Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Dry Bones That Dream

Dry Bones That Dream is a Peter Robinson novel featuring DCI Alan Banks, recently brought to television by Stephen Tompkinson, which I haven’t read. It's showing in the DCI Banks series this evening, but at present I'm away and out of reach of the TV. However, I recently listened to an abridged audio version, read by Neil Pearson. I like Pearson as an actor, and he does an excellent job as a reader. I’m not sure if he was considered for the TV role, but he would have made a good fist of it, I think, though in a different way from Stephen Tompkinson.

Two masked men visit the home of a wealthy accountant, and murder him. This is fiction, although I have a vague recollection of a real-life case where something similar happened some years ago. What is the motive for the crime? As Banks investigates, it becomes clear that the dead man had secrets in both his personal life and his business dealings.

When a former colleague from Scotland Yard becomes involved, Banks discovers that the crime has an international element. At one stage, I thought the story was in danger of becoming thrillerish, but this didn’t happen. It is, in essence, a conventional police novel, with a plot twist that would not have been out of place in the Golden Age, and which I thought was excellent. It's an example of why Peter Robinson has established himself as one of the leading mystery novelists..

Truncated audio books are not, in theory, the best way to sample a writer’s work, but this one was good entertainment. Even if I were not a long-term Robinson fan, I would have found it enjoyable. As with many good series, you don’t really need to begin at the beginning, and this story isn’t a bad place to start if you haven’t yet encountered Banks. I look forward to catching up with the TV version soon.

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