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Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels) Hardcover – January 8, 2013
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About the Author
One of the world’s most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson grew up in the United Kingdom, and now divides his time between Toronto and England. The bestselling, award-winning author of the Inspector Banks series, he has also written two short-story collections and three standalone novels, which combined have sold more than ten million copies around the world. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award.
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Top Customer Reviews
Robinson is in top form once again after the truly disappointing stand-alone novel, BEFORE THE POISON. DCI Alan Banks is called upon to investigate the murder of fellow detective Bill Quinn. In the course of his investigation, he comes to believe that Quinn may have been blackmailed when some compromising pictures of Quinn with a young woman are found. Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabbott is back on the job after recovering from the injuries she received in the previous Inspector Banks novel, BAD BOY.
Robinson does a great job of incorporating different story lines (murder, a missing girl, human trafficking) into a cohesive, entertaining story. One of the best things about the book is the character of Banks. He is a no-nonsense man, who wants answers. The story never gets dull and at 350 plus pages, I actually thought this too quick of a read. A great addition to the series.
However, when you get about 2/3 into the novel, the story loses steam and becomes quite boring. Banks and Passero travel to Tallinn, Estonia together and the descriptions of that fascinating city make the tedium of the overly predictable plot somewhat more tolerable for a while. However, the mystery fizzes out and makes the last 100 pages of the book a drag to read. If I gulped down the first 200 pages, eager to find out what happened, it took me about a week to make myself finish the last 100 pages. When a reader forgets to finish a mystery novel for days on end, there must be a problem with the mystery.
Robinson is still one of the best mystery authors around and I hope he continues publishing his great series for a long time to come. One less-than-spectacular novel doesn't detract from the overall quality of this great series.
Robinson's sense of place always enhances his stories for me. I know how accurate his descriptions of the Yorkshire Dales is, and I suspect that people who know Estonia will vouch for his descriptions of that country.
As usual, Robinson's story is intelligent and absorbing.
Banks seems a mere shadow of himself here - particularly in the sardonic humor department - As is Annie, who vacillates between feigned hubris and uncontrollable tears as she attempts to regain her equilibrium and conquer her fears back on the job. And Banks' new partner from Professional Standards, besides never effectively fitting into the story-line, is also underdeveloped and predictably unpredictable. (Her late-night/late in the book "confession" telegraphed virtually from the moment she's introduced.) The case itself is rote and by the numbers without much mystery. And even the "past" that our hero is attempting to bring closure to seems hollow.
I am a big fan of this author and this series - so if I come across as unduly negative it's because this author has set a high standard - and Watching the Dark never reaches it.
I have not been a regular Peter Robinson reader, but, as a fan of authors like Deborah Crombie, Reginald Hill, and Louise Penny, this book sounded like it would be just my cup of British tea.
Probably the best parts of the book were the scenes of Estonia. Estonia is not a country where I, or most people, have traveled, and Robinson paints a picture of a place worth visiting. I wish I could say the same about the British atmosphere.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story held me in that I found the story believable.Detective Banks is a character we know intimately.
As a crime novel. It is one of the best .
This was a tough one to critique.The author is always skillful in his writing. His characters are usually well developed. Read morePublished 22 days ago by P. W. Neal
An intriguing story about international crime cloaked in our everyday lives.Published 3 months ago by Greg Brackenridge
This is the second Peter Robinson book for me, though I've been enjoying the PBS "Mystery" series for some time. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wayne G. Jordan
Vintage Banks. Moved at a fast pace with plenty of twists. A great read and a book that should be read in one session.Published 4 months ago by Peter Mairs
I love all the stories about DCI Banks. The way criminals are chased down is well done. But also great portraits of the personalities of those doing the sleuthing.Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Shirley Shinder