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Publisher's Summary

In a Dry Season, winner of the Anthony Award, is an outstanding example of mystery fiction. Peter Robinson's Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks conjures up memories of classic detectives like Philip Marlowe and Sherlock Holmes.

An insufferable drought ravages the Yorkshire countryside, depleting the Thornfield Reservoir, revealing the remnants of the flooded town of Hobb's End and the terrible secrets kept safe within its watery tomb. Amongst the ruins, the remains of a woman's body are discovered. Detective Banks deduces that the woman was strangled and repeatedly stabbed more than 50 years ago. His investigation takes him on a treacherous quest to bring a killer, who has escaped detection for over a half a century, to justice.

Robinson pushes the boundaries of the genre by giving listeners fresh insights into the myriad nuances of crime fiction. Ron Keith immerses himself in his multiple roles and superbly voices the novel's complexities.

Follow Inspector Alan Banks as he investigates Yorkshire's toughest crimes.
©2000 Peter Robinson (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Anyone who loves a good mystery should curl up gratefully with a cuppa to enjoy this rich 10th installment of the acclaimed British police procedural series....Once again, Robinson's work stands out for its psychological and moral complexity, its startling evocation of pastoral England, and its gritty, compassionate portrayal of modern sleuthing." (Publishers Weekly) "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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Hallie
  • south hiram, ME, USA
  • 05-28-04

Well Constructed Mystery

This is a totally absorbing mystery. I became completely involved with the well drawn characters. The book switches very smoothly from present to past and back again throughout the story which takes place in an English Village during World War II. The reader is gradually privy to the facts while the modern day detectives search the past to uncover the history of the body found in the dry reservoir. In A Dry Season is a very good novel and well worth a credit or purchase. Enjoy

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Susan
  • Salt Lake City, UT United States
  • 11-03-07

Wonderful mystery

Fascinating plot alternates between the murder 50 years ago to present. Great detective. Reader not bad, although I thought his "voice" for the detective was a bit more bullyish than I found the character. Loved every minute of it. Don't miss it.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

great book

The book is beautifully written and intriquing right to the last word. The reason I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is due to the reader. He does a fine job on the sections that are told in the third person, present day. However, I found his voice off-putting when he was voicing the first person viewpoint of a young girl during the 1940's.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Enjoyable

This was the first Peter Robinson book I've read and I really enjoyed it. The narrator was a bit annoying at first but I soon got used to him. I love all the character development and descriptions; I wished it would never end.
I now hope to read more from this author on the Allan Banks character.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Leanne
  • Nevada City, CA, United States
  • 03-16-12

Narration ruined the book.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'm a die-hard fan of Peter Robinson, but I can't in all honesty recommend this book to anyone, friend or foe. The narrator's delivery is so grating, so alien, it has taken me nearly three years to complete the listen and then, due only to my $$ thrift, since having spent the credit, I couldn't allow it to be totally wasted. Perhaps there is another audiobook category Mr. Keith's delivery might fit? I'm not trying to be flip here, but maybe...Children's Books, or maybe The Wall Street Journal. t's a shame two of Mr Robinson's books have been read by this narrator, when James Langton (my personal favorite for this series) and Simon Vance, both excellent performers have done such credit to Chief Inspector Alan Banks and the Eastvale Police.

What other book might you compare In a Dry Season to and why?

I can't compare this to any other books in the series. The book seemed to depart from other Peter Robinson/ Alan Banks books because the construction and development of the plot is in large part told through a third party, many years after the fact.

Would you be willing to try another one of Ron Keith’s performances?

Absolutely not.

Did In a Dry Season inspire you to do anything?

To write this review.

Any additional comments?

I'm anxious for those books in the series not already on, to become available and allow the series to be complete.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anne
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Terr, Canada
  • 11-01-05

Entertaining and engrossing

This is one of those books that you want to keep listening to, but you don't want to end. The perspective shifted between time periods and characters seamlessly, with the story line unfolding amid rich character development and historic details of the war period. I enjoyed the narration, and found that although the unravelling of the mystery happened in a somewhat predictable fashion, the case was developed plausibly and with good detective work. A recommended listen!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A great Peter Robinson work!!!!!

I choose my mysteries with care and one of Peter Robinson's is not to be missed. I caught this on a recheck to ensure I had read (listened to) all earlier Bank's books. This is one not to be missed by dedicated Alan Banks fans. In this book he meets Annie Cabot for the first time. Sparks fly!! The way the two tales in this book are interwoven is superb. It's a book you will find hard to stop once you begin it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I think that the poetic quality of Robinson's writing really comes through in the narration ... especially the parts where the story is told by the main character from the past (who turns out to be an author in the book's present day). The combination of the narration, the writing style and the story really moves me ... to the extent that I've listened to this book more than a few times. I love the WWII history, the way the story moves between the present and the past, and of course, I love the Alan Banks character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Danea
  • 05-22-05

Great story

...terrible narrator. He really ruins it for me. Since when has someone from Leeds sounded like a silly cockney?

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Too many useless details

There wasnt a lot of mystery in this story. The events are told plainly and with out much build up. I also was bored by the side story of the main detective and his personal life. I found myself wishing my player could automatically skip over the pointless extras about his life. I also was very disappointed by the extra story of a gang rape of one of the side characters. It added nothing to the original story or mystery; it seemed to be thrown in just for the sake of telling a rape story. Very disappointing.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful