Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson

‘Cold is the Grave’ is Peter Robinson’s 11th DI Banks novel and once again this is a step up from the previous novel. The plot is complex as are the main characters.

Chief Constable ‘Jimmy’ Riddle and Alan Banks have never got on with each other. So, Banks is surprised to receive a phone call from Riddle late on a stormy night.

Riddle’s daughter Emily left home for the bright lights of London soon after her 16th birthday. Now the Riddles have found nude photos of their daughter on the internet. They appreciate that she may not want to come home but they want to make sure she is safe. Riddle also wants to avoid a family scandal interfering with his political ambitions. Banks’s investigative skills and unorthodox methods are just what Riddle needs to find his daughter.

Banks quickly tracks down Emily and to everyone’s surprise, brings her home. She was living with a wealthy gangster, named Barry Clough, of a similar age to her father.

Meanwhile with changes to policing in the area, Banks is finally doing some ‘real’ work. A local small time criminal has been murdered execution style, his body found hundreds of miles from home. Banks and his team eventually link this to other murders and thefts and a complete web of crime.

Then tragedy strikes the Riddle family and once again Banks finds himself forced to deal with a family he would rather avoid. But this time it is murder and with a personal interest in the case, Banks is determined to get to the bottom of it.

With the growth of the Eastvale police department, Annie Cabot has now joined the team. Her past relationship with Banks creates tension between them that has the potential to interfere with their work. There seems to be no alternative than to give in to their feelings for each other.


This was a brilliant story with underlying themes of family and secrets. The multiple sub-plots came together well at the end of the story and we got to know the main characters (Banks and Annie) a bit better. We also saw a different side to Riddle. I’m looking forward to continuing the series with ‘Aftermath’.


Book Published 2000


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