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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Robinson goes from strength to strength
Since I gave a favourable review to the first of the Banks series, Gallows View, I have read nearly all of the rest of the books in the series. I have enjoyed them all, but this one is by far the best yet.

It marks a new departure in Robinson's style. The preceding novels tend to focus on Banks himself, whereas his viewpoint is one of many in this novel. For...
Published on 13 Oct 2008 by N. Shepherd

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Puzzled
Did I miss something at the end, is there a sequel or do we invent it ourselves? Really strange ending
Published 2 months ago by D Colville


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Robinson goes from strength to strength, 13 Oct 2008
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N. Shepherd (Prague, Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
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Since I gave a favourable review to the first of the Banks series, Gallows View, I have read nearly all of the rest of the books in the series. I have enjoyed them all, but this one is by far the best yet.

It marks a new departure in Robinson's style. The preceding novels tend to focus on Banks himself, whereas his viewpoint is one of many in this novel. For the first time, we see a significant part of the action through the eyes of a suspect - Owen Pierce, who is suspected of the murder of a teenage girl. This means we get very little of Banks's family life, and I for one consider this a bonus. When reading a detective novel, I can't muster up much interest in the detectives' relationships, marital problems etc. Not that Robinson overdoes it in his other books, but the passages involving Banks's wife and kids are the ones that I have found least gripping, as a rule.

The other significant departure is that we see Banks and some of his team as rather more brutal than before. They are convinced that they have the right man for the murder, and go well beyond what should be acceptable police procedure to prove it. When they find that Pierce has an edition of Playboy, a dirty video and a copy of Lady Chatterley (!), they treat him as a pervert. In interview they bully him and twist his words until he becomes so confused he starts to contradict himself, to their great delight. This part made for uncomfortable reading, as did Pierce's treatment at the hands of the police while in custody. What Robinson does here is move his police characters away from likeable, dependable, upright types with civilised tastes towards single-minded, inflexible people who don't mind making the evidence fit the suspect rather than, as it should be, the reverse. I lost some respect for the characters due to this but this was clearly intentional - it is an honest portrayal of how many police officers actually behave. Not surprisingly, I was rooting for Owen at the trial - how that turns out is, of couse, for you to read for yourselves.

With Innocent Graves, Robinson has moved ever closer towards realism which is what makes the book so gripping. Better still, he succeeds at this without resorting to the sort of macho posturing so prevalent in many detective novels and cop shows.

I strongly recommend this and find it sad that to date it has so few Amazon reviews in comparison to some of the garbage that clogs up the bestseller lists. Enjoy!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, 18 Sep 2007
To me this is how a good crime story should be done, its not trying to be pretentious, it doesn't lose itself up its own bottom, its main character is believable, likeable and has flaws. Its not written to heavily you become so bogged down in description you lose the plot, it keeps you guessing the characters are well written and rounded.
My first Peter Robinson but def not my last
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where The Series REALLY Grows Up!, 11 July 2007
I love Peter Robinson's Banks stories and going back to read them again one after the other really lets you see the development. For me this is the book where the series goes from quite polite thrillers to big meaty thrillers. This is acheived by having two stories running together - the Alan Banks story line, where he's investigating the murder, and the story through the eyes of the man accused with the crime. Excellent stuff!!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars English Henning Mankell, 14 Jun 2003
By 
Stuart Rickards "bravestui" (Schermbeck) - See all my reviews
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I have never read anything from Peter Robinson before and was looking for a book to read on the beach. I have already exhausted what Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallender has to offer so I thought I would try another detective in Peter Robinsons Ian Banks. I was not dissapointed! The book grips you and keeps you interested. Like Mankell it has no big city glamour or a dashing hero so it has a more believable feel to it. And like all good detective mysteries it keeps you guessing. I still prefer Henning Mankell's writing but whilst I am waiting for his next one I have a more than worthy substitute to be getting on with.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Are you saying you still don't think he did it, sir?", 19 Jan 2008
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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If you are familiar with the Inspector Banks novels, get ready for a noticeable change in the usual flow of the story. There are several things that are different in "Innocent Graves", but the first one that comes to mind is that Inspector Banks has a less prominent role in the story. Or maybe I should refer to is as less "screen time". This happens because there is a significant portion of the story that covers the trial of the accused in the murder of a sixteen-year-old girl. Here Robinson shows once again that he is willing to take risks, and even though he did not write a legal thriller per se, he did take a step in that direction, with a result that was more than adequate.

There are a couple of new characters in Bank's team, and since one of them presents a striking contrast with the boisterous Hatchley, I liked the result of this experiment. Also, the usual elements that make Robinson's writing special are present, especially the conversation fragments that give us great insight into the minds of the characters. I felt that he was successful with the construction of the mystery too, even though he could have crafted the ending a little better, instead of just letting it resolve by itself and fall on the lap of the police.

My main gripe with this installment has to do with the little development we see in the sub-plot having to do with Banks and his family. In previous novels we witnessed how the inspector and his wife started having issues after their kids left the nest, and it would have been interesting to find out how this progressed. After all, one of the main reasons why I read series is because I like the character development from book to book and the elements outside the main plot. I hope that in the next novel Robinson rectifies this and delivers another outstanding work!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Banks review, 3 Sep 2013
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I love Peter Robinsons "Banks" books, another view on the famous inspector, so well written, you can "see" the characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 July 2014
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An absolutely superb writer - long may he continue
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5.0 out of 5 stars Innocent Graves, 27 Jun 2014
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Another excellent work from Peter Robinson. Well drawn characters and subtle changes throughout the plot. And very good use of language in both the descriptive and personal scenes. Tony Cheetham.
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1.0 out of 5 stars boring, 16 Jun 2014
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just how many stories can you write on the same theme, why the flaming peppermints? that's just totally annoying, and adds nothing to the story
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4.0 out of 5 stars Peter Robsinson is always a good read, 22 May 2014
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Inspector Banks novels are always a nice pace and interesting to read. The sort of book you want to read fast but also want to savour the story. Enjoyed it.
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Innocent Graves
Innocent Graves by Peter Robinson (Audio CD - 20 Oct 2006)
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