Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.
Also known as DCI Banks on ITV with Stephen Tompkinson playing the famous detective.
What is the Detective Chief Inspector Banks series about?
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is a policeman in Yorkshire (England) and the protagonist in a series of novels by English-Canadian crime writer Peter Robinson.
Set in the fictional English town of Eastvale in the Yorkshire Dales, the series follows Banks, a former member of the London Metropolitan Police, who left the capital for a quieter life.
Instead, he found that murder is everywhere and those small communities are full of secrets—sometimes deadly ones.
How to read the Inspector Banks Books in Order?
Every book in the Inspector Banks series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Gallows View – Former London policeman Alan Banks relocated to Yorkshire seeking some small measure of peace. But depravity and violence are not unique to large cities. His new venue, the quaint little village of Eastvale, seems to have more than its fair share of malefactors, among them a brazen Peeping Tom. And when an elderly woman is found brutally slain in her home, Chief Inspector Banks wonders if the voyeur has increased the intensity of his criminal activities.
- A Dedicated Man – A dedicated man is dead in the wild outdoors. It is a particularly heinous slaying, considering the esteem in which the victim, Harry Steadman, was held by his neighbors and colleagues—by everyone. Detective Chief Inspector Banks will have to plumb a dark and shocking local past to find his way to a killer before yesterday’s sins cause more blood to be shed.
- A Necessary End – A peaceful demonstration in the normally quiet town of Eastvale ends with fifty arrests—and the brutal stabbing death of a young constable. But Chief Inspector Banks fears there is worse violence in the offing. For CID Superintendent Richard Burgess has arrived from London to take charge of the investigation, fueled by professional outrage and volatile, long-simmering hatreds.
- The Hanging Valley – Visitors have long been drawn to the beauty and serenity of the Yorkshire countryside. Some never leave—like the hiker whose decomposing corpse is discovered in a wooded valley outside the tiny village of Swainshead. It is the second such homicide to plague the region in recent years, and it is pulling investigating Detective Chief Inspector Banks into a dangerous mire of dark pasts, local power, and private shames.
- Past Reason Hated – Chief Inspector Alan Banks knows that secrecy can sometimes prove fatal, and secrets were the driving force behind Caroline Hartley’s life…and death. She was a beautiful enigma, brutally stabbed in her own home three days prior to Christmas.
- Wednesday’s Child – It was a crime of staggering inhumanity: a seven-year-old girl was taken from her working-class Yorkshire home by an attractive young couple posing as social workers. Chief Inspector Alan Banks feels certain little Gemma Scupham is dead, yet the motive for her kidnapping remains a mystery. No ransom is ever demanded, nor could Gemma’s tortured, guilt-ridden mother afford to pay one.
- Final Account (also known as “Dry Bones That Dream” in the UK) – The victim, a nondescript “numbers cruncher,” was murdered just yards away from his wife and daughter. And the crime scene is one that could chill the blood of even the most seasoned police officer. But the strange revelations about an ordinary accountant’s extraordinary secret life are what truly set Chief Inspector Alan Banks off.
- Innocent Graves – A body is discovered in a graveyard—above ground. It is the sort of horrific crime Chief Inspector Banks fled the city to escape. But the murder of a bright teenager from a wealthy, respected family is not the end of the nightmare. Lies, dark secrets, and sinister clues swirl around this killing like leaves in an autumn wind, leading to a shattering travesty of justice that will divide a suspicious community.
- Blood at the Root (also known as “Dead Right” in the UK) – In the long shadows of an alley a young man is murdered by an unknown assailant. The shattering echoes of his death will be felt throughout a small provincial community on the edge—because the victim was far from innocent. Now Chief Inspector Banks beset by his own tormenting demons must follow the leads into the darkest corners of the human mind in order to catch a killer.
- In A Dry Season – In the blistering, dry summer, the waters of Thornfield Reservoir have been depleted, revealing the ruins of the small Yorkshire village that lay at its bottom—ruins that house the unidentified bones of a murdered young woman. Detective Chief Inspector Banks must unmask a sadistic killer who has escaped detection for half a century.
- Cold is the Grave – When the nude photo of a teenage runaway shows up on a website, the girl’s father turns to Detective Chief Inspector Alan banks for help. But these aren’t unusual circumstances, for the runaway is the daughter of a man who’s determined to destroy the dedicated Yorkshire policeman’s career and good name.
- Aftermath – One phone call from a concerned neighbor has inadvertently led police to Terence Payne, the elusive serial killer known only as “Chameleon.” Now Payne is in custody, perhaps dying, and a long nightmare appears to be over at last. But is it? For Alan Banks, too many questions remain unanswered.
- Close to Home (also known as “The Summer that Never Was” in the UK) – There are human bones, buried in an open field, the remains of a lost teenaged boy whose disappearance devastated a community more than thirty-five-years ago…and scarred a guilt-ridden friend forever… A heinous crime that occurred too close to home still has its grip on Chief Inspector Alan Banks.
- Playing with Fire – Investigating a dual arson case that has claimed three lives on an English canal, Detective Inspector Banks teams up with fellow investigator Annie Cabot and discovers that the victims are linked to an art forgery operation.
