Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the series grows, 24 Jan. 2004
This review is from: The Hanging Valley (The Inspector Banks series) (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

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]