Short-story crime novel falls a little flat

2009-12-23 00:00


The Price of Love

Peter Robinson

Hodder and Stoughton

NOT having read a Peter Robinson before, but aware that he has a huge following for his character of Alan Banks, Brit detective, I was anticipating a riveting read.

The Price of Love is a collection of short stories, most of them unrelated to Banks, but with the final story­ taking the form of a Banks novella­.

Like a Virgin goes back 20 years to the days before DNA testing at crime scenes when Banks was a young copper in downtown London. A new Jack-the-Ripper type serial killer is making short work of prostitutes, so Banks follows his gut instinct and discovers the clues to uncover the killer’s identity.

Having finished the book, I was left underawed and unsatisfied. It was much like anticipating a sumptuous banquet, only to find that there was no salt in any of the food.

I guessed immediately whodunnit in the novella and found the other stories mostly pretty flat.

But I found that I warmed to Banks and have asked to borrow a book or two of his other adventures. He seemes a likeable guy, with just the right amount of human failings to make him believable.

A jaded outlook, I don’t deny, but as far as crime stories go, perhaps living in Pietermaritzburg and South Africa, with ours so much more dramatic­, brutal and gory than the murders Robinson dishes up, are simply just bland. Or maybe the medium­ of the short story does not allow Robinson to season and spice up his subject matter fully.

Either way, it’s not a book I would recommend.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.