Abbatoir Blues - Peter RobinsonIt’s hard to believe that DCI Alan Banks is now into his twenty- second fictional investigation, but that’s where we find him in Abbatoir Blues by Peter Robinson.
When two boys vanish under mysterious circumstances, the community is filled with unease. Then a bloodstain is discovered in a disused World War Two hangar nearby, and a caravan belonging to one of the youths is burned to the ground. Things quickly become much more sinister. Assigned to the case, Banks and his team are baffled, but when a motor accident throws up a gruesome discovery, the investigation spins into a higher gear – and in a totally different direction. As Banks and his team struggle desperately to find the missing boy – the one who holds the key to the puzzle – they find themselves in a race against time where it’s their turn to become the prey…

Peter Robinson divides his time between Toronto and the UK, but he’s a Yorkshire lad deep down, which explains DCI Banks’ no-nonsense approach to investigation. The novels are based in the fictional Yorkshire town of Eastvale – which has a body count second only to that of Midsomer – ironic, given that Banks left the Metropolitan Police in 1987 in search of a quieter, rural life.

The popular ITV adaptation of the stories, famous for desolate landscapes and wide-open spaces, is into its third series. Actor Stephen Tompkinson gives a subtle, low-key and well-crafted performance as a man unable to reconcile his personal and professional lives. Banks’ well documented love of music has resulted in a series of Spotify playlists which accompany some of the novels – visit to find out more. Robinson has a devoted following and rightly so. He’s won more crime writing awards than you can shake a large truncheon at, and his work can be found in 19 languages.

Abbatoir Blues – Peter Robinson

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