‘Children of the Revolution’ is Peter Robinson’s 21st DCI Banks novel. The series started in 1987 with ‘Gallows View’. Over the years we have seen DCI Banks age at a similar pace to that at which the series has been written. In this novel he is 59 and frequently reminded about his pending retirement – or the possibility of a few extra years in a Chief Superintendent role.
Banks and his team are assigned to investigate the death of an ex-college lecturer. Gavin Miller lost his job at Eastvale College four years ago after being accused of sexual misconduct. He has been living in poverty since then. His body has been found below an old rail bridge with indications that he was pushed. He has £5000 in his pocket – a staggering amount for someone in his circumstances.
As Banks and his team start to track back through Gavin Miller’s life, they find plenty of potential suspects for his murder. Were the girls who accused Miller of misconduct genuine or did they set him up? Could Miller’s conflict with a drug dealer at the college have led to his death? Were Miller’s colleagues really his friends? Or could the murderer be from further back in Miller’s past, when he studied at Essex University in the politically charges early ’70s?
Miller’s association with one woman in particular grabs Banks’ attention. Ronnie Bellamy was from an aristocratic background and returned to that life after Essex. Miller recently contacted her. When Banks tries to find out more about the association, it is obvious that he is being lied to and his superiors quickly warn him off ‘harassing his betters’. But Banks never could toe the line with his superiors and leaves no stone unturned in investigating the circumstances of Gavin Miller’s death.
I found the first 2/3 of this novel to be very slow, but the last 1/3 more than made up for it. Perhaps someone who knows Banks better would have enjoyed the early parts more.
What I enjoyed most about the novel was – Banks’s relationships with his colleagues and the picture painted of England both now and in the early ‘70s.
Book Published 2013