Peter Robinson has just released the 26th (!) entry - Many Rivers to Cross - in the Inspector Banks series. I've read them all and am always eager to pick up the latest.
The body of a young boy is found stuffed into a refuse bin on the Eastvale Estate. No one steps forth to identify him but there may be drugs involved. And on another estate, the body of a life long drug user is also found - a seeming overdose. Banks and his team ,Gerry (I'm growing to quite like her) and Annie (I always appreciate her acerbic tongue), pick up both cases.
Running parallel to this investigation is Zelda's narrative. We met Zelda in the last book Careless in Love. She's a super recognizer and is working with law enforcement to identify those in the sex trafficking trade. She herself is a survivor of that world. But when she sees pictures of men who were involved in her past, she hesitates to share that knowledge. What path will she take? Robinson does an admirable job of writing Zelda's story.
Organized crime from Europe has spilled into England and on to Banks' patch. Politics, political viewpoints and machinations are also a large part of Many Rivers to Cross.
Inspector Banks books are meant to be savored. The story moves along well, but at a thoughtful pace that allows the reader to ruminate along with Alan. I enjoy his honest self contemplation....
"The 'black dog' of depression had been visiting more frequently and biting more viciously of late....At work he often felt like Sisyphus pushing that bloody rock up the hill only to have it roll back down again....He was also alone."
And I've always enjoyed checking out the music he plays. I wonder if the title from this book was inspired by the song Many Rivers to Cross, written and recorded by Jimmy Cliff in 1969. Lyrics are here and they seem to speak to both Banks' state of mind and the direction the plot takes.
That plot is believable, relevant and intricately woven. There's a satisfying ending to Many Rivers to Cross as Banks and team solve their case. Zelda however is another story - one I'm sure we'll see in the next book.
Another excellent read for me from Robinson. See for yourself - here's an excerpt.