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Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels) Hardcover – January 8, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews
Book 20 of 22 in the Inspector Alan Banks Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Inspector Banks novels have received numerous awards for their crisp narratives, breath-taking action, and atmospheric settings (The Tuscon Citizen)

About the Author

One of the world’s most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson is 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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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 20)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062004808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062004802
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tracy L. VINE VOICE on November 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Peter Robinson latest Inspector Banks novel, WATCHING THE DARK, interweaves what initially appears to be two seemingly unrelated crimes, the murder of local police inspector Bill Quinn and a missing young woman named Rachel Hewitt.

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.
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I am a long-time fan of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series, and this one did not disappoint. The story begins with the murder of detective inspector who is spending time in a police "retreat" after the death of his wife. It quickly turns into an intriguing story of people smuggling and the unsolved death of a young woman who had disappeared six years earlier in Tallinn, Estonia.
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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a long time fan of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series, and I was eagerly awaiting the release of this new novel by one of my favorite mystery authors. I can't say I was hugely impressed, however. The novel starts out really great. As usual, Robinson's narrative grabs your attention and makes you want to keep reading to find out what really happened. As the mystery unfolds, tensions arise between Banks, Annie Cabot, and a new colleague Joanna Passero who comes over from Professional Standards to supervise their work and monitor instances of police corruption. There are some hilarious scenes where Banks shows his resentment of a policeman being policed by pulling a series of pranks on his new "partner."

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.
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By JoeV VINE VOICE on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this, the 20th adventure of DCI Alan Banks, our hero investigates the mysterious murder of a fellow officer; welcomes back his old partner - on the mend after the previous Banks' tale; "grooms" a new partner from Professional Standards - aka Internal Affairs on this side of the pond; and while untangling a web of organized crime connections, takes a trip to Estonia. All of which is an interesting plot outline, but unfortunately - for this reader - never gelled in the story-telling.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When Detective Inspector Bill Quinn (aka DI Bill Reid in foreign editions, for some reason) is found murdered by a cross bow on the grounds of the St. Peters Police Treatment Center , DCI Alan Banks knows this will be a difficult case. Adding to the difficulties are incriminating photos found in Quinn's room. Quinn's cell phone records lead Banks and his colleagues to a rural area and the discovery of another murder victim, an apparent illegal migrant laborer, which suggests possible involvement with human trafficking, a loan shark, and the unsolved disappearance of a young English woman in Estonia 6 years earlier, a case Quinn had agonized over not solving. Banks is delighted to have his partner DI Annie Cabot back from medical leave after a serious on-duty injury working on the case with him. He is less pleased to be "saddled" with Inspector Joanna Passero, who has been detailed from Professional Standards because of the possibility that Quinn had been the subject of blackmail or some other form of corruption. With Banks concentrating on the leads in Talinn, Estonia, and Cabot leading the investigations in Eastvale, more and more complicated evidence turns up suggesting connections among the several crimes uncovered, and Banks and his team race to get the solution to the puzzle before more lives are lost.
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.
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