'The summer that never was' by Peter Robinson

The summer that never was is a detective story, written by Peter Robinson and which the main character is Inspector Alan Banks:

While Banks is having a well-deserved rest on a Greek island, a skeleton is dug up in the place where a new shopping centre is going to be built. Then, they find out that the bones belong to a boy between 12 and 15 that went missing 20 or 30 years ago.

Inspector Banks learns about this case while reading an article in and old newspaper, and afterwards it is also known that the boy is Graham Marshalls, who turns out to be a childhood friend of Banks, who disappeared in 1965. Banks has never forgotten his friend, and he has always felt guilty: some days before the disappearance of his friend, a man tried to grasp him, but he managed to escape. He never told this to anybody, because he didn’t want to get into trouble, as he was skipping a class. It was the main reason why he became a policeman.

After this, Banks decides to go back to England, trying to help.

A parallel to this case, (of which Michelle Hart is in charge), is the disappearance of Luke Armitage: a fifteen-year-old boy, son of a famous footballer and a model, which Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot (Banks’ ex lover) is investigating , , . Because this is thought to be a case of kidnapping, but it is not really clear, so Banks is asked for help. Annie Cabbot knows about Banks feelings of guilt in Michelle Hart’s case, so she understands his interest but she asks him to be careful, because he could be a suspect.

At this stage, Inspector Banks gets involved in both cases, quite different but with many similarities, and in Bank’s mind, Luke Armitage and Graham Marshall become one, and he will have to go back to his past if he wants to get the key to both cases.

The plot takes place in England nowadays. The novel is easy to read, and you will never get confused between both cases. Once you start to read you realize you will have to read more Alan Bank’s novels, and I also recommend it to you.

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