‘Innocent Graves’ is the 8th Inspector Banks book by Peter Robinson. Once again Robinson has done an excellent job with his Yorkshire DI Alan Banks and this book kept me guessing till almost the very end (although I suspected many different people along the way).
16 year old Deborah Harrison is found strangled and her body displayed in a graveyard. She was beautiful, from a wealthy family, and had everything going for her.
Banks and his team have difficulties investigating the crime right from the start. The Harrison family are wealthy and are personal friends of Chief Constable Jimmy Riddle, so they have been declared off-limits.
Suspects include Rebecca Charters who is the Vicar’s wife and who found the body, Patrick Metcalfe a school history teacher who has been having an affair with Rebecca, the Vicar – Daniel Charters who is under suspicion for other crimes, a Croation refugee Ive Jelacic who used to work at the graveyard, John Spinks who Deborah spent time with the previous summer, Owen Pierce – a school teacher who became involved with one of his students, as well as Deborah’s parents Sir Geoffrey and Silvie and their close friend Michael Clayton.
When forensic evidence is found linking Owen Pierce to Deborah Harrison, the police are convinced that they have their man.
Much of the story is presented from Pierce’s point of view – what it is like to be arrested and tried for murder and his feelings during the court case. Not only is Pierce tried by the courts but also by the public who condemn him long before his case goes to trial.
This was an excellent book. It was good to see the story through another character’s eyes.
A number of issues are raised by the story, including wealth and privilege and public perception of guilt. People accused of a crime can have their lives ruined even if they are later found to be innocent.
This was a very satisfying read. The series seems to get better with each book and I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series – ‘Dead Right/ Blood at the Root’.
Book Published 1996