IAN RANKIN, the Scottish author of the popular Rebus detective stories, once said that when an author builds a series of books around one character, it only makes sense to let the character grow older with the author. Then problems do not arise when the detective or the author dies. With the death of Peter Robinson last October, the wisdom of Rankin's view was illustrated.
Robinson introduced a detective named Alan Banks in 1987 with the publication of Gallows View. Since then, Banks has become one of the great British fiction detectives – he is the pivot around which Robinson built 28 novels. Banks is a humble native of Yorkshire but began his career with the London Borough Police Service. City life was too turbulent for him, and he returned to Eastvale, a town loosely based on Richmond in north Yorkshire.
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