Originally published in
1999 as the 10th in the best-selling Inspector Banks Novel
series, this new William Morrow paperback release presents
Banks in another creepy British mystery. This time, he’s
deeply depressed after a divorce from his cheating wife, problems
with his college-aged son who dropped out of school to pursue
music, and reprimands at work for his behavior on the job.
Intended as a punishment, Chief Constable Riddle assigns Banks
with a 50-year-old dead-end case in Yorkshire where a skeleton
has surfaced in a reservoir during a dry season, and forces
him to work on the case with man-hating Detective Annie Cabbot,
a new policewoman who was raped by her fellow officers.
Much to Riddle’s dismay, Banks uncovers surprising clues
about the identity of the skeletal remains and links to the
killer, who may still be alive after all these years. Riddle’s
plan further goes awry when Banks and Cabbot not only get
along as co-workers, but begin a love affair. Both desperately
in need of healing, they offer comfort to each other personally
and invaluable support professionally.
In addition to telling the current story of Banks and Cabbot,
the author deftly weaves in the related story from the past
about the victim (a beautiful young woman) and her relationships
with her soldier husband, his jealous younger sister, a lonely
artist, and a handful of American lovers. To tell the 50-year-old
story, Robinson employs a technique that works beautifully:
A best-selling mystery novelist shares pieces of her unpublished
memoir that directly relate to the crime.
A perfectly paced story with complex, multi-layered characters,
In a Dry Season provides enough clues to involve
readers and keep them guessing without giving away too much.
While rich with police procedures, there’s also a psychological
component that’s very engaging. Readers will ask themselves
questions about the motives of possible suspects from the
past and possible suspects from the present, in addition to
wondering about the motivations behind the behavior of Banks
and Cabbot as they flesh out the details of this difficult