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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my fave characters
I've said it before and I'll say it again - if Peter Robinson's name is on it, I know I'm in for a good read. I enjoyed last year's stand alone novel - Before the Poison. (Winner of the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada) But, I've waiting for the latest installment in Robinson's Inspector Banks series. And it's here! Watching the Dark...
Published 22 months ago by Luanne Ollivier

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New Peter Robinson
I am a big fan of the Banks Series and have been long before the TV series, So I couldn't wait to get my copy of the new book as soon as it came out. Unfortunately I was actually disappointed this time, which has never happened before. Banks seems to have changed his character and comes across as bei a bit shallow and childish at times. i love the fact that these books...
Published 22 months ago by AMH123


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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my fave characters, 5 Sep 2012
By 
Luanne Ollivier - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I've said it before and I'll say it again - if Peter Robinson's name is on it, I know I'm in for a good read. I enjoyed last year's stand alone novel - Before the Poison. (Winner of the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada) But, I've waiting for the latest installment in Robinson's Inspector Banks series. And it's here! Watching the Dark is the 20th entry in this wonderful series.

Watching the Dark opens at the St. Peter's Police Treatment Centre. Annie Cabot has just left the centre, finally ready to return to work after a lengthy convalescence. So, Alan Banks is familiar with the centre, but didn't expect to be working a case there. Bill Reid, a fellow officer has been murdered on the grounds - by a crossbow. On searching Reid's room, photos of a compromising nature are found. Banks is determined to not judge until his investigation is complete, but Inspector Joanna Passero from Professional Standards (internal investigations) is brought in to 'help' Banks with his inquiries. As Banks digs into Reid's past, he wonders if a cold case of Reid's could be tied to his death.

Robinson takes us out of Eastvale with Banks' investigation and into Estonia. I must admit, I truly had no firm grasp on this country but Robinson did a great job of setting the stage with detailed descriptions and characters. I was surprised to learn that English stag and hen parties take cheap flights over for weekend parties.

I was glad to see Annie Cabot back on the job. She's out to prove herself after being injured and off the job for so long, so she delves into the case with dogged determination. Her investigations keep her in Eastvale, but dealing with the ugly underbelly of this bucolic Yorkshire countryside. She is following the tracks of migrant workers tricked and abused by local criminals. Her storyline takes the stage almost as much as Banks's in this book. That's a good thing, as she's a character I quite enjoy.

Inspector Passero was an interesting addition. I was never really sure of her agenda and Robinson keeps us guessing until the very last chapters. And, I'm still not sure if we really know her - I think she'll make an appearance in the next book, but I'll reserve judgment until then.

I've always enjoyed Banks's love of music and the references to what he's listening to. However it seemed like there were quite a few this time - enough that I found myself skimming over some of these passages.

Robinson has crafted a multi faceted, well paced plot that takes inspiration from current day issues. I did find the end to be tied up a bit too neatly, but all in all it was a read I quite enjoyed. And I'll be waiting for the 21st book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading!!, 23 Nov 2012
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It's been a long time since I wrote a review here on Amazon, due to lack of time. However, after having read this latest Alan Banks case by Peter Robinson I just had to give my praise.

As praise I'm giving. This is the best book I have read this year and it was hard to put down. In addition to the story, the atmosphere of a country very unknown to me, was a huge and interesting plus. As another reviewer has already said, it makes you want to go there.

And Banks himself. Like an old friend by now. Although, in addition to obviously being a very attractive guy, he is a sensitive, complex personality with his love om music, his remote little cottage and the nature around. I see him as a romantic, in spite of facing the cruel facts of the criminal world his job offers with a clear and sharp mind.

I'll not go into the story in this book, but leave it for readers to enjoy. But it is as intricate and interesting as any Banks mystery. Keeping the reader awake until early morning, at least it did me.

