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Reading Robinson

I’m re-reading a Peter Robinson novel about Chief Inspector Alan Banks: Hanging Valley. I’m fairly sure I have read it before but it must have preceded the time when I started noting books on my LibraryThing account. I can’t remember the outcome of the plot but I enjoy Robinson’s writing and so it isn’t a chore.

Two things have struck me so far. Firstly, Robinson has definitely improved as a writer. This one isn’t bad but there a few things which seem a bit clumsy or one or phrases that I think the more mature Robinson (or a higher paid editor for a proven best-seller author) might have changed.

Secondly, there are nuances which show how the world has changed. Banks has to refrain from smoking while his boss is in the car but lights up as soon as they get inside the public space of a pub. He wants to call his wife when he finds himself delayed and so has to find a phonebox rather than using his mobile. The story ages well and these aren’t obtrusive but they provide a fascinating backdrop to the plot.

I’ll have to see if I can track down Banks’ first outing, Gallows View, for more literary time travel.

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