- Strange Affair – A bullet to the brain abruptly halted a terrified young woman’s desperate flight. In her pocket is the name of a policeman who has since gone missing. Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot would like to question the man the victim was apparently racing to meet: Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But Banks has vanished into the anonymous chaos of the city.
- Piece of My Heart – 1969… A dead body is discovered among the detritus of a recently concluded rock festival. Now… A freelance journalist, a stranger to the region, is savagely bludgeoned to death in a shocking act of violence with no apparent motive. Two murders separated by four decades are investigated by two very different but equally haunted investigators. One of them is Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks.
- Friend of the Devil – Two murders… two towns… The seemingly senseless Cliffside killing falls to Inspector Annie Cabbot, on loan to a local police department. The terrible death of young Hayley Daniels becomes Chief Inspector Alan Banks’s investigation. But shattering revelations threaten to awaken the slumbering demons of earlier, darker times, and more blood is in the offing when the two cases brutally and unexpectedly collide.
- All The Colours Of Darkness – The body hanging from a tree in a peaceful wood appears to Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot to be a suicide. But further investigation into the sad demise of Mark Hardcastle leads to another corpse, brutally bludgeoned to death. Suddenly the case demands the attention of Chief Inspector Alan Banks, called back from his vacation even though nothing suggests this wasn’t a crime of passion followed by remorse and self-destruction.
- Bad Boy – A distraught woman arrives at the Eastvale police station desperate to speak to Detective Chief Inspector Banks. But Banks is abroad, and the woman’s revelation of a loaded gun hidden in her daughter Erin’s bedroom leads to a shocking fatality when a police armed-response team breaks into her house. The fallout will have dark consequences for Banks and his partner, DI Annie Cabbot.
- Watching the Dark – A decorated policeman is murdered on the tranquil grounds of the St. Peter’s Police Treatment Centre, shot through the heart with a crossbow arrow, and compromising photographs are discovered in his room. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is well aware that he must handle the highly sensitive and dangerously explosive investigation with the utmost discretion.
- Children of the Revolution – The body of a disgraced college lecturer is found on an abandoned railway line. Leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks begins to suspect that the victim’s past may be connected to his death. Forty years ago the dead man attended a university that was a hotbed of militant protest and divisive, bitter politics. And as the seasoned detective well knows, some grudges are never forgotten.
- In the Dark Places (also known as “Abattoir Blues” in the UK) – It’s a double mystery: Two young men have vanished, and the investigation leads to two troubling clues in two different locations. As Detective Chief Inspector Banks and his team scramble for answers, the inquiry takes an even darker turn when a truck careens off an icy road in a freak hailstorm.
- When the Music’s Over – With Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot investigating a young woman’s death, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Banks finds himself taking on the coldest of cases: a fifty-year-old assault allegedly perpetrated by beloved celebrity Danny Caxton.
- Sleeping in the Ground – At the doors of a charming country church, an unspeakable act destroys a wedding party. A huge manhunt ensues. The culprit is captured. The story is over. Except it isn’t. For Alan Banks, still struggling with a tragic loss of his own, there’s something wrong about this case — something unresolved.
- Careless Love – A young local student’s body is found in an abandoned car on a lonely country road. The death looks like suicide, but there are too many open questions for DS Alan Banks and his team to rule out foul play. The victim didn’t own a car. She didn’t even drive. How did she get there? Where—and when—did she die? Did someone move her, and if so, why?
- Many Rivers to Cross – In Eastvale, a young Middle Eastern boy is found dead, his body stuffed into a wheelie bin on the East Side Estate. Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his team know they must tread carefully to solve this sensitive case, but tensions rise when they learn that the victim was stabbed somewhere else and dumped. Who is the boy, and where did he come from?
- Not Dark Yet – When property developer Connor Clive Blaydon is found dead, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his team dive into the investigation. As luck would have it, someone had installed a cache of spy-cams all around his luxurious home. The team hope that they’ll find answers—and the culprit—among the video recordings. Instead of discovering Connor’s murderer, however, the grainy and blurred footage reveals another crime: a brutal rape.
- Standing in the Shadows – In November 1980, Nick Hartley returns home from a university lecture to find his house crawling with police. His ex-girlfriend, Alice Poole, has been found murdered, and her new boyfriend Mark Woodcroft is missing. Nick is the prime suspect. The case quickly goes cold, but Nick cannot let it go. He embarks on a career in investigative journalism, determined to find Alice’s murderer—but his obsession leads him down a dangerous path. Decades later, in November 2019, an archaeologist unearths a skeleton that turns out to be far more contemporary than the Roman remains she is seeking. Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his team are called in to investigate…
Those books are collections of short stories previously published in crime anthologies and magazines.
- Not Safe After Dark – Inspector Banks’ trip to celebrate his parents’ Golden Anniversary reveals how evil can wear many disguises… and more stories.
- The Price of Love – Inspector Banks returns home for a family reunion, only to find it taking a decidedly sinister turn…
If you like our article about the Inspector Banks series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it!
This article was last updated on May 25, 2023.