Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In a Dry Season

In a Dry Season, a British mystery/police procedural by Peter Robinson, won the Anthony Award in 2000.

from the back of the book:

In a blistering, dry summer, the waters of Thornfield Reservior have been depleted, revealing the ruins of the small Yorkshire village that lay at its bottom, bringing with it the unidentified bones of a brutally murdered young woman. Detective Chief Inspector Banks faces a daunting challenge: he must unmask a killer who has escaped detection for half a century. Because the dark secrets of Hobb's End continue to haunt the dedicated policeman even though the town that bred then has died-and long after its former residents have been scattered to far places....or themselves to the grave.

I enjoyed this one, my first Peter Robinson book. His style reminds me of another mystery author I've read, but I can't place it. Mentions of musical pieces are scattered through the book, mentions of what people were listening to or dancing to or being reminded of at various times through the history of the narrative. The point of view alters even within the chapters, but it's easy to follow. One thread follows the memory of the time during WW2 before the village was flooded, and that's interspersed through the detective's personal and professional trials and tribulations.

There's a Methodist connection. On page 85 in a section that happens during WW2:

"You don't have a wireless?" I couldn't believe it. We might have been short of food, but surely everyone had a wireless?

"Mr. Kilnsey won't have one in the house. He's rather a strict sort of Methodist, you know. Thinks they're the devil's loudspeaker."

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