Robinson is one of the most familiar names in British crime fiction, and this is the 27th novel in his popular series about a Yorkshire detective, Superintendent Alan Banks. It illustrates how much the UK has changed since Robinson started writing. Crime has become international, so much so that Albanian gang members are the suspects in a double murder at a property developer’s home. At the same time one of Banks’s friends, a sex trafficking victim from Moldova, is determined to track down the men who enslaved her.
This series continues to be as thoughtful and intelligent as ever, with the usual bonus of the magnificent Dales, all “rolling hills, drystone walls, grazing sheep and flimsy white clouds snaking across a clear blue sky”. At one point, Banks’s son Brian asks him why he isn’t considering retirement – an allotment; puttering in the garden; watching too much TV – rather than the “copper’s life”. “But what else would I do?” he responds. Long may it continue.