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Peter Robinson (Inspector Banks)

(14 Posts)
PercyFilth Fri 12-Aug-11 12:08:53

I've often seen this series recommended, and as I prefer to read in order when possible I have begun with the first one, "Gallows View". Halfway through, and God is it deadly dull. I do realise that authors develop and improve, so I can overlook the odd bit of clunky style, but is it really worth while persevering?

Probably my favourite author of this genre is Ruth Rendell, although I do prefer her one-off novels to the Wexford series. Loved Inspector Morse, and was reading the books long before they were dramatised for TV. Did like early PD James, but she's got a bit too ponderous for my taste now.

KurriKurri Fri 12-Aug-11 17:22:33

It does improve through the series, but they do get a bit samey (sometimes fell there quite a lot of cut and paste characterisation from one book to the next), but some of the later ones are good, 'Aftermath' and the follow up 'friend of the devil' are better thrillers.

Have you tried Mark Billingham, - good plots though possibly a bit graphic fro some tastes. I like the Susan Hill Simon Serrailler series as well, Reginald Hill Dalziel and Pascoe novels also worth a try. smile And John Harvey's Frank Elder series also quite good (He's got another good series but the name of the detective has totally slipped my mind, sorry).

If you like a bit of history mixed with your detecting, - the Matthew Shardlake series by C J Sansom is excellent, - set in tudor times the 'detective' is a lawyer, - very well written series - I always recommend them.

KurriKurri Fri 12-Aug-11 17:26:51

Just thought of a couple more,

the Garnet Hill Trilogy, by Denise Mina - very engaging female protagonist, not a conventional thriller, but well worth a try.

Ann Cleves - Shetland Quartet,

PercyFilth Fri 12-Aug-11 20:38:55

Thanks Kurri! I may not bother with the PRs then, there are plenty more books out there. I like the early Reginald Hill, but not the latest few. Same with Elizabeth George - some of these authors tend to get a bit too bogged down in their characters' lives for me, it's the mystery element that appeals to me and I don't like when it turns into a soap opera.

Susan Hill is a classic example of that, I read the first 3 of those (only because they were in the charity shop and I saw the Ruth Rendell recommendation on the cover). Sorry, I thought they were awful, it was all about the family rather than the crimes and I didn't like any of the characters. How that Simon creature got promoted to some elite detection force was the biggest mystery, he seemed to do precious little detecting as far as I could see. What an unpleasant character he was. Also bothered me that I didn't know how to pronounce Serrailler or whatever it is. That should have been explained very early on via dialogue. It sure doesn't ring true that no character ever queries the spelling or prn of the name.

Not read any Frank Elder ones, but I liked the Resnick ones - that was him, wasn't it? Polish dude who made interesting sandwiches.

KurriKurri Fri 12-Aug-11 21:13:51

Yes Resnick that was it. I have to admit I agree with your comments on Susan Hill, - I can't pronounce Serrailler either - thought I was the only one grin - And he is horrible, but I find them interesting, for some reason, but I am a fan of SH, so maybe its just her style I enjoy.

I don't mind a bit of character's lives coming into it all, but if that's not your bag, you'd probably best avoid PR, because there an awful lot of his love life in them.

There was a thread a while back on here about thrillers/detective fiction, if you feel like a trawl through you might find it, I seem to remember it had lots of ideas on it smile

PercyFilth Fri 12-Aug-11 22:05:31

Cheers, I shan't bother then - so far Banks hasn't intrigued me at all, in fact he comes over a bit wet grin

I've got the new Rendell on order from the library; checked the site today and looks like they've just got a shedload of copies in, so shouldn't have long to wait. It's a Wexford, but she's hung it off the events of one of her earlier standalone stories so am interested to see how that works.

Recently discovered Mo Hayder, but as I mentioned in another thread, it's vital to read in order. She gives away practically the entire plots of previous books in the series, such a shame and not really necessary.

elkiedee Sat 13-Aug-11 18:58:28

I thought Gallows' View was boring but like all the other Peter Robinsons I've read - In a Dry Season is #10 but was the first I read and is a good place to start.

AlmaMartyr Mon 15-Aug-11 08:20:14

I can't pronounce Serrailler either and it always bothers me when I read the books! Thought I'd be the only one. I do quite like them though but I prefer them as just normal novels rather than crime/mystery books really.

I do like Peter Robinson but I read a lot of them and found they got quite samey. At one point they were getting quite gory/grim as well and it started to annoy me. I love love love Reginald Hill but haven't liked a couple of the latest ones. I did like The Woodcutter though (fairly recent, not a Dalziel and Pascoe one).

PercyFilth Mon 15-Aug-11 11:29:04

I think she either made the name up, or she meant it to be Serraillier (which I do know how to pronounce) and misspelled it. As a child I read books by Ian Serraillier. He said his name was 'ser' as in serpent, and then to rhyme with 'Australia' smile

Just got email from the library telling me the Ruth Rendell book is in, so I shall take 'Gallows View' back. Life's too short to waste on plodding through books I'm not enjoying! If I'm ever stuck for anything I might try one of the three Peter Robinsons recommended here.

candr Mon 15-Aug-11 18:35:09

Like most of the above authors but have recently got into Lee Child. Like karin Slaughter too though quite dark. Used to work in a school where loads of us liked dark crime fiction and used to swap all the time and get new authors - I miss that!

talkingnonsense Thu 18-Aug-11 20:13:13

Have you tried Michael conelly? One or two duds but the Harry Bosch and Michael haller ones are good. They might even be better read in order.

Hellishday Fri 19-Aug-11 14:49:17

I really liked the early INspector Banks but found them too sandy like the fact they're set in Leeds/Yorkshire which is where I'm from.
I do like Serrailler books.
I like a good psychological serial killer type book...Chelsea Cain springs to mind, about a female killer called Gretchen something who pursues a detective.
Quite good fun if farfetched.

SecretSquirrels Tue 23-Aug-11 20:56:03

Hellishday - if you like Yorkshire crime fiction have you tried Stuart Pawson (Charlie Priest series) or Ken McCoy (the Sam Carew series)?
Both fairly lightweight but with a lovely sense of humour about them.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 23-Aug-11 20:59:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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