Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All the Colors of Darkness by Peter Robinson

Mr. Robinson's latest Inspector Alan Banks detective novel illustrates how wonderful a writer he has become. His first book was published in 1987 and I've tried to read his early Banks novels with little success. I find them lacking imagination and extremely routine. Yet his novels that have been published in the past 10 years or so are outstanding. He just keeps capitalizing on his experience and knowledge to create intricate, well-plotted, intriguing novels.
The lastest Alan Banks mystery finds Alan and DS Annie Cabot investigating the murder of a wealthy, ex-civil servant in Eastvale. The same day he is found murdered his boyfriend, a set designer for the local theater, is found in the woods hanging from a tree. They quickly deduce that it was a case of murder-suicide, but something doesn't sit right with Banks and, though he is forbidden to investigate further, he goes to London to track down several clues that could break the case open and send it in an entirely different direction. This novel was unique in that the mystery was solved within the first 50 pages, but the loose ends were the main focus of the book. I enjoyed Banks' investigations, but there were several sideplots that were distracting and unnecessary, including a terrosist attack on London that was kind of weirdly wedged in. There also wasn't enough of Annie, whose character I like and want to read more about. I also had issues with the ending, which seemed melodramatic and just didn't work. Overall, though, another excellent novel from Peter Robinson, who I will continue to read.

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