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Inspector DCI Banks books in order

Looking for Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks books in order? Look no further!

Set in the fictional English town of Eastvale in the Yorkshire Dales, Inspector Alan Banks is a former member of the London Met Police who leaves the big smoke in search of a quieter life. Of course a quieter life is the last thing Banks finds as he investigates a series of crimes in the Yorkshire town.

With twenty-six books so far and a brilliant TV adaptation on ITV, there are plenty of mysteries to delve into and Peter Robinson proves himself time and again a master of the police procedural.

Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks books in order:

Gallows View by Peter Robinson

1. Gallows View (1987)

DCI 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…

A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson

2. A Dedicated Man (1988)

The brutally murdered body of a supposedly well-liked local historian is found half-buried under a dry stone wall. But who would kill such a thoughtful, dedicated man?

Young Sally Lumb, locked in her lover’s arms on the night of the murder, tries to find the killer herself. But her good-intentions only leads to more danger. And when Chief Inspector Alan Banks is called to investigate and soon discovers that disturbing secrets lie behind the seemingly untroubled façade…

A Necessary End by Peter Robinson

3. A Necessary End (1989)

Everyday life in Eastvale is shattered when a policeman is stabbed to death after an anti-nuclear demonstration turns violent. Superintendent ‘Dirty Dick’ Burgess, Banks’s nemesis, descends with vengeful fury on those he deems responsible.

Inspector Banks is uneasy about Burgess’s mishandling of the case, but despite being warned off he puts his career in jeopardy to continue his search for the truth, knowing if he is to keep his job, he must beat Burgess to the killer.

The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson

4. The Hanging Valley (1989)

A faceless corpse is found in a tranquil, hidden valley below the village of Swainshead, the victim’s identity deliberately obscured. And when Chief Inspector Alan Banks arrives, he finds that no-one is willing to talk. Banks’s frustration only grows when he suspects his latest case might be connected with an unsolved murder and a missing local woman, which occurred in the same area five years ago.

Among the silent suspects are the Collier brothers, the wealthiest and most powerful family in the area. When they start using their influence to slow down the investigation, Banks finds himself in a race against time.

Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson

5. Past Reason Hated (1991)

It should have been a cosy scene – log fire, sheepskin rug, Vivaldi on the stereo, Christmas lights and tree. But appearances can be deceptive. For Caroline Hartley, lying quietly on the couch, has been brutally murdered.

Inspector Alan Banks is called to the grim scene. And he soon has more suspects than he ever imagined. As he delves into her past, he realizes that for Caroline, secrecy was a way of life, and her death is no different. His ensuing investigation is full of hidden passions and desperate violence.

Wednesday's Child by Peter Robinson

6. Wednesday’s Child (1992)

When two social workers, investigating reports of child abuse, appear at Brenda Scupham’s door, her fear of authority leads her to comply meekly with their requests. Even when they say that they must take her seven-year old daughter Gemma away for tests.

It is only when they fail to return Gemma the following day that Brenda realizes something has gone terribly wrong.

At the same time, Banks is investigating a particularly unpleasant murder at the site of an abandoned mine. Gradually, the leads in the two cases converge, guiding Banks to one of the most truly terrifying criminals he will ever meet.

Dry Bones That Dream by Peter Robinson

7. Dry Bones That Dream (1994)

2.47 a.m. Chief Inspector Alan Banks sees the body of Keith Rothwell for the first time. Only hours earlier two masked men had walked the mild-mannered accountant out of his farmhouse to the barn. They then clinically executed him with a shotgun.

Clearly this is a professional hit – but Keith was hardly the sort of person to make deadly enemies. Or was he? The police investigation soon raises more questions than answers.

The more Banks scratches the surface, the more he wonders what lies beneath the veneer of the apparently happy Rothwell family. And when his old sparring partner Detective Superintendent Richard Burgess arrives from Scotland Yard, the case takes yet another unexpected twist.

Innocent Graves by Peter Robinson

8. Innocent Graves (1996)

One foggy night, Deborah Harrison is found lying in the churchyard behind St Mary’s, Eastvale. She has been strangled with the strap of her own school satchel.

But Deborah was no typical sixteen-year-old. Her father was a powerful financier who moved in the highest echelons of industry, defence and classified information. And Deborah, it seemed, enjoyed keeping secrets of her own.

With his colleague Detective Constable Susan Gay, Inspector Alan Banks encounters many suspects, guilty of crimes large and small, in his search for the killer. And as he does so, plenty of sordid secrets and some lethal lies begin to emerge.

Dead Right by Peter Robinson

9. Dead Right (1997)

The broken body of Jason Fox has been found in a dirty alleyway. At first it looks like a typical after-hours pub fight gone wrong. But Inspector Alan Banks soon realizes that the truth is rarely so straightforward.

Jason was a member of the Albion League, a white power organization. And there are many people who might have wished him dead: the Pakistani youths he had insulted in the pub that evening; the shady friends of his business partner; or someone within the Albion League itself.

And just as Banks begins to get a grip on the case, an unexpected discovery forces him to reconsider everything he believes…

In A Dry Season by Peter Robinson

10. In A Dry Season (1999)

During a blistering summer, drought has depleted Thornfield Reservoir, uncovering the remains of a small village called Hobb’s End – hidden from view for over forty years. For a curious young boy this resurfaced hamlet is a magical playground – until he unearths a human skeleton.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is given the impossible task of identifying the victim – a woman who lived in a place that no longer exists, whose former residents are scattered to the winds. Anyone else might throw in the towel but DCI Banks is determined to uncover the murky past buried beneath a flood of time.

Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson

11. Cold is the Grave (2000)

DCI Banks has reached a turning point. With his wife now living with another man in London and his career in the doldrums thanks to Chief Constable Riddle, it is time to ring the changes. Perhaps a move to the National Crime Squad? Perhaps a second chance with Sandra?

But then late one night he is summoned to Riddle’s house – and his plans take a surprising new turn. For the Chief Constable’s sixteen-year-old daughter Emily has run away and for once Riddle wants Banks to use his unorthodox methods to find her without fuss.

Aftermath by Peter Robinson

12. Aftermath (2001)

Number 35 The Hill is an ordinary house in an ordinary street. But it is about to become infamous.

When two police constables are sent to the house following a report of a domestic disturbance, they stumble upon a truly horrific scene. A scene which leaves one of them dead and the other fighting for her life and career. The identity of a serial killer, the Chameleon, has finally been revealed. But his capture is only the beginning of a shocking investigation that will test Inspector Alan Banks to the absolute limit.

The Summer that Never Was by Peter Robinson

13. The Summer that Never Was (2003)

A skeleton has been unearthed. Soon the body is identified, and the horrific discovery hits the headlines.

Fourteen-year-old Graham Marshall went missing during his paper round in 1965. The police found no trace of him. His disappearance left his family shattered, and his best friend, Alan Banks, full of guilt.

That friend has now become Chief Inspector Alan Banks, and he is determined to bring justice for Graham. But he soon realizes that in this case, the boundary between victim and perpetrator, between law-guardian and law-breaker, is becoming more and more blurred.

Playing with Fire by Peter Robinson

14. Playing with Fire (2004)

In the early hours of a cold January morning, two narrow boats catch fire on the dead-end stretch of the Eastvale canal. When signs of accelerant are found at the scene, DCI Banks and DI Annie Cabbot are summoned. But by the time they arrive, only the smouldering wreckage is left, and human remains have been found on both boats.

The evidence points towards a deliberate attack. But who was the intended victim? Was it Tina, the sixteen-year-old who had been living a drug-fuelled existence with her boyfriend? Or was it Tom, the mysterious, lonely artist?

As Banks makes his enquiries, it appears that a number of people are acting suspiciously: the interfering ‘lock-keeper’, Tina’s cold-hearted step-father, the wily local art dealer, even Tina’s boyfriend.

Then the arsonist strikes again, and Banks’s powers of investigation are tested to the limit.

Strange Affair by Peter Robinson

15. Strange Affair (2005)

When Alan Banks receives a disturbing message from his brother, Roy, he abandons the peaceful Yorkshire Dales for the bright lights of London, to seek him out. But Roy seems to have vanished into thin air.

Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabbot is called to a quiet stretch of road just outside Eastvale, where a young woman has been found dead in her car. In the victim’s pocket, scribbled on a slip of paper, police discover Banks’ name and address.

Living in Roy’s empty South Kensington house, Banks finds himself digging into the life of the brother he never really knew, nor even liked. And as he begins to uncover a few troubling surprises, the two cases become sinisterly entwined…

Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson

16. Piece of My Heart (2005)

As volunteers clean up after a huge outdoor rock concert in Yorkshire in 1969, they discover the body of a young woman wrapped in a sleeping bag.

She has been brutally murdered. The detective assigned to the case, Stanley Chadwick, is a hard-headed, strait-laced veteran of the Second World War. He could not have less in common with – or less regard for – young, disrespectful, long-haired hippies, smoking marijuana and listening to the pulsing sounds of rock and roll. But he has a murder to solve, and it looks as if the victim was somehow associated with the up-and-coming psychedelic pastoral band the Mad Hatters.

In the present, Inspector Alan Banks is investigating the murder of a freelance music journalist who was working on a feature about the Mad Hatters for MOJO magazine. This is not the first time that the Mad Hatters, now aging rock superstars, have been brushed by tragedy.

Banks finds he has to delve into the past to find out exactly what hornets’ nest the journalist inadvertently stirred up.

Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson

17. Friend of the Devil (2007)

When Karen Drew is found sitting in her wheelchair staring out to sea with her throat cut one chilly morning, DI Annie Cabbot, on loan to Eastern Area, gets lumbered with the case.

Back in Eastvale, that same Sunday morning, 19-year-old Hayley Daniels is found raped and strangled in the Maze, a tangle of narrow alleys behind Eastvale’s market square, after a drunken night on the town with a group of friends, and DCI Alan Banks is called in. Banks finds suspects galore, while Annie seems to hit a brick wall – until she reaches a breakthrough that spins her case in a shocking and surprising new direction, one that also involves Banks.

Then another incident occurs in the Maze which seems to link the two cases in a bizarre and mysterious way. As Banks and Annie dig into the past to uncover the deeper connections, they find themselves also dealing with the emotional baggage and personal demons of their own relationship.

It soon becomes clear that there are two killers in their midst, and that at any moment either one might strike again.

All The Colours Of Darkness by Peter Robinson

18. All The Colours Of Darkness (2008)

A beautiful June day in the Yorkshire Dales, and a group of children are spending the last of their half-term freedom swimming in the river near Hindswell Woods. But the idyll is shattered by their discovery of a man’s body, hanging from a tree.

DI Annie Cabott soon discovers he is Mark Hardcastle, the well-liked and successful set designer for the Eastvale Theatres current production of Othello. Everything points to suicide, and Annie is mystified. Why would such a man want to take his own life? Then Annie’s investigation leads to another shattering discovery, and DCI Alan Banks is called back from the idyllic weekend he had planned with his new girlfriend. Banks soon finds himself plunged into a shadow-world where nothing is what it seems, where secrets and deceit are the norm, and where murder is seen as the solution to a problem.

The deeper he digs the more he discovers that the monster he has awakened will extend its deadly reach to his friends and family. Nobody is safe.

Bad Boy by Peter Robinson

19. Bad Boy (2010)

When Juliet Doyle finds a gun in her daughter’s bedroom, she turns to old friend DCI Alan Banks for advice. But Banks is on a much-needed holiday, and it’s left to DI Annie Cabbot to deal with the removal of the firearm.

No one can foresee the operation’s disastrous consequences, or that the Doyles will not be the only family affected. Banks’s daughter Tracy has fallen for the wrong boy. Her flatmate’s boyfriend is attractive, ambitious, and surrounded by an intoxicating air of mystery. He’s also very dangerous. When Tracy warns him the police might be on his tail, he persuades her to go on the run with him, and flattered by his attention, she agrees.

Before she knows it, a deadly chase across the country is set in motion. And on his return, unsuspecting of Tracy’s precarious situation, Banks is plunged into his most terrifying, personal case yet.

Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson

20. Watching the Dark (2012)

Detective Inspector Bill Quinn is killed by a crossbow in the tranquil grounds of a police rehabilitation centre, and compromising photos are found in his room. DCI Banks, brought in to investigate, is assailed on all sides.

By Joanna Passero, the Professional Standards inspector who insists on shadowing the investigation in case of police corruption. By his own conviction that a policeman shouldn’t be deemed guilty without evidence. By Annie Cabbot, back at work after six months’ recuperation, and beset by her own doubts and demons. And by an English girl who disappeared in Estonia six years ago, who seems to hold the secret at the heart of this case…

Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson

21. Children of the Revolution (2013)

A disgraced college lecturer is found murdered with £5,000 in his pocket on a disused railway line near his home. Since being dismissed from his job for sexual misconduct four years previously, he has been living a poverty-stricken and hermit-like existence in this isolated spot.

The suspects range from several individuals at the college where he used to teach to a woman who knew the victim back in the early ’70s at Essex University, then a hotbed of political activism. When Banks receives a warning to step away from the case, he realises there is much more to the mystery than meets the eye – for there are plenty more skeletons to come out of the closet.

Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson

22. Abattoir Blues (2014)

Misled from the start, DCI Banks and his team are far from enthusiastic when they’re called to investigate the theft of a tractor. But this is no trivial case of rural crime. A blood stain is found in an abandoned hangar, two main suspects vanish without a trace, and events take a darkly sinister turn.

As each lead does little to unravel the mystery, Banks feels like the case is coming to a dead end. Until a road accident reveals some alarming evidence, which throws the investigation to a frightening new level.

Someone is trying to cover their tracks – someone with very deadly intent…

When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson

23. When the Music’s Over (2016)

When the body of a fifteen-year-old is found in a remote countryside lane, beaten and broken, DI Annie Cabbot is brought in to investigate how the child could possibly have fallen victim to such brutality.

Newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is faced with a case that is as cold as they come. Now in her 60s, Linda Palmer was attacked aged 14 by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton, yet the crime has never been investigated – until now.

As each steps closer to uncovering the truth, they’ll unearth secrets much darker than they ever could have guessed.

Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson

24. Sleeping in the Ground (2017)

A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course.

But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for.

When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.

Careless Love by Peter Robinson

25. Careless Love (2018)

The body of a young local student is found on a lonely country road. Initially the evidence points to suicide, yet she didn’t own a car and she didn’t even drive. So how did she get there, where did she die and who moved her?

Meanwhile, a man in his sixties is found dead in a gully up on the nearby wild moorland. He is carrying no identification. The post-mortem indicates that he died from injuries sustained during the fall, but what was he doing up there? And why are there no signs of a car in the vicinity?

As the trail gets colder, Annie’s father’s new partner, Zelda, alerts Banks and Annie to the return of an old and dangerous enemy in a new guise. This is someone who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get what he wants.

Many Rivers to Cross by Peter Robinson

26. Many Rivers to Cross (2019)

A skinny young boy is found dead – his body carelessly stuffed into wheelie bin.

Banks and his team are called to investigate. Who is the boy, and where did he come from? Was he discarded as rubbish, or left as a warning to someone? He looks Middle Eastern, but no one on the East Side Estate has seen him before.

As the local press seize upon an illegal immigrant angle, and the national media the story of another stabbing, the police are called to investigate a less newsworthy death: a middle-aged heroin addict found dead of an overdose in another estate, scheduled for redevelopment.

Banks finds the threads of each case seem to be connected to the other, and to the dark side of organised crime in Eastvale. Does another thread link to his friend Zelda, who is facing her own dark side?

The truth may be more complex – or much simpler – than it seems…

There you have it – Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks books in order! How many have you read? Let us know in the comments below…

Books like Inspector DCI Banks:


    I have enjoyed reading Peter Robinson ‘s books very much over the years and very sad he has gone. The only 2 books I haven’t read are his last two. I will miss reading this great authors books

    I have read all the DCI Banks novels and have enjoyed all of them , I was very sad to learn that Peter Robinson had died and would just like to say a very big Thank you for the hours I had enjoying your books R I P Sir .

    So sad he is no longer with us but he has left a great legacy behind.I think you have to judge the TV series and the books separately.The books are of course are the real deal and well written,but the TV series was also well presented and although not strictly adhering to the books it nonetheless contained the essence of them,so must be judged separately

    I have read every single DCI Banks book and had no idea Peter Robinson had passed until I read the reviews here. It saddens my heart that such a phenomenal storyteller is no linger with us. Rest in peace, Sir!

    Read the books except When the Music Is Over, Careless Love and no. 26. Awaiting his last book no. 27. Which ever book you start to read, you get hooked with the pace. Characters are well defined. Banks is an everyman with foibles but is straight as well as hardworking, an workahoholic. Started rereading what I have. Pity he passed away early October 2022. Congratulations to a great author.

    Love his books, have all if them and cannot wait for the next one due out- Standing in the Shadows out in UK March 2023 and April 2023 in USA.

