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Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson (Review #2)

Reviewed by Mark Moderson

Watching the DarkI was excited to find a new mystery writer to read, and based on some reviews was excited to read this book. Unfortunately this book was not what I expected. It was an extremely slow and hard read that could not hold my interest. I have read thousands of books and this was the longest it ever took to complete the book.

The novel starts out intriguing with a police officer being murdered. Unfortunately the author then spends more time focusing on describing small, inconsequential details of each scene then he does working on the main mystery of the novel. The novel itself is also convoluted because there are multiple different characters following multiple different story lines. Read the rest of this entry »

Before the Poison: A Novel by Peter Robinson

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Before the PoisonWhen soundtrack composer Chris Lowndes buys an old house in Yorkshire Dales, he has no idea of the history of the house. He soon learns it is the former home of a prominent doctor and his wife and child during and after WW II. Grace Fox was hanged for poisoning her husband in the 1950s. The story intrigues Lowndes and he strives to learn more from local citizens who lived in Yorkshire Dales during the trial and visits to the local library. A surprise encounter with the former owner of the house who happens the be the granddaughter of Grace Fox reveals even more evidence leading Chris to conclude that perhaps Grace was innocent after all. All while trying to determine the truth about Grace, the death of Lowndes’ wife haunts him and forces him to examine his real motives for wanting to know once and for all if Grace deserved what she got. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing with Fire by Peter Robinson

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Playing with FireOne dark night in Yorkshire, DCI Banks and DI Cabot are called to the scene of a fire. Two derelict boats have been set on fire and there are two victims: the daughter of a local doctor and a marginally successful artist. Much is revealed as Banks and Cabot investigate, including the possible existence of an art forgery ring involving Leslie Whitaker, a local book seller and Cabot’s newest love interest, Phil Keane and that the artist’s death might be the result of a blackmail attempt. This could be the most challenging case yet for Banks and Cabot and time is running out as more fires are set and more people fall victim to the unidentified arsonist. Read the rest of this entry »

When the Music’s Over: An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels) by Peter Robinson (Review #2)

Reviewed by Teri Davis

When the Music's Over‘When the music’s over, it’s time to have some fun.’

For Detective Superintendent Banks, his new promotion is overwhelming. He is in charge of the Danny Caxton case. Danny Caxton is now an elderly, retired celebrity who now faces accusations of rape from fifty-years-ago. Obviously, there is little evidence so till available from that time and fewer witnesses.
One victim, Linda Palmer has come forward. She has lived a fruitful and well-adjusted life, working as a poet who vividly remembers the event. As a young fourteen-year-old with dreams of stardom, this could be her chance to audition and to become a star. Caxton appealed to her ambition, but the cost was being a victim of sexual abuse. She was young and inexperienced. Caxton took advantage of her through his charismatic personality on television.
With the media appeal, Banks realizes that this is a delicate investigation requiring immense patience in building a case to prosecute Caxton.

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On a rural road, a young woman is found, dead. Her body is naked and after being sexual with three different partners, and possibly thrown from a vehicle and then beaten and killed later. Who is she? Why has no one identified her after days of her discovery? Read the rest of this entry »

When the Music’s Over: An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels) by Peter Robinson

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

When the Music's OverNewly promoted Superintendent Alan Banks is forced to hit the ground running when he is handed a cold case from nearly 50 years ago. Former entertainment icon Danny Caxton has been accused of raping a 14 year old girl in his hotel room in 1967, something he adamantly denies. As if that isn’t bad enough, a British female teenager is found brutally raped and murdered in the countryside and accusations are flying against British Pakistanis and their so-called “grooming gangs.” As Banks and his team pursue both cases, it becomes clear that solving them will not be easy. With public pressure rising and his superiors demanding results, whether or not Banks and his team will find their answers remains to be seen.

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Innocent Graves An Inspector Banks Novel (Inspector Banks Novels) by Peter Robinson

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Innocent GravesAlan Banks finds himself facing what may be one his most challenging cases yet. When a young female student at a local private school is found murdered, all evidence seem to point to one man, an English teacher named Pierce. Between the matching hairs found on the body and the man’s proclivity for what some might consider deviant hobbies, it seems like an open and shut case. It is surprising to everyone when the accused’s clever lawyer manages to get him acquitted. A new victim is found shortly after the acquittal: a young girl from the same school, killed in the same way and once again made to appear as if she was sexually assaulted. The police turn toward Pierce once again, despite his continuing claims of innocence. It is only when he is given an alibi from an unexpected source that the police finally realize they have made a terrible mistake, ruining a man’s reputation in the process. Now Banks must find the real killer before he strikes again.

