Read In a Dry Season Online

Authors: Peter Robinson

Tags: #Mystery, #Thriller

In a Dry Season

More Acclaim for
In a Dry Season

“A stylish and gently reflective tale.”

—
Chicago Tribune

“His best by far … Peter Robinson is one of Canada's least appreciated crime writers. His series … featuring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is consistently fine, and Robinson continues to stretch his talents, refusing to settle into the routine of creating charming British formula mysteries for an avid audience.”

—
The Globe and Mail

“The successful combination of the personal and the professional makes
In a Dry Season
another Robinson winner, well-written, deftly plotted and satisfyingly complete.”

—
The London Free Press

“Peter Robinson is an expert plotter with an eye for telling detail … The characters have complexity and the issues range broad and deep.”

—
The New York Times Book Review

“Those who have not discovered Peter Robinson's literary procedurals should not miss
In a Dry Season
. A seamless weaving of the past and present, with each illuminating the other.”

—
San Antonio Express-News

Acclaim for
Dead Right

“This novel is Robinson at his best. A well plotted whodunnit, with solid characters and writings.”

—
The Gazette
(Montreal)

“Dead-on again … There is a sense of an older style of mystery writing at work within his series, a throwback to Josephine Tey and Ngaio Marsh … With nine Inspector Banks novels under his belt, Robinson has delivered enough installments now to
make for a satisfying long read, beginning with
Gallow's View
and culminating with
Dead Right
.”

—
Edmonton Journal

“A very satisfying read … Like the late, great Raymond Chandler, Peter Robinson writes good mysteries laced with social comment.”

—
Calgary Herald

Acclaim for
Innocent Graves

“Robinson adds another level of nuance to his already fully dimensioned fiction and takes a quantum leap as a writer.”

—
Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“Robinson's work has an energy and imagination that makes it as fresh as it was in the beginning. In fact, this novel is one of the top three so far. This one is good right to the end.”

—
The Globe and Mail

“The characters have complexity and the issues range broad and deep, raising interesting moral questions about bigotry, class privilege and the terrible crime of being different.”

—
The New York Times Book Review

Acclaim for
Wednesday's Child

“His best work yet ... You really won't put this one down until the final paragraph.”

—
The Globe and Mail

“He is steadily ascending toward the pinnacle of crime fiction.”

—
Publishers Weekly

“With
Wednesday's Child
, Peter Robinson shows himself to be one of the very best crime novelists, and much more in control of his material and disturbing in his vision than certain much lauded composers of ‘psychological' crime fiction ... This is a superb book, and disturbing.”

—
Books in Canada

PENGUIN CANADA

IN A DRY SEASON
 

PETER ROBINSON
grew up in Leeds, Yorkshire. He emigrated to Canada in 1974 and attended York University and the University of Windsor, where he was later writer-in-residence. His many awards include five Arthur Ellis Awards, the Edgar Award for best short story, The Crime Writers' Association's Dagger in the Library Award, the Torgi talking book of the year, France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and Sweden's Martin Beck Award. His books have been published internationally to great acclaim and translated into fifteen languages. Peter Robinson lives in Toronto.

Other Inspector Banks mysteries

Gallows View

A Dedicated Man

A Necessary End

The Hanging Valley

Past Reason Hated

Wednesday's Child

Final Account

Innocent Graves

Dead Right

Cold Is the Grave

Aftermath

The Summer That Never Was

Playing with Fire

Strange Affair

Piece of My Heart

Inspector Banks collections

Meet Inspector Banks

(includes
Gallows View, A Dedicated Man
and
A Necessary End
)

Inspector Banks Investigates

(includes
The Hanging Valley, Past Reason Hated
and
Wednesday's Child
)

The Return of Inspector Banks

(includes
Innocent Graves, Final Account
and
Dead Right
)

Also by Peter Robinson

Caedmon's Song

No Cure for Love

Not Safe After Dark

PETER ROBINSON

AN INSPECTOR BANKS MYSTERY

IN A DRY SEASON

PENGUIN CANADA

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Canada Inc.)

