Monday, March 3, 2008

The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson

The Hanging Valley is the fourth novel in the Chief Inspector Alan Banks series. Peter Robinson is one of my favorite mystery authors, but I find these early novels a bit plodding. And I can't help but miss the druggies, thieves and con-men of Rebus' Edinburgh. However, the country setting is a nice change. This particular mystery takes place in Swainsdale where a decomposing body has been found. The police suspect he is a hiker as he is found in the hanging valley where walkers frequently visit . Interrogating the townspeople leads them no where and it is only when a forensic odontologist is called in that they discover the victim is a college professor who lives in Toronto. The unique feature of The Hanging Valley is that Banks is permitted to go to Toronto to investigate for a short part of the novel. I don't know much about the city, but this novel makes it sound charming. Anyway, Banks learns that several people in Swainsdale have secrets and the professor knew them all. A bit of an unsatisfying ending, but in the end a good read.

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