Published in the United
Kingdom and Canada with the title Abbatoir Blues, this cold
wintry tale (now released in softcover) delivers plenty of
thrills and chills. Inspector Alan Banks and his team of detectives
tour bloody slaughterhouses, unfriendly farmhouses, and dangerous
slums in this murder mystery set in England’s sparsely
The story begins with the disturbing discovery of a pile of
human remains found by a disabled veteran walking his dog
near an abandoned hangar. Then a wealthy farmer in the area
reports an expensive tractor has been stolen from his farm,
and the most likely suspect has gone missing. To complicate
things further, a horrific truck accident during a hailstorm
reveals the driver had been transporting dismembered animals
and human body parts. Banks wonders if these strange events
are connected to a large-scale criminal operation, and assigns
his team various angles to pursue in the case to identify
the unifying element.
Icy cold weather and bleak conditions permeate the story to
create a distinctive mood that’s highly effective for
a murder mystery. The book combines intrigue and suspense
with undercurrents of horror when police find an illegal abattoir,
and romance when a lonely detective lets her guard down with
a witness/potential suspect.
Amid frightening scenes of deception, intimidation, torture
and death, the best-selling author includes much-appreciated
lightness by including a queasy animal-loving vegetarian as
one of the detectives who must tour the slaughterhouse facilities.
Fans of Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks series won’t
be disappointed with this latest sinister, but sophisticated,
selection: In the Dark Places.