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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 January 2002
First of all the plot in this excellent novel is not a comfortable one and although the book is easy to get into it will no doubt not suit everyone. Acting Superintendant Alan Banks is having a pretty tough time at this point in his life. His wife is divorcing him, his kids are grown up and his current love interest is akin to catching a bar of soap in the bath. He is managing an investigation into the Chameleon Killer with little success and the world rests weary on his shoulders. However a chance call to a domestic disturbance starts to unravel the disappearances of the missing teenage girls and Banks ends up with his most traumatic case to date.
For those unfamiliar with this wonderful character this would not be the worst place to start as the novel not only refers back to previous cases (novels) and happier times but perhaps for the first time in this series we spend most of the time with Banks and see what the stresses of the job are doing and indeed have done to him. Peter Robinson has developed Banks so much over the past 15 years that as in real life the man who investigated the murders in Gallows View is different to the man who gets to the bottom of it all by the end of Aftermath. If you like your thrillers to have depth and to be pacy, full of twists with real life locations then I cannot recommend this novel enough. Stick with it because the surprise is bound to get you.
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on 5 March 2003
This was quite eagerly awaited as the last Banks I read was superb ( Cold is the Grave)
This was a compulsive read. Like other Robinson novels, it seeks to involve the reader and treat the issues in an intelligent and realistic manner. Those who pick this as their first Banks may be confused by the major characters but previous novels should be read to see that the story lines are cleverly plotted and Banks' relationships followed through in a seamless manner.
To the plot, it could be argued that this type of novel is done to death ( sorry) given the detailed police procedural narrative. However, what is outstanding here is the very well identified fallabilitiy of ordinary policeman involved in a high profile investigation where the failure of adequate supervision due to under resourcing evidentially leads to ( a la Yorkshire Ripper) failure to identify a serial killer before other deaths arise. OK maybe this to is cliched but it is done so well that you accept the premise.
Banks is again well drawn and whilst you can say that there are too many dectectives in current fiction who have relationship and emotional issues these identified here are a continuing theme from previous novels and can be seen as related to the strains of committed police work at the high level. The closed environment surrounding a high profile case could not have been better told and the examination of the media to events never less than credible.
I must admit I could not put this book down and ultimately one of its strengths is the gripping narrative and ( perhaps surprisingly) lack of sub plot. The compulsive nature of the need to seek the truth has never been better detailed.
Where it failed to attain 5 stars( I am not a willing giver of such an accolade) was in the fact that it seemed the author had an intense desire to tidy up the loose ends and end the novel in a somewhat abrupt manner-quite why I am not sure. . As Robinson seems content to let the reader begin to see that Banks is increasingly disenchanted with policing, this theme and the political nature of Police and excessive force in attempting arrests could have been carried over to the next novel.
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on 9 October 2002
This was the first Peter Robinson book I had read, and my introduction to Inspector Banks. The whole detective genre is getting a bit stale now, and this really does not redress the balance, a detective with family problems, a few ambitious sidekicks, a love interest within the job, and a forensic psychologist that noone ever takes seriously. However once you get over that you get into a really gripping story that you will not want to put down. A series of abductions, and presumed deaths of young girls has taken place, and instead of the book taking you through the investigation and subsequent revlation of the guilty party it starts off with the identification of the abductor in the most explosive of ways. The book concentrates then on the fallout of the crimes, and delves back into the pasts of the guilty party, shedding light on what may have caused their deviant behaviour..I would say the only bad point of the book is the character of the cop under investigation of heavy handidness, I feel the character was weakly developed, and never really got going, to the point that you didn't really make a connection with the character or care what happened. Also like so many of these types of books, the end came too soon, whether because my enjoyment was so great that I wanted it to go on, or, as I suspect a page limit was approaching and it was time to wrap things up (why do so many modern books give me this impression).
Will I read more Robinson books about Inspector Banks ? You can be assurred that I will, and I will keep a keen eye out for the next installments in this series.
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on 23 April 2008
I have read every one of the Inspector Banks novels in order. I am now up to Aftermath and this proves that the series is going from strength to strength. The early novels were short but later they have become more in depth with character development.
The first chapter could easily be the last chapter of many a crime novel.
A neighbour reports a domestic in a neighbour's house. Two constables respond to this and stumble upon the home of the Chameleon a serial killer that Yorkshire police have been chasing for months. The killer Payne has knocked his wife Lucy unconscious. He attacks the constables and kills one but the other constable manages to knock him unconscious.

