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