Review: Dry Bones that Dream

It was 2.47am when Chief Inspector Alan Banks arrived at the barn and saw the body of Keith Rothwell for the first time. Only hours earlier two masked men had walked the mild-mannered accountant out of his farmhouse and clinically blasted him with a shotgun.Clearly this is a professional hit – but Keith was hardly the sort of person to make deadly enemies. Or was he? For the police investigation soon raises more questions than answers. And who, exactly, is Robert Calvert?


By Peter Robinson

My thoughts

As part of the Inspector Banks mysteries, this was one of his earlier releases. I read it as the first part of a republished omnibus. Banks was still young and married although the cracks have already started to show, he is not at all perfect; just human.

Murder mysteries will always be one of my favourites. And although at the time that this book was written there were no cell phones or even the technology that there is today, it takes nothing away from the good writing. The story was gripping and fast moving.

It starts with a rather gruesome execution style murder in the countryside involving a shot gun. A boring henpecked accountant with an odd family. As the investigation progresses it seems that the victim was a much more complex person living more than one life, having more than one identity, being involved in illegal activities and having planned an elaborate scheme for his own disappearance.

The way Peter Robinson writes he always leaves his stories a bit open ended. Although even Banks feels a bit sorry for the fallen lovers at the end, there is not doubt that justice should be serviced; for both Keith Rothwell – for the lives he destroyed where he could have helped, the deaths, the hurt and the pain he caused; and then the despot in Martin Churchill.

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