12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"He wasn't the kind of guy who gets himself killed",
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.