This is the 22nd novel in the “Inspector Banks” series, featuring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his staff in Yorkshire, Great Britain. (The book was published in Britain with the title Abattoir Blues.)
This installment begins with DI Annie Cabbot and DC Dougal Wilson (a Harry Potter lookalike, it seems), heading out to the countryside to investigate the theft of a tractor. Simultaneously, DS Winsome Jackman is looking into the discovery of possibly human remains at an abandoned airfield. The blood and body bits were found when a local veteran and war hero, Terry Gilchrist, was walking his dog. Soon enough, the threads of the stories interconnect, and focus on a likely suspect, Michael Lane, who is now missing. His occasional job partner, Morgan Spencer, also cannot be found. It begins to appear that a crime ring specializing in stolen farm equipment is in operation, but something went wrong and a gruesome murder was committed. And then, in an edge-of-your-seat riveting dénouement, one of the team’s investigators gets a little to close to discovering the truth and to meeting the same fate.
Evalution: This book offers lots of suspense, with breaks from the tension with aptly selected humor and forays into the teams’ personal lives, and an overall good story that – by the way – ought to encourage meat-eating readers to consider vegetarianism.
This was my first book in the series, but I didn’t feel lost at all. I could tell, however, that I missed a great deal of backstory, such as the dissolution of Banks’ marriage. But the writing is good enough that I fully intend to go back to the beginning with this series and find out all the ins and outs of everyone’s lives prior to the time of this latest book. Books in the series have garnered a number of awards, including the Arthur Ellis Award, the Anthony Award, and the Edgar Award.
Published in the U.S. by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2015