The remainder of the story is the aftermath for those involved.
Banks has to make sense of all the bodies in the cellar. He investigates the past of Lucy to see if she was involved.
Annie Cabbot has to find out if the police constable used excessive force in arresting Payne.
We see the effect this has on Cabbot and the constable.
Also the life of the neighbour who phoned in the domestic unravels.

As ever Robinson progresses the lives of the two main characters Banks and Cabbot. There is also a return for psychologist Jenny Fuller who looked in the early novels that she would be a main character but does not feature in later novels.

As ever Robinson keeps the story flowing. His dialogue is realistic and there are the usual twists along the way. If you enjoy crime novels and have not read any of Inspector Banks I recommend that you do.
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on 4 August 2009
This is a rattling good read! I've read quite a number of Inspector Banks crime novels and they just keep getting better. It might sound pretentious but I was half convinced it was a real case being described. Two patrol officers are called to a house because of a reported domestic disturbance. What they find is truly horrific and is redolent of the Fred and Rosemary West case.
In this novel Banks is an acting superintendent and is finding the responsibility too much. Peter Robinson once again demonstrates his supreme skill as a writer. His narrative keeps you on the edge of your seat, often you feel you know what is going to happen, but Robinson trips you up unexpectedly. I would not dream of suggesting the Peter Robinson is the new Ian Rankin, but he is equally as good, in some ways better. Inspector Banks is not the new Rebus; he is a much more engaging character than that. Highly recommended, buy it, or put in on your Christmas list.
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DCI Alan Banks is acting Superintendent and in charge of the hunt for a serial killer dubbed 'The Chameleon'. He feels that he isn't cut out for running such a large operation which has seen five teenage girls go missing and he is struggling to come to terms with the prospect of finally severing his ties with his wife, Sandra. In the early hours of the morning the police in Leeds receive a call from a woman reporting a domestic disturbance and two police officers are sent to investigate. One of them is killed and another is left fighting to save her career and her sanity.

This is a harrowing and compelling story of evil in human form which will leave no one involved untouched. The book is well written with realistic and believable characters. The inherent violence in the story is described in a low key style which is much more shocking than if it had been described in graphic detail. I like the way the author is developing Banks as a character with all his human failings and virtues.

If you enjoy crime novels with psychological depth and an atmospheric background then try this excellent series. They can be read in any order but I think they are probably best read in the order in which they were published then you can follow the development of the series characters.
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on 13 May 2003
Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series goes from strength to strength. In Aftermath he tries something different and pulls it off superbly. In the first few pages we know or think we know what has happened, a serial killer's murder spree has been ended and Banks is tidying up the loose ends. His former lover Annie Cabot is brought in to investigate allegations of undue violence against one of the Police Officers, who discovered the serial killer's secrets in the basement of a surbuban house. Of course with Peter Robinson you get plot twists, interesting characters a blend of plotlines and a great police procedural. Buy it and enjoy.
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on 26 June 2016
I have now read several of the DCI Banks series & enjoyed reading them all.
Easy to read & get into. Peter Robinson is a good writer & would thoroughly recommend this series if you like reading this sort of fiction. For some reason I avoided the TV series but feel the books are better.
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on 16 October 2002
If you read a lot of crime fiction you frequently run into the sophomore jinx or the writers version of it. Some writers can't repeat the success of a first novel and others write four or five great crime books and then go cold. I think Patricia Cornwell is an example of someone who was great and has now gone off the boil. But Peter Robinson, and I have only read his last three books numbers 10,11 and 12 in the Inspector Banks series, goes from strength to strength. Aftermath is a brilliant new twist on the police procedural the crime apparently being solved in the first few pages, and the rest of the book covering the tidying up of the many loose ends. Well Robinson keeps you hooked with his little subtle moves all the way to the end. Brilliant, I can't wait for Bank's next case and to find out how his complicated personal life will turn out.
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on 5 September 2003
Also my first Robinson read. Brilliant plot. Not too much police procedure, which bores me rigid. As I've said in other reviews better that Rankin and Patterson.
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