For all Peter Robinson lovers the book is a must. And for those who have not yet discovered DI Alan Banks, do read this one - and all the others in this series. Excellent entertaining by a master storyteller!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story to Continue Following?, 24 Aug 2012
By 
ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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Peter Robinson has written another chapter in DCI Alan Banks's story. This is an engaging follow-up. The crossbow-killing of a fellow detective, Bill Reid, in a police re-habilitation centre is the starter. Scrutinised by workmates, closely, notably Joanna Pessaro, Banks enters the foray that takes him to Estonia, into the cobbled town of Tallinn. Dark and brooding, the disappearance of Rachel Hewitt 6 years ago after a hen-party sets Banks and Joanna Pressaro (his watchguard) on to the trail that leads to more intrigue. Recovering DI Annie Corbett, from a shooting trauma, is suffering her problems plus, although at homely Eastvale. She has to deal with the Eastern bloc perversity of marketing illegal and immigrant personnel. The interaction with rogue profit-makers with their promises of jobs may be familiar but add lurid corruption to the tale and to Banks's investigation. Meanwhile Banks is off to try to solve the riddle of Rachel's disappearance given the limited information he has at hand. This opens more gates than it shuts, adding to the plot.

Peter Robinson has written an easy readable story that continues DCI Bank's endeavours. This is an in and out enjoyable tale but I did find that there was an effort to take the narrative to it's conclusion. The author admits that he was not sure where the storyline was going. Fittingly, as a professional, he does negotiate an ending. Where next, however? As with all established characters, there is inevitably a limit to how much can be sqeezed out of a character. A further episode will undoubtedly surface. When the balloon finally bursts, I hope it goes with a climactic bang.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching the Dark, 22 Dec 2012
By 
Gloria Feit (Long Beach, NY) - See all my reviews
The 20th entry in the wonderful Inspector Banks series by Peter Robinson opens with the shocking killing of one of Banks' colleagues, a decorated detective inspector, on the grounds of St. Peter's Police Convalescence and Treatment Center, where he was a patient. The Major Crimes Unit, or Homicide and Major Inquiry Team, as it was now known, operating out of Eastvale, is assigned, the investigative team once again including DS Winsome Jackman ("all six feet something of her"), DC Gerry Masterson, and DI Annie Cabbot, Banks' close friend, who is just returning from a convalescence after having survived her own brutal wounds and subsequent convalescence in events described in a prior entry in the series.

Because there had recently been a hint of police corruption, Inspector Joanna Passero, of Professional Standards [the equivalent of the American IAB], is assigned to work with Banks. Their working relationship, perhaps understandably, is an ambivalent one, at least initially. Very shortly, another murder takes place, and there are indications that the two killings may be related. Another angle that comes into play is a six-year-old cold case involving Rachel Hewitt, a 19-year-old English girl who seemingly "disappeared off the face of the earth" in Tallinn, Estonia, a case that had haunted the dead inspector for the intervening years, having been involved in the investigation at its inception in Tallinn.

The author expertly juxtaposes the lines of investigation, with Annie and her colleagues handling the Eastvale aspect of the case, and Banks the second killing, which appears to involve illegal migrant labor activities, ultimately taking him to Estonia, though he is warned not to get diverted by the Hewitt case. Following his instincts, as always, Banks is determined to do his best to bring closure to the girl's parents if at all possible. A complex plot, carried off in smooth fashion, in a book that is highly recommended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New Peter Robinson, 2 Sep 2012
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I am a big fan of the Banks Series and have been long before the TV series, So I couldn't wait to get my copy of the new book as soon as it came out. Unfortunately I was actually disappointed this time, which has never happened before. Banks seems to have changed his character and comes across as bei a bit shallow and childish at times. i love the fact that these books are so atmospheric and have lots of lovely detail in about North Yorkshire, but this was sadly missing this time. I am normally gripped by the 'Banks' books and can't put them down but this time I actually struggled to get through it. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that makes this book not so good as the others, it's a shame though, I wanted to enjoy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching the Dark - Peter Roninson, 9 Jan 2013
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Another fine novel by Peter Robinson in the Inspector Banks series.

What a pity that a Kindle book is so expensive - I'm sure that isn't really necessary and it doesn't encourage Kindle reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good solid procedural, 19 July 2014
By 
Stanley Crowe (Greenville, SC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Watching the Dark: The 20th Dci Banks Mystery (Inspector Banks 20) (Paperback)
I'm reading the Banks series backwards so far, and that's just fine: the novels stand alone pretty well so far. This one is a solid procedural, made interesting by its geographical reach as well as by combining investigation of a six-year-old unsolved case with a double murder on Banks's turf. One of the victims is a convalescing cop, who seems to have been haunted by his failure to solve a case six years ago involving a young girl's disappearance in Tallinn, Estonia. Does his murder have anything to do with that earlier case? When another murder takes place at around the same time and the victim turns out to be an Estonian journalist investigating a people-smuggling operation, Banks realizes that he's going to have to go to Tallinn to seek answers. So we have two investigations going on concurrently -- Banks goes to Estonia and sorts things out there, while in Yorkshire, DI Annie Cabbot, Banks's second-in-command, just back to work after being seriously wounded in an earlier case (see "Bad Boy"), works the Yorkshire angle.

Robinson very skillfully blends the two procedural stories, giving each its due and not rushing his dramatic presentations of the various interviews and conversations. As a result, the subsidiary characters come into sharp focus to lend a sense of reality and credibility to the proceedings -- the disappeared girl's parents, a friend who was with her in Estonia when she disappeared and whose life has gone downhill. The Estonian cop who led the investigation and whom Banks doesn't trust, and the editor of the paper the murdered journalist was working for are also vividly drawn. There is a complication for Banks in the presence of the icily beautiful Joanna Passero from the UK equivalent of Internal Affairs ("Professional Standards"), who is on the case to find out if the murdered cop was honest or not. Banks is given no choice but to have her in on the investigation, and he doesn't much like that.

Writing crime fiction is an exercise in the art of delay in order to generate suspense, and Robinson is a master at filling in details of conversation, of setting, and of the inner thoughts of selected characters (here mainly Cabbot and Banks) in such a way that our understanding is advanced even as the plot line is being held back. Both in Tallinn and in Yorkshire, the investigating cops get breaks, and Robinson is careful to set up the circumstances so that none of these breaks seems incredibly lucky. Rather, we believe that, given the ways in which the investigations are proceeding, such breaks are in fact not at all unlikely. That's how good police procedurals work, and this one is no exception.

Two quibbles: the final chapter takes place about six weeks after the end of the previous one and wraps up a bunch of stuff. I don't think that it's necessary, though. The important stuff is already known, and the dotting of the extra i's and crossing a few more t's don't add anything essential. More seriously, to my mind, Banks's childish and resentful treatment of Joanna just doesn't seem like him -- a point even Joanna makes, for she has heard he was a good boss. Resentment of Internal Affairs is an old story in cop drama and fiction to an extent that it's almost a cliche. Here, it seems totally unnecessary -- Banks isn't interested in protecting dirty cops. For all that, though -- this is, as they say, compulsively readable.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WHERE IS THE BANKS I LOVED, 7 Sep 2012
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Had to push myself to finish his last two books Bad Boy and now this one Watching the Dark. I have been reading Robinson for years but have been disappointed in the last two books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to his usual high standard, 3 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Watching the Dark: The 20th Dci Banks Mystery (Inspector Banks 20) (Paperback)
A gripping read, well plotted and up to the high standard of his previous novels in the series, only problem is it's hard to put down so I read it very quickly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Estonia - worth a visit!, 2 Nov 2013
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I enjoyed the parallel solving of this crime. Banks in Estonia and Annie and Winsome on home turf. How a murder/ disappearance a decade or so ago remained unsolved and is cleverly interlinked with current murders. Well worth a read.
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Watching the Dark: The 20th Dci Banks Mystery (Inspector Banks 20)
Watching the Dark: The 20th Dci Banks Mystery (Inspector Banks 20) by Peter Robinson (Paperback - 17 Jan 2013)
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