Peter Robinson The Summer That Never Was

ISBN 13 : 9781447225546

The Summer That Never Was

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9781447225546: The Summer That Never Was
Extrait :

1
Trevor Dickinson was hungover and bad-tempered when he turned up for work on Monday morning. His mouth tasted like the bottom of a birdcage, his head was throbbing like the speakers at a heavy metal concert, and his stomach was lurching like a car with a dirty carburetor. He had already drunk half a bottle of Milk of Magnesia and swallowed four extra-strength Paracetamol, with no noticeable effect.

When he arrived at the site, Trevor found he had to wait until the police had cleared away the last of the demonstrators before he could start work. There were five left, all sitting cross-legged in the field. Environmentalists. One was a little grey-haired old lady. Ought to be ashamed of herself, Trevor thought, a woman of her age squatting down on the grass with a bunch of bloody Marxist homosexual tree-huggers.

He looked around for some clue as to why anyone would want to save those particular few acres. The fields belonged to a farmer who had recently been put out of business by a combination of mad cow disease and foot-and-mouth. As far as Trevor knew, there weren’t any rare pink-nippled fart warblers that couldn’t nest anywhere else in the entire country; nor were there any ivy-leafed lark’s-turds lurking in the hedgerows. There weren’t even any trees, unless you counted the shabby row of poplars that grew between the fields and the A1, stunted and choked from years of exhaust fumes.

The police cleared away the demonstrators — including the old lady — by picking them up bodily and carting them off to a nearby van, then they gave the go-ahead to Trevor and his fellow workers. The weekend’s rain had muddied the ground, which made manoeuvring more difficult than usual, but Trevor was a skilled operator, and he soon got his dipper shovel well below the topsoil, hoisting his loads high and dumping them into the waiting lorry. He handled the levers with an innate dexterity, directing the complex system of clutches, gears, shafts and winch drums like a conductor, scooping as much as the power shovel could hold, then straightening it so as not to spill any when he lifted it up and over to the lorry.

Trevor had been at work well over two hours when he thought he saw something sticking out of the dirt.

Leaning forward from his seat and rubbing condensation from the inside window of the cab, he squinted to see what it was, and when he saw, it took his breath away. He was looking at a human skull, and what was worse was that it seemed to be looking right back at him.

***

Alan Banks didn’t feel in the least bit hungover, but he knew he’d drunk too much ouzo the night before when he saw that he had left the television on. The only channels it received were Greek, and he never watched it when he was sober.

Banks groaned, stretched and made some of the strong Greek coffee he had become so attached to his during his first week on the island. While the coffee was brewing, he put on a cd of Mozart arias, picked up one of last week’s newspapers he hadn’t read yet and walked out on the balcony. Though he had brought his Discman, he felt fortunate that the small time-share flat had a mini stereo system with a cd player. He had brought a stack of his favourite cds with him, including Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Schubert, Walton, the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin.

He stood by the iron railings listening to “Parto, ma tu ben mio” and looking down at the sea beyond the jumbled terraces of rooftops and walls, a cubist composition of intersecting blue and white planes. The sun was shining in a perfect blue sky, the way it had done every day since he had arrived. He could smell wild lavender and rosemary in the air. A cruise ship had just dropped anchor, and the first launches of the day were carrying their loads of excited camera-bearing tourists to the harbour, gulls squawking in their wake.

Banks went to pour himself some coffee, then came out again and sat down. His white wooden chair scraped against the terra cotta tiles, scaring the small lizard-like creature that had been basking in the morning sun.

After looking at the old newspaper and perhaps reading a little more of Homer’s Odyssey, Banks thought he would walk down to the village for a long lunch, maybe have a glass or two of wine, pick up some fresh bread, olives and goat’s cheese, then come back for a nap and a little music before spending his evening at the taverna on the quayside playing chess with Alexandros, as had been his habit since his second day.

There was nothing much that interested him in the newspapers except the sports and arts pages. Rain had stopped play in the third test at Old Trafford, which was hardly news; England had won an important World Cup qualifying match; and it wasn’t the right day of the week for the book or record reviews. He did, however, notice a brief report on a skeleton uncovered by a construction worker at the site of a new shopping centre by the A1, not far from Peterborough. He only noticed it because he had spent a good part of his early life in Peterborough, and his parents still lived there.

He put the newspaper aside and watched the gulls swoop and circle. They looked as if they were drifting on waves of Mozart’s music. Drifting, just like him. He thought back to his second conversation with Alexandros. During their game of chess, Alex had paused, looked seriously at Banks and said, “You seem like a man with many secrets, Alan, a very sad man. What is it you are running from?”

Banks had thought about that a lot. Was he running? Yes, in a way. Running from a failed marriage and a botched romance, and from a job that had threatened, for the second time in his life, to send him over the edge with its conflicting demands, its proximity to violent death and all that was worst in people. He was seeking a temporary escape, at least.

From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse :

“Refreshingly down to earth.” (New York Times)

“[A] painful but enlightening journey into the past.” (New York Times Book Review)

“This one is entertaining and sophisticated, crime writing of a high order.” (Washington Post)

“Suspenseful and engrossing.” (Orlando Sentinel)

“Lots of suspense...richly complex...satisfying and subtle.” (Publishers Weekly)

“So readable....” (Seattle Times)

“Highly readable... [Robinson is] one of those first-class storytellers.” (National Post)

“Robinson again shows himself to be as astute a writer as P.D. James.” (Library Journal)

“An exhilarating police procedural.” (Midwest Book Review)

“Stunningly complex and intricately plotted...entertained me with every twist.” (Nevada Barr)

“Cunning....authentic and atmospheric.” (The Independent (London))

“Robinson, actually seems to grow in front of our eyes, delivering books of greater complexity each time.” (Otto Penzler)

“Splendid.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“The equal of legends in the genre such as P.D. James and Ruth Rendell.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Praise for Aftermath“A devilishly good plotter...[Robinson’s] characterizations are so subtle that even the psychological profiler is stumped.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Engrossing...seamlessly plotted.” (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)

“A winner....Returning to the world of Alan Banks is, as always, a pleasure.” (Boston Globe)

“Robinson spins and intricate web...an excellent crime novel.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“A proven master...Robinson should find a large audience for this gripping, psychologically astute tale.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Highly textured... Banks is a multidimensional figure struggling to cope with his private demons while directing murder investigations.” (Tampa Tribune)

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Peter Robinson
Edité par Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom (2014)
ISBN 10 : 1447225546 ISBN 13 : 9781447225546
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Description du livre Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. État : New. New edition. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A skeleton has been unearthed. Soon the body is identified, and the horrific discovery hits the headlines .Fourteen-year-old Graham Marshall went missing during his paper round in 1965. The police found no trace of him. His disappearance left his family shattered, and his best friend, Alan Banks, full of guilt .That friend has now become Chief Inspector Alan Banks, and he is determined to bring justice for Graham. But he soon realises that in this case, the boundary between victim and perpetrator, between law-guardian and law-breaker, is becoming more and more blurred . N° de réf. du libraire AA79781447225546

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Description du livre Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. État : New. New edition. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A skeleton has been unearthed. Soon the body is identified, and the horrific discovery hits the headlines .Fourteen-year-old Graham Marshall went missing during his paper round in 1965. The police found no trace of him. His disappearance left his family shattered, and his best friend, Alan Banks, full of guilt .That friend has now become Chief Inspector Alan Banks, and he is determined to bring justice for Graham. But he soon realises that in this case, the boundary between victim and perpetrator, between law-guardian and law-breaker, is becoming more and more blurred . N° de réf. du libraire AA79781447225546

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