Peter Robinson

Although Peter Robinson’s DI Alan Banks stories are set in Yorkshire Robinson has lived in Canada since 1974 and his fictional Eastvale, the setting for the Banks stories is modelled on North Yorkshire towns with cobbled market squares rather than a high street. Since he’s operating in a fictional environment with similarities to places he remembers from way back, there’s a chance to realign things to suit the particular plot line and by his own admission Robinson adds new areas of the town that I have never mentioned before, such as The Maze in Friend of the Devil and The Heights in All the Colours of Darkness and while he’s changed names and locations he has a firm mental map of the environment, something that comes across through the series to the extent that lived in Canada since 1974 came as something of a surprise.

Robinson has also worked the soap opera side of the series rather well. That’s not a slam,  by the way. You need the changing relationships and rivalries as a backdrop to the actual crimes under investigation in a police procedural, and the procedural side of things brings in its own complications anyway. There’s a strong case for reading these in sequence, so you can get the developing professional and personal relationships right, though you can definitely get by without doing so. Robinson is rather skilful when it comes to filling in as much of the back story as the reader needs to be getting along with...

© Ian Hughes 2012