A disgraced college lecturer is found murdered with ?5,000 in his pocket on a disused railway line near his home. Since being dismissed from his job for sexual misconduct four years previously, he has been living a poverty-stricken and hermit-like existence in this isolated spot.
The suspects range from several individuals at the college where he used to teach to a woman who knew the victim back in the early ’70s at Essex University, then a hotbed of political activism. When Banks receives a warning to step away from the case, he realises there is much more to the mystery than meets the eye – for there are plenty more skeletons to come out of the closet . . .
I can’t quite believe that it has been three years since I last read a DCI Banks novel – Bad Boy – where does the time go? Children of the Revolution, the latest in the Banks series, allows me to reacquaint myself with the enigmatic Yorkshire based Detective Chief Inspector who, I discover, is pondering promotion, retirement and life away from the frontline and causing his superiors headaches. At least that’s what they hope by dangling the carrot.
The book moves along at a quick pace and we follow a number of characters throughout as they try to make sense of Gavin Miller’s murder early on in the book and this theme continues for the best part of the book. The writing is fluid and the narrative an intelligent blend of discovery and impressive storytelling. The book never felt rushed to me, sedate in parts even, and as Robinson slowly moves towards a fitting and satisfying climax he manages to increase the tempo with each turn of the page thanks to a well-crafted and multi layered plot.
For me though this book is so much more than a detective story. It’s about one man’s passion for takeout food, his cottage and music. Robinson throws in the odd atmospheric pub lunch for good measure but it’s the numerous music and cinematographic references that had me searching the internet and youtube to find out who some of the artists were! This author’s clear love for music and the movies can be found in all his books, Beyond the Poison – a wonderful standalone book – is another fine example of his affection to the arts.
You can’t help but like Banks, he is a dogged and likeable character, one you’d want fighting your corner for sure. Reading Children of the Revolution was akin to welcoming home a long lost friend. DCI Banks is one of the best leading British detectives out there and one I hope will be with us for a number of years. I certainly don’t want him retiring just yet! If he does, and he moves away, I hope I get chance to buy his cottage! If not, I promise not to leave it so long before I read another adventure.
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (15 Aug 2013)
- ISBN-10: 1444704915
- ISBN-13: 978-1444704914
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