In bestseller Robinson’s deftly plotted 22nd Inspector Banks novel (after 2014’s Children of the Revolution), the Yorkshire copper investigates the disappearance of a tractor belonging to gentleman farmer John Beddoes. There’s no reason to connect the theft to the mysterious bloodstain found at a nearby WWII-era airplane hangar, until Beddoes mentions his neighbor’s allegedly ne’er-do-well son, a young man named Michael Lane, who apparently runs with the wrong crowd. When Banks and Det. Insp. Annie Cabot look into Michael’s past, they find that he’s mates with Morgan Spencer, a known tough who soon turns up dead. Morgan’s murder leads the team to local abattoirs—scenes that vegetarian readers may want to skip—as Bank tries to tie all the disparate pieces together. Robinson is equally adept at making murder on a small scale as compelling as any serial killer hunt, and Banks continues to charm. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Louise Penny calls In the Dark Places "brilliant." Tess Gerritsen says it's "thrilling." And Michael Connelly describes Peter Robinson as "amazing." One of the world's greatest suspense writers returns with this sensational new novel featuring Inspector Alan Banks, hailed by Michael Connelly as "a man for all seasons."
It's a double mystery: Two young men have vanished, and the investigation leads to two troubling clues in two different locations.
As Banks and his team scramble for answers, the inquiry takes an even darker turn when a truck careens off an icy road in a freak hailstorm. In the wreckage, rescuers find the driver, who was killed on impact, as well as another body—a body that was dead well before the crash.
Snow falls. The body count rises. And Banks, perceptive and curious as ever, feels himself being drawn deeper into a web of crime, and at its center something—or someone—dark and dangerous lying in wait.
Vibrating with tension, ingeniously plotted, and filled with soul and poignancy, In the Dark Places is a remarkable achievement from this masterful talent.
Praise for Peter Robinson’s In the Dark Places: “Peter Robinson is an author with amazing empathy, a snare trap ear for dialogue and a clear eye for the telling detail.
Absorbing...Robinson excels at connecting his detectives’ personal stories to the investigation, endowing familiar characters with fresh nuance and depth. Impeccable pacing fleshes out Miller’s tragic life and unravles the killer’s motive.
It’s neither the setting nor even the characters that makes Robinson’s work so satisfying, but the plotting of Swiss-watch precision.
Classic Robinson: labyrinthine plot merged with deft characterisation.
DCI Alan Banks's team is miffed at having been sent to investigate a stolen tractor, albeit such an expensive one that the theft is considered a major crime. It's not easy to steal a piece of equipment that size, and the detectives believe that the theft may be tied to a major smuggling operation. Suspicion falls on a neighbor's troubled son, as the young man and a friend have disappeared. Robinson's latest mystery (after Children of the Revolution) finds the team investigating farmers and employees of the local slaughterhouse, offering the author an opportunity to provide abundant descriptions of the unsavory side of the meat industry. VERDICT The focus here is less on Banks and more on the no-nonsense DS Winsome Jackman, her background, and the possibility of a romance. The series remains absorbing, and procedural fans will be satisfied. Robinson's portrayal of the realities of slaughterhouses will, no doubt, inspire new commitments to vegetarianism. [See Prepub Alert, 2/23/15.]—Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs
A case no one in Eastvale HQ wants to work—a gentleman farmer's stolen tractor—leads to all the homicidal twists and turns beloved of Robinson's many fans. Returning from a holiday in Mexico, John and Patricia Beddoes find that someone's broken into their barn—child's play, really—and driven off a tractor worth £100,000. It may not sound like much to Eastvale CID, but Beddoes is worked up about it, and DI Annie Cabbot obligingly begins her inquiries with neighboring farmer Frank Lane, whose son, Michael, exactly the sort of tearaway Beddoes would suspect, has fortuitously vanished. So has his ne'er-do-well mate Morgan Spencer, who's soon linked to a killing in a disused airline hanger. Several pieces of the puzzle come together with a bang when an accident sends Caleb Ross' delivery van hurtling over a cliff and a search discloses the remains of Morgan Spencer, neatly chopped and bagged, among the parcels of dead animals headed for a meat-packing plant. Where did Spencer meet his end, at whose hand, and why? DCI Alan Banks, returning from his own holiday, is nominally in charge of the inquiry, but the mystery this time has so many strands and so many players, some of them quite memorable, that it requires the entire Eastvale team, with a particularly strong performance from DS Winsome Jackman, to chase down every complication. Too diffuse in both its crimes and its coppers to rank among Robinson's finest work (Children of the Revolution, 2014, etc.). But if malfeasance in Yorkshire is what you crave, you won't hesitate, and you won't go wrong.
Brilliantly plotted, beautifully paced, it gathers speed and dread until I could barely stand it. Peter Robinson writes with compassion, with depth, with the assurance of a writer at the top of his game.
Peter Robinson is a master, and In the Dark Places shows why. Thrilling, sophisticated, and emotionally involving, this is edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-throat suspense. A must-read.