In the early hours of a sweet May morning, two Yorkshire police officers investigating a “domestic” stumble upon the very worst of crimes – the sexual torture and murder of a young teenage girl. Moments later, one of the officers is felled by a machete blow, and his rookie, female partner takes out her disgust and fury on the murderer, battering him to death. This is the intensely dramatic, wrenching beginning to the twelfth in Peter Robinson’s award-winning and internationally bestselling Inspector Banks series.
The task of investigating Probationary PC Janet Taylor’s actions falls to DI Annie Cabbot, Banks’s lover. This complication to his love life unsettles Banks, but he keeps his mind on his job, one that becomes immeasurably more difficult when the bodies of other teenage girls are found buried in the torturer’s garden. Who are these girls? Why weren’t they all reported missing? These are difficult questions, yet the central question Banks has to answer is how much did the murderer’s wife know? Was she, too, the victim of a sick and twisted man, as she claims, or was she an accomplice?
This compelling story is at its heart a deeply sensitive, astute, and ultimately unforgettable exploration of the nature and long-lasting effects of crime and of victimhood. Its intelligence, honesty, and moments of grace lift Aftermath out of the confines of genre fiction and place it in the first rank of novels on crime.