Banks is back - and this time he's investigating the murder of one of his own. Detective Inspector Bill Reid 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.
©2012 Peter Robinson (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton
"Brilliant! . . . Gut-wrenching plotting, alongside heart-wrenching portraits of the characters who populate his world, not to mention the top-notch police procedure.' Jeffery Deaver 'Classic Robinson: a labyrinthine plot merged with deft characterisation." (Observer)
As a massive fan of hard copy Inspector Banks series and as a massive fan of audio books, I thought I would combine the two and give the audio version a go. Listened to the sample and didn't think Simon Slater too bad (but who on earth thought to cast Stephen Tomkinson as DCI Banks on TV should be shot - is it me or is the character we all know and love anything like Stephen Tomkinson plays him???? Hrrumph...) Anyway I digress. Simon Slater as Banks was ok, I got used to it, but why on earth did he have to do a very bad Jamacian accent for Winsome????? Yes we know she's black, but this is very poor stereotyping on whoever suggested her character should be portrayed like that, unless I've missed something in previous books, and if so I apologise. The Estonian accents also get a bit wearing more like a bad transylvanian vampire low on blood. Exceptions apart it is a good listen, not my favourite of the series, but good all the same and would recommend it for any fan. I really wish the end had been a bit more fanciful though just for a feel good aspect once in a while. Never mind.
I have read listened to all of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks novels and would rate this one among the best. It is plot-driven without too much of the author's weakness for filling the pages with stuff about music, drinking and smoking, though there's a bit too much of the last for my tastes. The story takes Banks to Estonia and involves the topical issue of people-trafficking and Eastern European organized crime into which is woven the story of a Yorkshire girl who went missing when on a hen-night in Estonia. I thought that the narrator added greatly to my enjoyment of the book as he is able to switch his voice among many different accents, ages and between sexes.
I am afraid that this book does not live up to previous Banks stories and tends to ramble.
I have been a fan of Robinson/Banks since I read my first story several years ago. They were rising in excitement and intrigue over the years but I feel let down by this one.
Sorry Mr. Robinson but you will have to regain the old spark. Trouble is, how will I know if the spark has been regained when the next book comes out? I will have to wait for reviews.
the reader has tried to use different accents for various characters but these are not convincing. Found myself wincing at the accents at some points instead of listening to the story,
I would not recommend this book to anyone. It was slow moving, predictable, characters one-dimensional and reader unable to convey nuances of accent nor suppress his apparent, if understandable boredom.
I felt that this drifted aimlessly - the writing was clunky and I cannot muster an iota of liking or sympathy for Detective Banks.
I felt irritated by the automatic nastiness to the Inspector from the Internal Policing service. Wouldn't you rather be in a career where wrongdoers are punished?
I also got so fed up with the array of music dropped into the story - it was totally irrelevant and just made me think that Mr Robinson was being very pretentious in letting us all know how wide his musical knowledge is. I really didn't care is he listened to Mahler or to Blues - so what!
This story could have been told in half the pages and maybe it would have held my interest - I just felt bored.
Unfortunately there was nothing I really liked. It was a tedious story which failed to draw me in and I found the narrator annoying.
What a let-down this was. I think it is without doubt, the worst D.I. Banks novel yet. I couldn't wait to get to the end and kept going only because I so wanted it to improve...but it didn't. The narration didn't help either and for certain I won't be listening to any more by Simon Slater! Not even the great Sean Barrett could have rescued this one anyway. For me, watching the dark is a much better alternative than listening to it .
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