kirchhoff, Globe and Mail
“Robinson writes eminently readable and engrossing tales which never seem to last long enough.” Denver Rocky Mountain News