Review: Sleeping in the Ground – Peter Robinson


Genre: Mystery, crime fiction

Publication Date: 13th July 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton

Format: eARC from HarperCollins via Edelweiss

A shocking mass-murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course.

But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for.

When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.


NOTE: This review is from my mum, who is a longtime fan of Peter Robinson’s books. Personally, I do enjoy them, and whilst they can be read as standalone books, I do want to read them in order, but I’m not far through the series, as crime is not a genre I often opt for. 

Having read every novel written by Peter Robinson, I eagerly awaited the release of his latest novel. And it didn’t disappoint.

Usually it takes me a chapter or so to settle into a new story but Sleeping in the Ground had me gripped from the very first page. The reader is plunged straight into the scene of the crime, with a detailed description, that is both eloquent and shocking, of the events that unfold and is therefore drawn into the plot immediately. Each of the old characters are then introduced, which expertly takes you back into the familiar world of DCI Banks and his team (though strictly speaking, now Detective Superintendent Banks). The characters interact with the easy familiarity of a team who have worked together on many occasions, fitting back into their roles instantly recognisable by the reader. Old characters are also reintroduced.

The book is centred around a mass murder at an English country wedding and has enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested throughout. The main characters slot back into familiar patterns, pulling the reader into the plot. But these characters, who feel like old friends, also continue to grow as you learn more about them. The story jumps from one aspect of the investigation to the next, from past relationships to present life events, but in a logical way that doesn’t leave you desperately flicking from one chapter to another. Occasionally there are cliffhangers, often twists and surprises, but these just add to the enjoyment. As always, Peter Robinson handles the complexities of the plot and his characters brilliantly.

Another great novel by Peter Robinson. In my opinion, one of the best DCI Banks novels. Looking forward to the next one!


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