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Watching the Dark
Inspector Banks
Peter Robinson

William Morrow
May 2017/ ISBN 978-0062283979

Reviewed by Leslie C. Halpern 


This new paperback edition of the best-selling Inspector Banks Novel series features British Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his regular team of detectives, including Annie Cabbot, Winsome Jackman, and Gerry Masterson investigating a murder case involving one of their own. When a decorated and highly respected policeman is murdered with a crossbow through his heart during an extended convalescence at a police treatment center, naturally his fellow officers are passionate about finding his killer.

Then incriminating photographs are found in his room at the center, and suddenly his stellar reputation becomes somewhat tarnished. Assigned to the case, Banks is forced to team with Inspector Joanna Passero from Professional Standards, an in-house division intended to catch crooked cops. As determined as Banks is to clear the officer’s name, Joanna seems just as convinced of the officer’s wrongdoing.

Returning from her recent recovery following a shooting attempt on her life, Annie works this ever-evolving case close to home, while Banks and Joanna travel to Estonia to research a cold case involving a young woman who disappeared during a vacation there six years ago that may be connected to the recent murder of the policeman. Before long, more dead bodies are discovered, and they all seem to connect somehow to impoverished migrant workers, loan sharks, and the strange unsolved disappearance of Rachel Hewitt in Estonia.

As with other books in this series, Banks’s love of music, literature, alcohol, and women factor into the novel. Readers get a sense of how the case affects him, as well as how office politics and sleazy criminals undermine his efforts to stay in control of each situation. The writing is crisp and descriptive, with careful attention to details (such as smells, textures, colors, and ambience) to draw readers into each setting as well as into the mini mysteries surrounding the primary case. The book provides an interesting and entertaining read from beginning to end.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Cold is the Grave #11
Aftermath, #12
Close to Home #13
Playing Fire #14
Strange Affair #15 [audio] [1 book] [2 book]
Piece of My Heart #16
Friend of the Devil #17
All the Colors of Darkness
Watching The Dark # 20
In The Dark Places #22 [review 1] [review 2]
When The Music's Over #23 [review 1] [review 2]

Reviewed 2017