Close to Home — Peter Robinson **

The Inspector Banks series of mystery novels is very popular, both in England and here, so let me say right up front: I’m not the right reader for these stories. Many other authors and readers whose taste I generally share like them, but I can’t figure out why. Inspector Banks is a dark character, moody, almost morose, which would be fine, except that the story just plods along. There is a heaviness to it, a lack of energy, that drained me. Am I spoiled by American mystery/thrillers which bubble on the page? Maybe. On the other hand, I kept running into paragraphs which struck me as nothing more than padding. A woman detective watching from a hiding place in the summer. It’s very hot. Three paragraphs of being hot; another of where to pee. I didn’t learn much about her except that she wears pantyhose; the story moved along not at all.

I had high hopes for Inspector Robinson, and find myself disappointed.