9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Another good read from Robinson, 5 Mar. 2003
This was quite eagerly awaited as the last Banks I read was superb ( Cold is the Grave)
This was a compulsive read. Like other Robinson novels, it seeks to involve the reader and treat the issues in an intelligent and realistic manner. Those who pick this as their first Banks may be confused by the major characters but previous novels should be read to see that the story lines are cleverly plotted and Banks' relationships followed through in a seamless manner.
To the plot, it could be argued that this type of novel is done to death ( sorry) given the detailed police procedural narrative. However, what is outstanding here is the very well identified fallabilitiy of ordinary policeman involved in a high profile investigation where the failure of adequate supervision due to under resourcing evidentially leads to ( a la Yorkshire Ripper) failure to identify a serial killer before other deaths arise. OK maybe this to is cliched but it is done so well that you accept the premise.
Banks is again well drawn and whilst you can say that there are too many dectectives in current fiction who have relationship and emotional issues these identified here are a continuing theme from previous novels and can be seen as related to the strains of committed police work at the high level. The closed environment surrounding a high profile case could not have been better told and the examination of the media to events never less than credible.
I must admit I could not put this book down and ultimately one of its strengths is the gripping narrative and ( perhaps surprisingly) lack of sub plot. The compulsive nature of the need to seek the truth has never been better detailed.
Where it failed to attain 5 stars( I am not a willing giver of such an accolade) was in the fact that it seemed the author had an intense desire to tidy up the loose ends and end the novel in a somewhat abrupt manner-quite why I am not sure. . As Robinson seems content to let the reader begin to see that Banks is increasingly disenchanted with policing, this theme and the political nature of Police and excessive force in attempting arrests could have been carried over to the next novel.