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Watching the Dark - Peter Robinson

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Peter Robinson / Hardcover / 416 Pages / Book is published 2012-08-16 by Hodder & Stoughton

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      22.09.2013 11:41
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      Good addition to the DCI Banks series

      ==Synopsis of the book:==

      DCI Banks and his team are called in when Detective Inspector Bill Quinn is murdered by an arrow fired from a crossbow. He is in a Police re-habitation centre at the time when he is killed late one night while in the grounds. Quinn has been a Detective for many years and was a respected member of the Force so his death is a nasty surprise following close on the heels of his wife's natural passing.

      However Banks quickly discovers some very incriminating pictures involving the dead man and a young girl in his room at the Centre. This is a real shock as Quinn was devoted to his wife. Banks must now not only find the killer but go deep into the dead man's past to find the truths behind the pictures. His task he believes will not be helped as his boss has told him he must work with Joanna Passero from Professional Standards, as now there is doubt about the dead man and his background must be gone through to find out is he was as honest and trustworthy as he always appeared.

      ==My thoughts on the novel:==

      I thought this was a good crime thriller and a welcome addition to this popular series. That said I do not think it was the best or worst in the series but somewhere in the middle, which for me makes it well worth a read. The thing I liked I think most about this particular novel was the very good and unpredictable twists within the story, that always impressed me especially as I never saw them coming. It is clear to me that Peter Robinson has an excellent imagination and his stories are never dull or repetitive.

      The DCI Banks books are these days best-sellers. With this book being the 20th in a series and a 21st is already planned for this year. And this series is the cornerstone in Robinson's writing Career. As he has additional written 10 other novels that are nothing to do with this series. I would compare his style for those who are not familiar with his writing to other crime authors such and Peter James or Mark Billingham. For me the key ingredient in his stories is they are not simple crime stories more complex stories often with several strands within them that really make the reader think.

      These stories have been quite successfully transferred to television bringing alive DCI Banks and his team to a whole new audience. Being a lover of books I unsurprisingly prefer these in the written format but even I still enjoy seeing the on the small screen. Although now sadly when I do read a Banks novel I do picture him as Stephen Tomkinson who plays him on the television. And in a sense this has for me anyway taken some of the magic away from the character as I had my own image of Banks before and it was nothing like this excellent actor.

      When I knew there was an addition to this series it was only a matter of time till I bought it. I didn't buy it immediately hoping to get it at a better price by hanging on for it. I think I did the right thing as I was able to buy the paperback from Amazon for just shy of four pounds new. And because I had previously enjoyed every book in the series in a sense I bought it blind and did not bother either reading a review of what anyone thought of it or check out the summary to find out what it was all about.

      For me there is still nothing like the feel of getting your hands on a Hardback or Paperback book, that it probably why I will not get a Kindle unless they stop making books in that way of course!! The only frustrated I now had was I had to wait three days for the book to be delivered. But when it did I was immediately impressed, I liked the artwork and the style of the cover. The only thing that having read the book really surprises me is that fact it is not right at all. I will say no more than that it is just odd and makes no sense to me now at all.

      The summary of the story was on the back cover of the book. This I thought was very effective and certainly grabbed my interest as I liked the different ideas and concepts it introduced to the reader. Added to which for a fan of the series it talked about Annie Cabbot returning to the team after having six months off recovering and she has always been one of my favourite characters in the series.

      The story really begins from page one with the discovery of Quinn's body. For me it was a good start and immediately had me involved in what was happening as straight away there was a real mystery that needed solving. The concepts where good this believed good Detective yet now their was real doubt about his character and was he a 'bent copper' after all? Added to this Banks and his team are immediately thrust into the spotlight and there was the new threat to the team as Professional Standards where now interested in the dead man and wanted to investigate alongside them. As these Internal Police Watchdog people are not liked within the force and this really came through in how Banks dealt with them.

      I found this as other books in this series the story was very easy to follow and understand. The author writes in clear concise English, but still always describes the key characters feelings and thoughts really well. The only real complaint I had about the story was it at times seemed a little slow moving and I kept expecting a faster pace and more to being happen given what the Team were now investigating. Yes there was always something to think about and things happening in the story it just at times seemed a little laboured.

      That said I did still thougherly enjoy the story. I think because the subject matter was so interesting and I found I needed to know the truth as badly as those interested parties and the Police did. This book for me was rich in mystery the whole way through and as always I enjoyed the way the Detectives in Banks Team went about their various tasks. This again is a feature I like about these stories that so far has not come across quite as well for me in the television series is the different characters and personalities within the team and the way they must all pull together to get results, so it is not just Banks it is the team he manages that needs to perform to resolve the mystery.

      I particularly enjoyed the conclusion to this story. Not because it was exciting, different or dynamic because it wasn't really. It was regardless of this a fine ending as all the various strands and questions I had were answered and it all made sense in the context of the story. It was more a well thought out conclusion that rounded of a clever Detective story.

      DCI Banks is still the star of the book despite all the valuable input for his team. I like Banks because he is basically a hard-working, intelligent Policeman. He treats all those he comes into contact with respect, except Trading Standards at seems and this made for an interesting read especially as he needed to work closely with this new perceived threat to him. I particularly like that Banks is down to earth and he enjoys creature comforts that we all do such as relaxing at home with his music.

      The books length for me was about right to tell a wonderful story that was full of great detail and
      possibilities. I do not think for one moment I would not enjoy this novel as I have liked all the previous ones. It probably lived up to my expectations without ever exceeding them. The basis for this is good well thought out crime stories that capture the imagination of the reader. I will certainly be looking out for my next 'fix' in the series when it becomes available.

      ==Conclusion:==

      This a crime thriller that I would recommend to all those crime fans who like a good mystery to get their teeth into. It is a good well thought out and twisting story that always had me interested in knowing the truth and wondering what the answers to it were. For me not the best in the series but a welcome addition to a very impressive series.

      ==Other information:==

      Paperback edition:

      Pages: 432
      Price: 3.85
      Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
      ISBN-10: 1444704893
      ISBN-13: 978-1444704891
      Year first published: 2012
      More about the series: www.inspectorbanks.com

      Thanks for reading my review.

      This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.

      © CPTDANIELS Septembr 2013.

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