‘The Summer That Never Was/ Close To Home’ is Peter Robinson’s 13th Inspector Banks novel.
Banks is holidaying in Greece when he reads that a body has been found near where he grew up. When Banks was 14 years old, one of his friends, Graham Marshall, went missing. His remains have finally been unearthed. The disappearance in 1965 has haunted Banks for most of his life and he feels that he must return to England see if he can help the investigating officer DI Michelle Hart.
Meanwhile in Banks’s home patch of Eastvale, a teenage boy has gone missing. Luke Armitage comes from a high profile family. His mother was a famous model, his stepfather a footballer and his father (dead for many years) was a famous rock musician. In Alan’s absence, Annie Cabot is dealing with the case but because of its profile, Alan is called back home.
The two stories are interwoven throughout the novel, along with the music of the present and of Banks’s teenage years.
Banks realises that many events that he took for granted as a teenager now lead to real clues in working out what happened to Graham while an event that has left Banks feeling guilty since Graham’s disappearance turns out to be less significant. Banks works closely with Michelle and with his affair with Annie Cabot over, he finds his relationship with Michelle extending beyond work. Threats are made against Michelle and there are indications that a cover-up took place in Graham’s original investigation, but after 30 years it is difficult to find any answers.
There are no shortage of suspects in Luke Armitage’s disappearance and subsequent murder. It takes all of Annie’s and Banks’s skills to finally work out what happened to the sensitive and talented Luke Armitage.
This was an excellent novel. The series just keeps getting better. I enjoyed finding out about Banks’s teenage years and it was good to find out what happened to Graham as he has been mentioned several times in the series.
I’m not sure of the relationship between Banks and the lovely Michelle Hart will extend beyond the end of the case. Banks seems to have a talent for choosing troubled souls for girlfriends since splitting up with his wife Sandra.
I’m looking forward to continuing the series with – ‘Playing With Fire’.
Book Published 2003