During a blistering summer, drought has depleted Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering the remains of a small village called Hobb's End - hidden from view for over 40 years. For a curious young boy this resurfaced hamlet has become a magical playground...until he unearths a human skeleton. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is given the impossible task of identifying the victim - a woman who lived in a place that no longer exists, whose former residents are scattered to the winds. Anyone else might throw in the towel but Banks sets out to uncover the murky past buried beneath a flood of time..."A Wonderful Novel" - Michael Connelly.
Detective chief inspector Alan Banks is a walking midlife crisis, full of rage because of his recently failed marriage, a career crippled by a jealous superior, and problems with his son. In less skilled hands, Banks could have quickly become a royal pain, but Robinson makes him instead a very likable character, who is slightly baffled and bemused by his bad luck. When he criticizes his son Brian's decision to drop out of college to become a rock musician, Banks quickly regrets it--recognizing the same impulses that made him rebel against his own parents, and some of the pain he felt when a college friend died of a drug overdose. The realization that Brian's heavy-metal band is actually quite good brings genuine pleasure to a man whose idea of rock is Love's Forever Changes
and other 1970s delights.
Banks is assigned to work on a case that the Yorkshire police department considers to be somewhat of a joke. The skeleton of a woman wrapped in World War II blackout curtains has been found in a dried-out reservoir. This man-made watering hole was a village--Hobbs End--that had been flooded many years earlier. Through the journal of a major player we realize early on who the dead woman is, but a large part of the fun is watching Banks and an edgy, attractive female cop put the pieces of the puzzle together. In a Dry Season is a stylish and gently reflective tale of secrets and lies.
Banks's other books include Wednesday's Child, Final Account, and Blood at the Root. --Dick Adler