Synopsis: When last seen alive, sixteen-year-old Deborah Harrison was on her way home from school. Her friend Megan thinks she saw the shadowy figure of a man behind Deborah as they waved goodbye on the bridge, but the fog was so thick that evening she can’t be sure. Not long after, Deborah’s body is found in the local cemetery. The murder terrorises the wealthy enclave of St Mary’s, Eastvale, and because Deborah was the daughter of a prominent industrialist, high-flying new Chief Constable Jeremiah ‘Jimmy’ Riddle puts pressure on Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his team to catch the killer without delay. And soon, partly thanks to the work of new boy Detective Inspector Barry Stott, it looks as if they have done…
But Banks is not convinced. While the community breathes a collective sigh of relief and turns into a lynch-mob, Banks examines the loose ends: a vicar, accused of sexually harassing a refugee worker, who lies about his whereabouts at the time of the murder; his straying wife; a schoolteacher with a dark secret; the accused’s vindictive ex-girlfriend; a teenage thug who has threatened Deborah and her family with violence. And then there are Deborah’s own family secrets. With each new piece of information, a different pattern is formed, until Banks is forced to incur the wrath of Jimmy Riddle if he hopes to solve the case.
4.5 Stars from me!
Peter Robinson had really stepped up in technical skill when he wrote Innocent Graves. It is a very accomplished story with great characters and I genuinely couldn’t pick who the killer was! (I normally always can!)
The killer was in my top 3 of possibles but that was as far as I could narrow it down which made it a really intriguing read for me. I have to confess that the person I’d pegged to have done it, hadn’t!
Always as being a classic detective story, this poses the question of perceived guilt which I found really interesting; do we all base our opinions on what we are told or what we personally know to be true? Is this a massive flaw in the jury trial system?
These older books vary greatly in style from their more modern counterparts, having Banks perpetually smoking in people’s houses and offices makes me smile as it would be so out of place now yet was just ‘the norm’ when these books were written.
Overall, a great read.