Customer Reviews


246 Reviews
5 star:
 (123)
4 star:
 (78)
3 star:
 (21)
2 star:
 (16)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


91 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the series grows
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...
Published on 24 Jan 2004 by RachelWalker

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting after reading the reviews
After reading the reviews about how the author had found his form again I started reading this book in great anticipation. On starting to read I thought how nicely it was written. However as I continued to read I found it very boring, not the fast moving story I had been promised. The story had promise but the whole book could have been condensed into half of the pages...
Published 26 days ago by Suzanne Rothwell


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

91 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the series grows, 24 Jan 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hanging Valley (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".
The writing is of an exemplary standard (at times, I think Peter Robinson could easily turn himself to more literary fiction and be held in very high regard), and Banks is a strong lead character and is well developed, even if he'd perhaps a little too distant and cool to achieve the popularity of such peers as Rankin's John Rebus. However, this book does have a slight law in that some of the subsidiary characters (other officers, one or two of the suspects, and evens Banks' own family) could still do with quite a bit more development. Though, I'm almost positive that even those flaws will dissolve as this series progresses.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little recognisable, 31 Oct 2009
By 
Jane Baker "jan-bookcase" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Hanging Valley (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hanging Valley, 14 Dec 2014
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "He wasn't the kind of guy who gets himself killed", 7 Oct 2007
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hanging Valley (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. It seemed to me as if we got the bare minimum needed to complete the story, but not much else. This is a little disappointing, especially from an author that takes good care in describing the culture, settings and characters so thoroughly and proficiently. Nevertheless, I still think that this is a book worth reading, especially if you have been following this series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, 4 Mar 2010
By 
Al (Farnborough, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Hanging Valley (Paperback)
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.

Although this is possibly the best in the Alan Banks series so far, I would recommend that anyone who has not read any of them yet should start with Gallows View, which is the first in the series and also an excellent book.

Thankfully, having discovered this series of books late, I have many more books in the series to look forward to. I can't wait!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good British detective story, 13 Dec 2014
By 
Mrs Ferret (Wirral, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must start by saying that this is the first Chief Inspector Banks story I've read but it does standalone & I didn't feel that I missed anything by not having read the previous books.
The story begins with a body found in Hanging Valley, a corpse with its face so badly damaged as to make it indistinguishable. Identifying the body leads Banks to another unsolved murder which took place in the same quiet area some five years earlier. Are the two murders linked & if so then how? The trail moves from the sleepy village & takes Banks as far as Canada in his search for the killer.
The characters include the Collier brothers who are the local powerful landowners, Sam Greenock who is desperate to be in their circle & Sam's downtrodden, God fearing wife Katie who has torments of her own.
I presume this book is set in the 70's or thereabouts as people are still smoking in pubs & not even the police seem to worry about drinking & driving. I liked the descriptions of the places (those of Canada were particularly good) & Mr Robinson put enough flesh on the bones of his characters to give them life.
I didn't find this riveting but still enjoyed it & would read more in the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Alan Banks, 19 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This delightful author just gets better and better, a really good story, I could not lay this book down. I am sure it is worth anybody's time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story, 15 April 2012
By 
Jerry J. Cobb - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
James Langton does a good job in this reading. I enjoyed it enough that I have ordered four more audiobooks. I am a real fan of the Inspector Banks books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A blast from the past, 8 July 2009
By 
Martin A. Chambers (U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hanging Valley (Paperback)
This book had a lot to overcome, I bought it in a hurry and didn't realise it was quite an early Inspector Banks novel. I put it down as soon as I realised in was published in 1989. But having nothing else to read I picked it up again grumbling as I read. Then suddenly I was up to page two hundred and something and enjoying it. Peter Robinson has matured as a writer since he penned The Hanging Valley but that is not to suggest it is dated - it isn't.
A walker finds a rather gruesome corpse in the Hanging Valley and we follow Banks and his team as they attempt to uncover "who done it"! It takes far longer than normal to reach the answer during which time Inspector gets to visit Canada (wonder if he called on Peter Robinson while there?). But essentially the novel takes place in a rather claustrophobic Yorkshire dale. I didn't find any of the dale's inhabitants to be people I'd want to add to my Christmas card list, but the story line is gripping and enjoyable. Buy it and have fun being fooled. Recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Twice read....still excellent !!, 2 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
5 stars... nothing less for me! I have read nearly all of peter robinson's books, this one twice I'm sure, sometime ago. It is still fresh in my mind and I love all of his books. The detecting is thorough and sometimes very routine but a result is reached in the end. Banks and Hatcheley are so different but an excellent team ( with a little comedy thrown in ). The scenery and descriptions in and around the Dales are great and very familiar. Maybe I'm biased coming from Yorkshire!!! Anyone who hasn't read Robinson should try him, you get more atmosphere in the book than the T.V. adaptations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Hanging Valley
The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson (Paperback - 8 Nov 2002)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews