We have watched a few of the DI Banks films on TV. He is a fairly miserable detective from Yorkshire with all the usual character flaws. The books are written by Peter Robinson; there are about 20 of them. I have been reading Beyond the Poison, his latest book and one of the three that doesn't feature DI Banks.
A composer of film music returns to Yorkshire from Holywood after his wife dies (sounds like breast cancer). He buys a remote manor house and discovers that in 1953 the wife who owned it then was hanged for killing her husband. He becomes intrigued by the case and is convinced that she wasinnocent; her conviction being due to fifties' moral prejudice. She was having an affair with a young artist only half her age. Her husband oribably died of natural causes. But as he traces the old men who impacted on her life, was there a more sinister story behind it all?
As we discover the background, we disover the history of North Yorkshire in the war and read a vivid account of what it was to be a nurse in the QA in Singapore when the Japanese attacked. The Japanese never signed the Geneva convention and their treatment of prisoners of war was vile. The German use of chemical warfare in WWI prompted the setting up of a British chemical and biological warfare defence establishment at Porton Down. Or was it a chemical and biological warfare attack department?
The book is well written being full of references to the films and music that I admire and is very up=to-date. culminating in the summer of 2011.