Thursday, October 16, 2014

Listened: "Gallows View" by Peter Robinson

Listened: Gallows View by Peter Robinson, 1987, download.

The selection of audiobook titles has shrunk now that I am using my computer-box-telephone to listen to audiobooks. I was hoping to download some Dr. Who selections but those do not come in the required MP3 format. Damn.  Since the previous Inspector Banks novel was okay I tried this one, the first in the series.

Banks has recently moved to Yorkshire. He had some big cases working in London and encountered quite a few violent people.  He is trying to stop smoking and is learning about his new peers, including one who applied for Banks's current position.

A window peeper is prowling past nightfall to peek on panty wearing people.  A couple teenaged boys are burgling the homes of elderly woman.  Detective Inspector Banks is involved in both these fairly tame cases when a WW1 vintage woman is found dead in her cottage. The woman seems to have whacked her head on a counter corner. The cottage was tossed as if a burglar searched the home.  Banks thinks she was killed. An accident from a slight push? Intentional murder? Banks needs to found out.

Banks's superior calls psychologist Jenny Fuller to help the peeper investigation. Fuller will hear the evidence and give deduce the perpetrator's personality and future behavior.  Banks is attracted to Fuller. Fuller is attracted to Banks. Banks is married with two kids. Fuller is single.

We follow the characters - good guys and bad guys -as the scheme, rationalize, and plan ahead. There is a rape scene from the rapists POV that was unpleasant to hear. A teen high on speed invades a home and takes a hostage.  A single dad is shtuping the married neighbor. The man's teen son is a burglar. Banks's wife joins a photography club and the club members are under suspicion as possible peepers.

1. Plenty of internal thoughts by different characters. You get to know several of them very well. Banks, somehow, seems more of a mystery to me. I'm not sure why but the crooks personalities seem clearer and their actions more understandable.  Probably just me.
2. Firmly set in the 1980s. 
2.a. Characters do not like Margaret Thatcher and comment on unemployment and Thatcher's false compassion. 
2.b. Computers are a bit mysterious and require extra training to operate. They are seen as the future but are mostly unknown.
3. Different narrator than the second book in the series. This narrator is rougher and made Banks gruffer and tougher.  Scuffer.  Muffer.  Fluffer.  Buffer.  Duffer. Alliteration gone wild.
4. One of the newly promoted Inspectors takes pride in being able to wear plainclothes.  He also takes pride in a newly mustache.
5.  That weird English use the word "partner" to describe a romantic relationship. When I hear "partner" I think "business partner" or "cop partner".
6. Descriptive sex.
7.  Comment on British dental care. One character compares them to American teeth.
8. Tourists getting mugged.
9. Dated views on feminism. Dated views by feminist characters.

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