Wednesday's child : an Inspector Banks mystery

by Peter Robinson

Paper Book, 1994




New York : Scribner's : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994.


Inspector Alan Banks probes the abduction of a seven-year-old girl, taken from her single-parent mother by a couple masquerading as social workers. By the author of The Hanging Valley.

User reviews

LibraryThing member debavp
This one just didn’t grab me, the entire time reading felt more chore like. Partly I think as I didn’t believe all was lost when the victim was announced, but maybe more so in that it seemed Robinson was not going to be prone to detail with any of the characters. After finishing I think I see why that was, but still, the story could have been so much more, instead it really left you unexcited as to what the central characters might get up to from here.… (more)
LibraryThing member Heptonj
I was right, these Inspector Banks books are a very good read.

John Banks finds himself up against a very frightening, clever and unstable criminal. There are random crimes seemingly unrelated including the abduction of a young girl and a murder. Gradually, they all seem to link together leading to an exciting conclusion.… (more)
LibraryThing member ashergabbay
“Wednesday’s Child” is the sixth book in the Inspector Adam Banks detective series by Peter Robinson.

Seven-year-old Gemma is kidnapped from her home, willingly given away by her confused mother to a well-dressed and well-spoken couple who claimed to be social workers. A couple of days later, the body of a young man is found in the ruins of an old lead mine. Two seemingly unrelated cases which (surprise!) converge into one intricate case for our dear Inspector Banks.

Except Banks plays somewhat of a secondary role in this book. Robinson has chosen to make Banks’ boss and sometimes mentor, Superintendent Gristhope, the main lead of the kidnapping investigation. A similar case many years back haunts the veteran detective’s memories as he frantically tries to get to the abducted girl before she is murdered. Finding Gemma’s bloodied clothes in a field does not raise hopes that he can win this race against time.

The plot of this book is less surprising that in previous Alan Banks books. The abductor/murderer character is revealed well in advance of the ending. It seems Robinson took somewhat of a pause in “Wednesday’s Child” to develop some of the characters that surround Banks, most notably Gristhope but also others. In a way I found this book to be a more relaxing read, despite the gruesome crime committed in the very first chapter.
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LibraryThing member -Eva-
Inspector Banks is following the leads on a dead body found in a mine while Superintendent Gristhorpe is investigating two fake social workers who have abducted a child, but the two cases soon turn out to have a close connection. This installment works at a slower pace than the others I've read, but that's because there's time spent on properly introducing Banks' coworkers since they play a larger part in this than before. As is true with the rest of the series, this is a solid police procedural with an interesting, if not complex, plot and some very good characters. The audiobook reader, James Langton, does a great job with the voices and doesn't dumb down the Yorkshire dialect too much (one of the previous installments has a truly horrific reader, so I'm very grateful Langton took over).… (more)
LibraryThing member tripleblessings
This is the 5th Inspector Banks novel by Canadian author Peter Robinson. Set in the English village of Swainshead, where a seven-year-old girl is kidnapped, and there is a dreadful possibility of ritual satanic abuse. A corpse is found at an abandoned mine. When the two cases converge, Inspector Banks confronts one of the most truly terrifying villains he will ever meet. This is a very good series, growing more fascinating and richly detailed with each book.… (more)
LibraryThing member Romonko
I am becoming a big fan of Inspector Banks mysteries. He is such an ordinary "copper", and I love watching his thought processes as he tries to solve a case. In this case, a seven year old girl goes missing. All the stops are pulled out to try to find her, but before they can they find a murdered man in an abandoned quarry? It doesn't look like the two cases are related but as Banks investigates he finds out all kinds of things, and he finds a link between the two cases. I love the characters in these books, and I love the mysteries. For anyone who likes British police procedurals, this is not a series to be missed.… (more)
LibraryThing member the.ken.petersen
My idea of a good fictional story is one that sets realistic people in a fantastic situation. Nobody wants to read about their everyday, mundane life but, for me, when Superman, or Wonder Woman turns up, the connection to the human is broken. Peter Robinson does the ordinary cop very well. Inspector Banks is good at his job, but don't expect him to deduce the murderer from a trace of rare grass on the victim's shoe, or to leap at the criminal and down him with a swift karate chop.

