GALLOWS VIEW by Peter Robinson


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Yorkshire Inspector Alan Banks juggles three cases involving a peeping Tom, a series of robberies, and the murder of an old woman--all in the first of a projected series by Canadian author Robinson. Banks is a southerner who'd just as soon relax in the quiet village of Eastvale while he pursues his new interest in Italian opera, but the cases take a personal interest when Jenny Fuller--the psychologist called in to defuse local feminists' criticism of police insensitivity to the victims of the peeping Tom--turns out to be lovely, companionable, and potentially disturbing to his marriage, and when his wife Sandra becomes the voyeur's latest victim. In the meantime, he wonders whether the kids responsible for a rash of robbery and vandalism are the same people who killed 87-year-old Alice Matlock. Robinson identifies the robbers from the beginning as teen-aged misfits Trevor Sharp and Mick Webster, but most readers will be ahead of Banks in solving the other crimes too. Despite its share of procedural cliches (Banks's troubled home life, the camaraderie at the station, the climactic murderous attacks), the story is cleanly and attractively told, with some of Ruth Rendell's power to evoke quiet nastiness. Though Robinson lacks Rendell's insight into character or her brooding sense of atmosphere, this initial entry is likely to appeal to fans of her British procedurals.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Scribners