The Hanging Valley

Peter Robinson, Author
Peter Robinson, Author Scribner Book Company $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19393-9
Reviewed on: 11/30/1992
Release date: 12/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 318 pages - 978-0-425-14196-0
Hardcover - 380 pages - 978-0-7505-0345-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-380-82048-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-4270-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-1270-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-6270-3
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A rotting corpse in the Yorkshire Dales brings Chief Inspector Alan Banks to the insular village of Swainshead in the latest of Robinson's ( Gallows View ) justly acclaimed series of procedurals. Aided by a receipt found in the trousers pocket of the murder victim, Banks identifies him as Bernard Allen, a local youth on a visit home from Canada. The investigation leads back five years to the unsolved murder of a PI hunting for a young girl's killer and the nearly simultaneous disappearance of a village woman. Evoking Ruth Rendell's Wexford setting and, like her, posing multiple solutions before the story's closing, Robinson lets Banks do much of his deducing with a pint glass in his hand--here inviting comparisons with Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse. Watching Banks down his beer is the pool of likeliest suspects, including two landowner brothers with sinister pasts, a pretentious B&B owner and his sexually repressed wife. Banks travels to Canada (on the trail of the missing woman) and moves through a maze of passion and possible blackmail before finding the solution in long-kept secrets. Robinson excels in the depiction of character, especially in his portrait of his pleasingly fallible copper. He is steadily ascending toward the pinnacles of crime fiction. (Dec.)
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