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Gallows View

The 1st DCI Banks Mystery
Narrated by: Simon Slater
Series: DCI Banks Mysteries, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
4 out of 5 stars (500 ratings)

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Summary

Gallows View is the first novel in Peter Robinson's best-selling Inspector Banks series. 

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks has recently moved to the Yorkshire Dales from London to escape the stress of the metropolis. But he soon finds that life in the country is not quite as idyllic as he had imagined. 

A peeping Tom is frightening the women of Eastvale. Two glue-sniffing thugs are breaking into homes. An old woman may or may not have been murdered. In addition, Banks has to deal with his attraction to a young psychologist, Jenny Fuller. As the tension mounts, both Jenny and Banks' wife are drawn deeper into events. And Banks realises that his cases are weaving closer and closer together.... 

©2001 Peter Robinson (P)2018 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Comfortable Start to a Popular Series

Cast your mind back to 1987, if you can of course. Mobile phones were hilarious brick-like novelties with fake plastic antennas to convince people they would get better reception. Dempsey and Makepeace was a top-rated crime drama on TV. DNA had only just started to be used in criminal investigations and you could walk down the High Street without appearing on a TV screen more often than a then rather younger Ian Beale. In short, a very different world, not quite Dixon of Dock Green of course but really not so far away as it seemed at the time.

It's into all this that Peter Robinson introduced his creation, DI Banks, an experienced detective who swapped the bright lights of London for the charms of the Yorkshire Dales. Naturally he doesn't quite end up with the quiet life he was hoping for and is immediately thrust into a big caseload ranging from a possible murder to a bothersome peeping tom of all things! Having read a lot of more contemporary detective crime fiction recently it was interesting to note that Banks doesn't have a dark and sinister past. He isn't battling international criminal masterminds, twisted and evil serial killers or notorious drugs barons. Yes indeed this is a good old-fashioned detective story with good old-fashioned detective work being deployed to solve the crimes.

You might feel it's dated a bit but I would say only in the manner of an old, comfortable pair of slippers. They might not win a fashion show but when you sink tired feet into them they satisfy nonetheless. The longevity and popularity of the series suggests that it has managed to stay relevant through the intervening years too. Simon Slater does a fine job of bringing Banks and the supporting characters to life with a pleasing range of voices.

I wouldn't want to mislead and suggest this is just a fluffy piece of nostalgia though. While in this story there are relatively ordinary crimes by the standards of some modern thrillers it does contain violence and even sexual violence against women. It's no soft option in these terms though one desperate alibi given by a suspect will likely make you laugh.

In all this does have a naturally understandable feel of being a little dated and possibly in some ways unsophisticated but it's still a good story and I suspect I will be back for more before too long.

56 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • Salter
  • Herefordshire, UK
  • 12-01-19

Enjoyable crime drama...

Gallows View follows DCI Banks as he finds his feet in Yorkshire, after many years spent with the MET. He's soon on the case, with a Peeping Tom, some pretty thieves and then a potential murder. He soon realises that they're more closely linked than first thought.
I found the story very Midsomer Murders-esque, but it was an enjoyable story, narrated very well by Simon Slater.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Prefer his later books

Although this story is well plotted and the narrator is excellent there is something distasteful and a bit prurient about it. Maybe I’m just old fashioned!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good book

Unfortunately I am not keen on the reader, he makes the characters sound the same.

15 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Genteel detective story

Have probably had my fill of these kind of intelligent, genteel detective stories. The characters and story are a bit dated now although the book is quite well written. Agatha Christie, it is not but OK for a holiday read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Slow to start

Worth persevering as becomes very good Liked the main characters
And would read more of this series


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another enjoyable author found

Bought the first book on the Audible daily offer. Thoroughly enjoyable book so now in danger of using all my credits on his subsequent books. Bring on a 2 for 1 offer on his other books please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Narrator difficult to follow

I was unable to finish book as the narrator made every character sound the same. A shame .

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • Aberdeenshire
  • 05-08-19

Boring and a struggle.

Throw the towel in with 3 hours to go as I found the narration monotonous and the story slow. It wasn’t holding my attention and I didn’t care what happened or who did what to whom.

I’ve not seen the tv series so I can’t compare it. Reading other reviews maybe I should have started with a later book about DC Banks.

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Thought I was listening to the Keystone Cops

Oh dear. This is the only one of the series I will read. Amateur policemen bumbling around. The main detective when made aware that a potential rapist was in his house assaulting his wife decides to go to another crime instead. No more. Please.