This is the 25th crime novel in the Inspector Banks series, and it’s a cracker. For those unfamiliar with these books, the hero is the aforementioned DCI Alan Banks, who’s based in the fictional Yorkshire town of Eastvale. Banks is getting on (aren’t we all) but still remarkably keen on locking up villains in the best UK police procedural tradition. I’ve been hooked on these books since the first one “Gallows View” was published in the late 80s.
In the tradition of this genre “Careless Love” begins with the discovery of a body, followed closely by another, and then takes us on the journey of finding out whodunnit. The classic scenario. But Robinson’s writing is infused with beautifully written detail, in his description of the Yorkshire dales, the mythical picturesque town of Eastvale and his relationships with his co-workers – you know the sort of thing. And he has arguments with his younger colleagues, particularly DS Annie Cabbot, with whom he has had – er, a relationship, in previous novels.
You may have seen the TV series based on these books, which is OK, sometimes combining different books into one story, which kind of pisses me off but they’re done quite well so I’ll forgive them. And the role of DS Cabbot is played by the delicious Andrea Lowe who looks far too gorgeous to be a policeman (sorry, policewoman). But you can’t say that sort of thing these days, so I won’t.
I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by Simon Slater who is excellent, even if his attempts at accents are a little inconsistent. But don’t let that put you off, I’ve listened to several of his reads (he’s done over fifty) and he’s good.
DCI Banks also loves music, and we have discussed this before here, that thing of possibly slightly pretensious sounding music references in books. They’ve always been there in Robinson’s books but this one (and the next which I’m currently reading) are more full than usual. Banks likes his classical music, over a glass of Macallan at his cottage after a hard day’s night, but also likes folk music and has a fondness for the sixties music of his youth.
Here’s the playlist for this book
“Careless Love” (Madeleine Peyroux, Careless Love)
Rebecca Clarke: Viola Sonata (Tabea Zimmermann & Kirill Gerstein)
“Beatrice” (Chet Baker, Live in London)
Fauré: “Après un rêve” (Nicola Benedetti, Fantasie)
Massenet: “Méditation from Thaïs” (Nicola Benedetti, Fantasie)
Vaughan Williams: “The Lark Ascending” (Nicola Benedetti, Fantasie)
Arvo Pärt: “Spiegel im Spiegel” (Nicola Benedetti, Fantasie)
“Powderfinger” (Neil Young, Hitchhiker)
“Legend of a Girl Child Linda” (Donovan, Sunshine Superman)
“Season of the Witch” (Donovan, Sunshine Superman)
“Ask Me No Questions” (Bridget St John, Ask Me No Questions)
“Mona” (Quicksilver Messenger Service, Happy Trails)
“Scarlet Begonias” (Grateful Dead, Cornell 5/8/77)
“Morning Dew” (Grateful Dead, Cornell 5/8/77)
“Off Minor” Thelonious Monk, Piano Solo)
“Brand New Day” (P.P. Arnold, The Turning Tide)
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” (The Shirelles, She’s So Fine: the Rise of the Girl Groups)
J.S. Bach: French Suite No. 1 in D Minor (Murray Perahia)
“She’s About a Mover” (Sir Douglas Quintet, Mendocino)
“Psychotic Reaction” (Count Five, Jon Savage’s 1966)
“Elusive Butterfly” (Bob Lind, 101 Sixties Hits)
“Pretty Flamingo” (Manfred Mann, 101 Sixties Hits)
Debussy: “Préludes – Book 1 – I. Danseuses de Delphes” (Jean-Efflam Bavouzet)
Duparc” “L’invitation au voyage” (Mary Bevan & Joseph Middleton, Voyages)
Fauré: “Chant d’automne” (Mary Bevan & Joseph Middleton, Voyages)
“Roadhouse Blues” (The Doors, Live at the Isle of Wight)
“So What?’ (Miles Davis & John Coltrane, The Final Tour)
“On Green Dolphion Street” (Miles Davis & John Coltrane, The Final Tour)
“The Maigret Theme” (Joe Loss & His Orchestra, The 1962 British Hit Parade, Part 1)
“Town Without Pity” (Gene Pitney, The 1962 British Hit Parade, Part 1)