A Necessary End (Inspector Alan Banks Series #3)

A Necessary End (Inspector Alan Banks Series #3)

by Peter Robinson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062416612
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/10/2015
Series: Inspector Alan Banks Series , #3
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 110,957
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

One of the world's most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson grew up in the United Kingdom, and now divides his time between Toronto and England. The bestselling, award-winning author of twenty-two books in the Inspector Banks series, he has also written two short-story collections and three standalone novels. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, Sweden's Martin Beck Award, and the Danish Palle Rosenkrantz award.

Read an Excerpt

The demonstrators huddled in the March drizzle outside Eastvale Community Centre. Some of them held homemade placards aloft, but the anti-nuclear slogans had run in the rain like the red lettering at the beginning of horror movies. It was hard to make out exactly what they said any more. By eight-thirty, everyone was thoroughly soaked and fed up. No television cameras recorded the scene, and not one reporter mingled with the crowd. Protests were passe, and the media were only interested in what was going on inside. Besides, it was cold, wet and dark out there.

Despite all the frustration, the demonstrators had been patient so far. Their wet hair lay plastered to their skulls and water dribbled down their necks, but still they had held up their illegible placards and shifted from foot to foot for over an hour. Now, however, many of them were beginning to feel claustrophobic. North Market Street was narrow and only dimly lit by old-fashioned gaslamps. The protestors were hemmed in on all sides by police, who had edged so close that there was nowhere left to spread out. An extra line of police stood guard at the top of the steps by the heavy oak doors, and opposite the hall more officers blocked the snickets that led to the winding back streets and the open fields beyond Cardigan Drive.

Finally, just to get breathing space, some people at the edges began pushing. The police shoved back hard. The agitation rippled its way to the solidly packed heart of the crowd, and suppressed tempers rose. When someone brought a placard down on a copper's head, the other demonstrators cheered. Someone else threw a bottle. It smashed harmlessly,high against the wall. Then a few people began to wave their fists in the air and the crowd started chanting, "WE WANT IN! LET US IN!" Isolated scuffles broke out. They were still struggling for more ground, and the police pushed back to contain them. It was like sitting on the lid of a boiling pot; something had to give.

Later, nobody could say exactly how it happened, or who started it, but most of the protestors questioned claimed that a policeman yelled, "Let's clobber the buggers!" and that the line advanced down the steps, truncheons out. Then all hell broke loose.

It was too hot inside the Community Centre. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks fidgeted with his tie. He hated ties, and when he had to wear one he usually kept the top button of his shirt undone to alleviate the choking feeling. But this time he toyed with the loose knot out of boredom, as well as discomfort. He wished he was at home with his arm around Sandra and a tumbler of good single-malt Scotch in his hand.

But home had been a cold and lonely place these past two days because Sandra and the children were away. Her father had suffered a mild stroke, and she had taken off down to Croyden to help her mother cope. Banks wished she were back. They had married young, and he found that the single life, after almost twenty years of (mostly) happy marriage, had little to recommend it.

But the main cause of Banks's ill humour droned on and on, bringing to the crowded Eastvale Community Centre a particularly nasal brand of Home Counties monetarism. It was the Honourable Honoria Winstanley, MP, come to pour oil on the troubled waters of North-South relations. Eastvale had been blessed with her presence because, though not large, it was the biggest and most important town in that part of the country between York and Darlington. It was also enjoying a period of unprecedented and inexplicable growth, thus marking itself out as a shining example of popular capitalism at work. Banks was present as a gesture of courtesy, sandwiched between two taciturn Special Branch agents. Superintendent Gristhorpe had no doubt assigned him, Banks thought, because he had no desire to listen to the Hon Honoria himself. If pushed, Banks described himself as a moderate socialist, but politics bored him and politicians usually made him angry.

Occasionally, he glanced left or right and noticed the restless eyes of the official bodyguards, who seemed to be expecting terrorist action at any moment. For want of their real names, he had christened them Chas and Dave. Chas was the bulky one with the rheumy eyes and bloated red nose, and Dave was blessed with the lean and hungry look of a Tory cabinet minister. If a member of the audience shifted in his or her seat, raised a fist to muffle a cough or reached for a handkerchief, either Chas or Dave would slip his hand under his jacket towards his shoulder-holster.

It was all very silly, Banks thought. The only reason anyone might want to kill Honoria Winstanley would be for inflicting a dull speech on the audience. As motives for murder went, that came a long way down the list—-though any sane judge would certainly pronounce it justifiable homicide.

Ms Winstanley paused and took a sip of water while the audience applauded. "And I say to you all," she continued in all-out rhetorical flight, "that in the fullness of time, when the results of our policies have come to fruition and every vestige of socialism has been stamped out, all divisions will be healed, and the north, that revered cradle of the Industrial Revolution, will indeed prosper every bit as much as the rest of our glorious nation. Once again this will be a united kingdom, united under the banner of enterprise, incentive and hard work. You can already see it happening around you here in Eastvale."

Banks covered his mouth with his hand and yawned. He looked to his left and noticed that Chas had become so enrapt by Honoria that he had momentarily forgotten to keep an eye open for the IRA, the PLO, the BaaderMeinhof group and the Red Brigade.


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"Thoughtful.... Vivid.... Challenging.... Like the region that breeds them, the people in Robinson's mystery flaunt their colors but keep their secrets." —-The New York Times Book Review

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A Necessary End (Inspector Alan Banks Series #3) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
debavp on LibraryThing 11 hours ago
Banks' temporary superior, DCI Burgess, has some of the funniest lines--you can just imagine laughing at him were you to run across him in reality. I didn't care for the "flirtation" with Jenny--not because he's marrier, but because it made him seem weak and downright indecisive. I thought the "killer" was different characters at different times, although the reasoning was a lot clearer. Maybe if Banks had focused on the case a bit more he would have solved it sooner. There never was any doubt that Burgess would ever solve it, not in a million years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good characters in an interesting story. Robinson is a good writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this dated (1989) book, populated with one-dimensional characters we care nothing about, our hero, the jazz-loving, chain-smoking, beer-drinking DCI Banks solves the crime by ruminating on disparate facts, usually with the help of much alcohol and -- TA DA! -- explains it all to us in the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter Robinson keeps you guessing right up until the end! Great book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This writer is way too sympathetic to good for nothing rabble protesters, as he has demonstrated in other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Try reading Leviathan. Its $1.99 and is so worth it. Its like a steampunk-ish story but not quite. :) This book was, in a few words, not worth the trouble. Sorry, B&N.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Or is it a best buy not even free nor are most on this list seems most of best buys and best of on barnes and times are just a grab bag pulled out of a bin. No longer trust any of their choices to buy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"You're on your own with the kits," he said and then padded out.