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published in a Viking Canada hardcover by Penguin Group (Canada), a division of Pearson Canada Inc., 1999

Published in Penguin Canada paperback by Penguin Group (Canada), a division of Pearson Canada Inc., 2000

Published in this edition, 2006

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (WEB)

Copyright © Peter Robinson, 1999

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

Publisher's note: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Manufactured in Canada.

LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA CATALOGUING IN PUBLICATION

Robinson, Peter, 1950–

In a dry season : an Inspector Banks mystery / Peter Robinson.

First published: Toronto : Viking, 1999.

ISBN-13: 978-0-14-305222-7

ISBN-10: 0-14-305222-5

I. Title.

PS8585.O35176I48  2006    C813'.54    C2006-902178-3

Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

Visit the Penguin Group (Canada) website at
www.penguin.ca

Special and corporate bulk purchase rates available; please see

www.penguin.ca/corporatesales
or call 1-800-399-6858, ext. 477 or 474

For Dad and Averil

Elaine and Mick

and Adam and Nicola

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

L.P. Hartley,
The Go-Between

Prologue: August
1967

It was the Summer of Love and I had just buried my husband when I first went back to see the reservoir that had flooded my childhood village.

I made the journey only a few months after Ronald and I had returned from one of our frequent long spells abroad. Spells that had suited me well for many years. Ronald, too, had suited me well. He was a decent man and a good husband, quite willing to accept that our marriage was one of convenience. I believe he saw me as an asset in his diplomatic career, though it was certainly neither my dazzling beauty nor my sparkling wit that snared him. I was, however, presentable and intelligent, in addition to being an exceptionally good dancer.

Whatever the reason, I became adept at playing the minor diplomat's wife. It seemed a small price to pay. In a way, I was Ronald's passport to career success and promotion, and—though I never told him this—he was my passport to flight and escape. I married him because I knew we would spend our lives far away from England, and I wanted to be as far away from England as possible. Now, after more than ten years abroad, it doesn't seem to matter very much. I shall be quite content to live out the rest of my days in the Belsize Park flat. Ronald, always a shrewd investor, also left me a tidy sum of money. Enough, at least, to live on for some years and to buy myself a new Triumph sports car. A red one. With a radio.

And so, singing along with “All You Need is Love,” “Itchycoo Park” and “See Emily Play,” listening to the occasional news bulletins about Joe Orton's murder and the closing-down of the offshore pirate radio stations, I headed back to Hobb's End for the first time in more than twenty years. For some reason I have never been able to explain, I enjoyed the raw, naïve and whimsical new music the young people were listening to, even though I was in my early forties. It made me long to be young again: young without the complications of my own youth; young without the war; young without the heartbreak; young without the terror and the blood.

I don't think I saw another car after I left the main road outside Skipton. It was one of those perfect summer days when the air smells sweet with the perfume of cut grass and wild flowers. I fancied I could even smell the warm exhalations of the drystone walls. Berries shone like polished garnets on the rowan trees. Tewits soared and tumbled over the meadows and sheep bleated their pitiful calls from the far dalesides. The colours were all so vibrant, the green greener than ever, the blue of the cloudless sky piercingly bright.

Not far beyond Grassington I lost my way. I stopped and asked two men carrying out repairs to a drystone wall. It was a long time since I had heard the characteristic broad speech of the Dales and at first it sounded foreign to me. Finally I understood, thanked them and left them scratching their heads over the strange middle-aged lady with the sunglasses, the pop music and the flashy red sports car.

The old lane stopped at the edge of the woods, so I had to get out and walk the rest of the way along a crooked dirt path. Clouds of gnats whined above my head, wrens flitted through the undergrowth and blue tits hopped from branch to branch.

At last I broke out of the woods and stood at the edge of the reservoir. My heart pulsed into my throat and I had to lean against one of the trees. The bark felt rough on my palms. For a moment, skin flushed and fingers tingling, I thought I was going to faint. But it passed.

There had been trees long ago, of course, but not as many, and most of them had been to the north of the village, in Rowan Woods. When I had lived there, Hobb's End had been a village in a valley. Now I gazed upon a lake surrounded by forest.

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