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The Hanging Valley Paperback – 8 Nov 2002

357 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition (8 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330491644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330491648
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (357 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada. Peter has written twenty-two books in the bestselling DCI Banks series as well as two collections of short stories and three standalone novels, the most recent of which is Number One bestseller BEFORE THE POISON. The critically acclaimed crime novels have won numerous awards in Britain, the United States, Canada and Europe, and are published in translation all over the world.

Peter's DCI Banks is now a major ITV1 drama by Left Bank productions. Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart, Ballykissangel) plays Inspector Banks, and Andrea Lowe (The Bill, Murphy's Law) plays DI Annie Cabbot. The first series aired in Autumn 2011 with an adaptation of FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, the second in Autumn 2012, and the third in February 2014.

Peter's standalone novel BEFORE THE POISON won the IMBA's 2013 Dilys Award as well as the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. This was Peter's sixth Arthur Ellis award.

Find out more from Peter's website,, or visit his Facebook page,

Product Description


'If you haven't caught up with Peter Robinson already, now is the time to start.' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'The novels of Peter Robinson are chilling, evocative, deeply nuanced works of art' Dennis Lehane

Book Description

The fourth Inspector Banks novel --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 100 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
One morning, a solitary walker finds a body in a quiet valley below the village of Swainsdale. The corpse clearly displays signs of a gruesome [demise]- it's as good as faceless - and has apparently lain undiscovered for quite a while. Enter Chief Inspector Alan Banks, straight into an investigation that is already appearing to be dead in the water. No one has any idea who the victim is, or how he got there. Not Sam or Katie Greenock, the couple who run the local guesthouse. Not Freddie Metcalfe, landlord of the local pub. And not either of the Collier brothers, Stephen or Nicholas, the most wealthy family in the area.
Then, a curious lead emerges that could help the identify the body, as well as link this crime to another unsolved murder in the area five years before...
My, what a good series this is. If you want a contemporary British police mystery with its grounding in the traditional aspects of detective novels, then these early Inspector Banks books really are the place to look. And The Hanging Valley is the best one so far. The plot is excellent. I couldn't really have asked for more from this sort of book. The pacing is great, and there is even a wonderfully interesting trip to Toronto for Banks (investigating a possible lead) which really gives the story a fresh kick. The ending, also, is absolutely excellent, and the final page or so is shocking, taking the book far above more run-of-the-mill traditional British mysteries. I may be in wrong, but I suspect that the finale of this book was really when the series "grew up".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Number four in this excellent series featuring Yorkshire based DCI Alan Banks. I have to confess I am totally hooked on this well written and absorbing series of police procedural crime novels. In this one a decomposing body is found in an isolated valley. A tourist discovers it while on a walking holiday. But it soon becomes clear that a group of locals know more about the body than in perhaps good for them.

This wide ranging story sees Banks travelling to Canada and to Oxford to try and unravel the skeins of evil which have a long history and which threaten to cause more deaths in the present. There are some particularly unpleasant characters in this story but all are well drawn and believable. There are some likeable ones too.

This is a well written novel which could be read as a standalone novel as there is enough background information to update a new reader with what is happening in the private lives of the series characters. I particularly enjoy the Yorkshire background and the atmosphere of the fells is brought vividly to life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jane Baker VINE VOICE on 31 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this. However I read it after reading "Pieces of my heart" - a later novel - and the plot and theme were instantly recognisable. I enjoyed Banks's visit to Toronto very much - some excellent descriptive passages of his sight-seeing, totally unrelated to the plot itself but good nevertheless.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Fernandez on 7 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Peter Robinson has already captured a spot among my favorite mystery authors with this entertaining series. He has done this by a combination of well-crafted plots, interesting and complex characters, wonderful settings for the stories, and overall, a prose that does not bore, not even for a second. Among the characters, the main protagonist, Chief Inspector Alan Banks, is one to cherish. His unimposing physique and mild temperament are not even remotely and obstacle to bringing the culprits to justice, and the gets the job done efficiently and by applying impeccable logic.

The case in this book has to do with the murder of an out-of-towner in the fells near Swainshead, a small village in the Swainsdale. The body has been viciously battered and its identification is not an easy process, especially since it has remained undiscovered for a couple of weeks. Banks is called in to investigate, and in the process he comes across a suspicious set of characters, a possible relationship to an unresolved murder in the past, and a connection that leads him to travel to a foreign land in search for answers.

This novel may not be Robinson's best, but it is definitely a very good mystery. The ability the author usually displays in depicting the characters and in creating engaging interactions among them is present as usual. The main area in which I found this installment lacking was in the development of the personal story of Inspector Banks. One of the things that I enjoy when reading mystery series is to see how the main character evolves in his / her personality, family relationships, etc. Sadly, this was missing in this case.

The only other criticism I have for this book is that even though the story is resolved, it felt a little bit rushed towards the end.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Al on 4 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has an excellent storyline. It starts with a murder in a generally quiet village where another, still unsolved murder and disappearance occurred 5 years earlier. Although there is no apparent link, it seems unlikely that two murders and a disappearance (possibly third murder) in such a place would not be linked in some way.

The locals seem to be closing ranks, thwarting the investigation and the book follows the central character - Chief Inspector Banks - slowly piecing together the stories behind these events.

A number of locals are introduced, some of whom seem likely to be behind the crimes. However, a large part of the mystery is trying to work out what actually happened - why were these people killed, are the deaths related, was the person who disappeared murdered or did she leave voluntarily, and if so, why, etc... Then another body is found.

The story does move along at a fair pace, but it does follow a fairly methodical process of investigation, which I found extremely absorbing, but there are no car chases or shoot-outs in this book.

My only complaint is that even after 4 books in this series the main character - Alan Banks - and other central figures seem to be taking their time to develop. This is partly because the author does get on with the story and doesn't pad the book out with endless asides that add little to the plot (many other authors would have padded this story out to 400-500 pages), which I am grateful for. A little more insight into the slightly aloof character of CI Banks would be nice though. It's just a matter of getting the balance right.
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