SLEEPING IN THE GROUND by Peter Robinson
When DS Alan Banks and his team are called to the scene of a mass murder it’s as if we’re witnessing an event ripped from the headlines of a newspaper. Someone has targeted a wedding party outside a church and there are many casualties. When their investigations lead them to a suspect, Banks and his team are left with more questions than answers and begin to second-guess their findings.
At the same time he’s working this case, Banks is dealing with the death of a former girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller, with whom he almost committed adultery years before. Rather than providing a leadership role as befitting his rank, Banks seems to spend a lot of his time mooning about – like a love-sick schoolboy.
Even with these three storylines working back and forth, the novel becomes clichéd and predicable. Conclusions are reached after minimal investigation and his team make decisions without consulting Banks or each other. The plotting is shoddy and the characters are mere shadows on the page. Even the regular characters appear lifeless. What used to be interesting (i.e. Banks’ music choices) becomes boring and repetitive as Robinson launches into an often lengthy description about the songs and artists he’s chosen to play, every time he’s within range of a sound system.
Needless to say, this novel was a disappointment. I can only hope that it’s a one-off and that Robinson’s next book will redeem him in the hearts of his readers.