    Feel I am back in Yorkshire when I read them.

    Incredibly sad Peter died on 4th October 2022. RIP Peter and thank you for such amazing writing.

    l have read and reread the Inspector Banks books, l could go on Mastermind. l only looked at one of the TV shows and was so utterly disappointed l saw no more. My first 10 books are paperbacks but l grew more affluent l started to buy hard backs. it makes me think as l value them so much should l treat myself 👍

    Just started reading them all again .they are a lot more enjoyable 2nd time around.totaly dislike the casting on the tv series.

    Love all the DCI Banks books. Only got To Many Rivers To Cross to read. I so really really hope there are going to be more DCI Banks books! Love ❤ them!!

    Love the books, unfortunately neither Banks or Annie in the TV series bear even the slightest resemblance to the characters as described in the books.

    Have read all 26 and can’t wait until #27. I was first introduced to the books by my sister in
    Canada. In a dry season was the first one I read. Then had to start at the beginning and read in order. Keep them coming.

    ‘Dry Bones that Dream’ is my favourite Banks book. I’ve just finished ‘When the Music’s Over’ and a little disappointed as a seemed full of fillers about music, poetry and different types of local beers. Robinson seems to have lost his edge over the years.
    The TV series is totally miscast, the actor that plays the lead looks totally miserable mist of the time. A shame as Martin Shaw would have been perfect.

    There are several books missing from your list, as follows
    In the dark places
    Watching the dark
    Before the poison The first cut
    close to home
    final account
    why are they missing?

    Hi Trevor!

    In the Dark Places, Close to Home and Final Account are all titles that have been changed in the US – these books are called Abattoir Blues (#22), The Summer that Never Was (#13) and Dry Bones that Dream (#7) here in the UK.

    The First CutCaedmon’s Song here in the UK – and Before the Poison, while written by Peter Robinson, are not Inspector Banks novels.

    Aftermath and Watching the Dark are already included in the list, at numbers #12 and #20 respectively.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

    Read 20 books so far, mainly in audio format, both abridged & unabridged. I particularly like Neil Pearson reading & wish he’d done the unabridged books.
    My 2 favourite books so far are the masterly In A Dry Season, enjoyed all the more by the late great Anna Massey joining Neil Pearson in the audio version. I also like the spot-on evocation of the era in Piece of My Heart. Having lived through all the hippy music festival years in my formative years, I can say Peter Robinson has captured it perfectly, & I did listen to this book in the unabridged version.
    And here I take some umbrage with the tv series version of that book. Totally failed to deliver on that score & I venture to suggest was adapted by somewhat younger people who weren’t there at the time & didn’t quite ‘get it.’.
    In general, I much enjoyed the tv series otherwise, even though some aspects of the books were changed, as well as the sequence of the stories. I thought the casting good & the difference only served to make for an interesting watch (save for Piece of My Heart!) when one has read the books.
    I am about to take up with where I left off in the series, though find myself also wanting to revisit those already listened to & wishing I had not parted with my audio cds. It may mean some re-acquiring!

    I have read and possess copies of all the books. Also on CD especially like those read by Neil Pearson. Can’t watch TV series as the actors near no resemblance to the characters as described in the books esp Banks always described as short for a policeman How tall is the tv actor!!??

    The best I have read, I am hooked line and sinker

    I have a DCI Banks book by Peter Robinson – Final Account – that is not on the list. Why,and where should it come in the order?

    Hello! This is book 7, Dry Bones that Dream. The book was renamed Final Account in the US and Canada. Hope that helps!

    Just finished reading not dark yet, it was a smashing read as all the Banks books have been. I can’t wait for the next one

    I have read all of Peter Robinson’s books and can’t wait for the next Inspector Banks novel. He and his associates really come to life and the plots are ingenious. My favorite in this series: In a Dry Season.

    Have just finished Careless Love. The usual mystery with all the twists and turns that can be expected. Banks is a complex but sympathetic character, who still has troubles with relationships with women. Too much emphasis on Bank’s musical likes in this novel and the sometimes obscure singers and musicians he refers to. Still a very satisyfing read that makes me look forward to the next novel, which I think is Many Rivers to Cross.

    The first 14 but as soon as the library opens, I’ll be getting more. He’s my favourite author after Agatha Christie.

    Every single one read and enjoyed immensely!!
    Waiting for the next!!

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