Through the series of Banks books, the characters, not just Banks, but his wife, his boss, Grisethorpe, and the DC's with whom he works, all develop in a believable way. Details mentioned, en passant in an earlier work are enhanced, as necessary, further into the series and the group of characters all have reality.

I do not want to make these books seem too much like great works of literature, they are not intended so to be. They are cracking pieces of escapism. The thing that I enjoy most in these books is that I am always just half a page ahead of the detective. Robinson knows instinctively, just when to release information to the reader and when to allow his hero to recognise the significance. I never find myself chapters ahead and irritated by Banks' dim-wittedness, or amazed by a thought that hadn't struck me; although, it has been known for me to be lead, skilfully, down a blind alley for a while!

The murders are not too bloodthirstily drawn, or the solutions too far fetched. Naturally, they may not be exactly true to police procedure, but, they are sufficiently so to convince me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have each of the other tales in the series. I eke them out as an occasional treat and my only difficulty is in not guzzling all my treats in the one sitting! I can't wait to get to the next time when I think that I deserve a purely for pleasure read!

I shall only say a little about the story: I do not want to spoil it for any new readers of Robinson's oeuvre. This tale concerns the abduction of a child and a particularly brutal murder. The two cases do not appear to be connected but Banks feels that it would be quite a coincidence for two major criminals to be operating in Eastvale at the same time. You'll have to read the book to find out if he is right (and he isn't always - not at first, at least!).
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LibraryThing member crazeedi73
Excellent, best one so far
LibraryThing member EadieB
Another good read by Peter Robinson. Child abduction is a difficult subject but at least it was a happy ending. Lots of twists keeps you interested until the end. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
LibraryThing member nbmars
This is the sixth in the Inspector Banks series, set in Yorkshire, England. The story begins with the kidnapping of seven-year-old Gemma Scupham, although no ransom is every demanded. The kidnappers had posed as social workers, who claimed they were investigating rumors of abuse towards the child.

Then, another heinous crime (a grisly murder) is discovered in the same rural area, and the police think the crimes might be related because serious crimes hardly ever happen in that semi-rural district.

Detective Inspector Alan Banks is taken off the kidnapping case, and assigned to the grisly murder. Much of the novel follows Banks’s boss, Detective Superintendent Gristhorpe, as he follows up leads in the kidnapping case. Are the crimes related after all? And what happened to Gemma?

Every part of the book is well written; but the abrupt (cataclysmic?) change of tone at the end seems inconsistent with the rest of the book.

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LibraryThing member EadieB
Book Description When two social workers, investigating reports of child abuse, appear at Brenda Scupham's door, her fear of authority leads her to comply meekly with their requests. Even when they say they must take her seven-year old daughter away for tests.

My Review Another good read by Peter Robinson. Child abduction is a difficult subject but at least it was a happy ending. Lots of twists keeps you interested until the end. Looking forward to the next book in the series.… (more)
LibraryThing member Suzannie1
old book but great story , regarding A child abduction and a mother that doesnt really care and criminal underworld involving child trafficking .
LibraryThing member tututhefirst
I've read a few of these over the years, and thoroughly enjoy them. Good police procedurals, believable characters, and on the edge of your seat plots. This one concerns a child who is "borrowed by social workers" (so says the mother) and then not returned. Inspector Banks and team are led a merry chase by an especially ugly, nasty, and clever villain to a not predictable (at least by me) ending. I'm going to try to catch up/keep up with this series during the next two years of reading. I just looked and there are 22 of these - maybe I'd better make that 5 years.… (more)

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