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No Cure for Love: A Novel by Peter Robinson

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

No Cure for LoveSally Bolton left her home in England and came to America. Before long, she had become a groupie of a rock band, and was heavily into drugs and booze. She was more or less the band leader’s gal, but he had others as well-as did she. But then, one frightening incident sent her running. She hopped in a cab and landed at the home of the only “normal” person she knew in the United States. Her friend saw to it that she went into treatment and Sally came out a new person. Literally. As No Cure for Love opens, Sally is now Sarah Broughton, star of a television cop show. She is also getting creepy anonymous letters. Her agent contacts Detective Arvo Hughes of the LAPD’s Threat Management Unit to look into the letters. What follows is a well plotted, suspenseful and more than a little creepy book of cat and mouse. The point of view shifts from Sarah in the present to Sally in the past to her stalker giving readers just tiny peeks into Sally’s past while watching the stalker get closer and closer to Sarah. Will something in the notes help Sarah figure out who her stalker is? Will Detective Hughes unravel the puzzle of Sally’s past in time? Or will the stalker get tired of the game and act?

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Peter Robinson is best known for his long running Alan Banks series. Being a fan who as of late has grown a bit weary of the lengthy passages while Banks ponders life in the more recent books, I was hoping that No Cure for Love, a departure from the series, would be a return to the Robinson I loved. Well readers, it is and it isn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson

Watching the DarkReviewed by Patricia Reid

Lorraine Jensen, a patient at the St. Peter’s Police Treatment Center, is in the habit of getting up around dawn when her pain is keeping her awake to sit outside before the other members of the Center are up. As the light grew stronger, Lorraine thought she could see something like a bundle of clothes at the far side of the lake. Since Barry, the head groundsman and estate manager was in the habit of keeping the artificial lake and natural woodlands tidy, it was unusual to see anything that looked out of place. Although the grass was still wet with dew, Lorraine walked to where she had spotted the bundle of clothes. She did not get all the way to the spot when she realized that it was a dead body she was looking at and not a bundle of clothes. Read the rest of this entry »

Children of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson

Children of the RevolutionReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

As Children of the Revolution opens, Inspector Alan Banks, closing in on mandatory retirement age, has been offered a possible promotion which would allow him to stay on the job another five years. In order for it to go through, Banks has to work “inside the lines” until the promotion goes through. But early on in the investigation of a man found dumped over the side of a bridge, Banks finds that staying out of trouble with his superiors impossible when a link between the deceased and a well connected woman comes to light. Read the rest of this entry »

Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel
by Peter Robinson

watchingthedarkReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Watching the Dark, the twentieth novel with Alan Banks as the protagonist, takes readers on a trip to Estonia and into the dark world of the slave labor trade across Europe. While the subject matter may be a bit grim, the mysteries to be solved are top notch.

A police officer staying in a rehabilitation facility gets up early to enjoy the peacefulness of the lake on the property while having her morning tea and first cigarette of the day. When she notices what appears to be a pile of rags or abandoned clothing near the water’s edge, her police instincts kick in and she investigates. What she finds is the body of another cop dead with the arrow of a cross bow stuck in him. The victim, Bill Quinn, was a much-decorated officer who had recently lost his wife to cancer. When Banks begins to look into Quinn’s life looking for someone who might have wanted him dead, he found some disturbing photographs in his home files. Less than a week later the body of an Estonian newspaper reporter is found on an abandoned farm. Why the reporter was even in England, to say nothing of in the middle of nowhere is the second mystery Banks must solve. When he decides a trip to Estonia is in order, his commander insists that Joanna Passero, an officer from Professional Standards accompany Banks. Passero is looking for the “bent” cop in the division and it’s clear from the beginning that she suspects Quinn. Banks does not, as devoted readers know, play well with others, so the trip gets off to a rocky start. Meanwhile, Annie Cabot freshly back from rehabilitation (see Bad Boy the nineteenth book in the series), is left in England to continue the Quinn investigation. Read the rest of this entry »