12th November 2018 – 4/5 stars
First published in the late 1980s, Gallows View focuses on the characters and day to day police work in a provincial Yorkshire Dales town. The story follows a series of petty crimes that escalate into more serious ones, dealing with the effects on the victims, perpetrators and police officers.
The story is well-observed and written, easy to read and follow with a gentle pace that allows you to engage with the characters and the issues they have to deal with. In many ways, it reminds me of the Frost series by R D Wingfield, which took a similar approach to the police procedural.
While I prefer the pace, tension and issues covered by today’s crime fiction, Gallows View is still an absorbing and intelligent tale that sustained my interest to the last page.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks has recently relocated with his family to the Yorkshire Dales from stressful London but soon finds that life in the countryside is not quite as idyllic as he had imagined.
Three cases come to the fore: a voyeur is terrorizing the women of Eastvale. Two thugs are breaking into homes, and an old woman is dead, possibly murdered. As the tension mounts, Banks must also deal with his attraction to a young psychologist Jenny Fuller, and when both Jenny and Banks’s wife are drawn deeper into events Banks realizes that his cases are weaving closer and closer together.