BANKS’ MAN­AGER

Au­thor Peter Robin­son on tricky TV adap­ta­tions and his 23rd Banks book

Crime Scene - - FEATURE -

How in­volved are you in the TV se­ries?

They send me the scripts and see if I have any thoughts. It’s usu­ally small things like “Banks wouldn’t say this, he wouldn’t do this,” and quite of­ten they will change it. Some­times I wish the third se­ries they did based on the nov­els hadn’t hap­pened, be­cause I don’t think they did a par­tic­u­larly good adap­ta­tion job. They’re do­ing a de­cent job of writ­ing their own sto­ries.

What didn’t work with those adap­ta­tions?

Well, they were dif­fi­cult books to adapt.

Wed­nes­day’s Child was un­recog­nis­able from the orig­i­nal, which may have been be­cause the story was a lit­tle dated. The strangest was Piece Of My Heart, be­cause that was about a mur­der at a 1969 rock con­cert along with a present-day case. But they changed it to ’80s mu­sic. Well, Banks wouldn’t lis­ten to ’80s mu­sic.

The new novel is about his­tor­i­cal abuse. Are you in­spired by news head­lines?

Yeah, with this one it’s al­most straight from the front pages of the pa­pers. With the last one, Abat­toir Blues, I be­came in­ter­ested in ru­ral crime, which is not a sub­ject that most crime writ­ers cov­ered, and of course it couldn’t just stop at steal­ing trac­tors or sheep – it had to move on to mur­der.

Why does Banks have global ap­peal?

He does have ex­cel­lent abil­i­ties as a de­tec­tive. His life is rel­a­tively or­di­nary, he wor­ries about the same things most peo­ple worry about. So I think he has that in­ter­na­tional ap­peal be­cause of that every­man as­pect to his char­ac­ter. When The Mu­sic’s Over (Hod­der & Stoughton) is out now.

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