Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is on vacation. Now in his 50s and having served as the crime-solving protagonist of 17 previous novels by Peter Robinson, Inspector Banks deserves it. His idyll is ended, however, when his on-again-off-again partner, Inspector Annie Cabbot, comes upon a body hanging from a tree. Just like that, Robinson plunges the listener into that old familiar darkness and suspense of which none other than Stephen King is a big fan.
Audie Award winner Simon Prebble brings his perfect dark British accent to this tale of multiple murder, love gone wrong, and wit. This audiobook is ideal for a long night by the fire, or, if you dare, alone by a brook in the English countryside.
When the body of a man is discovered hanging from a tree in the woods near Eastvale, all signs point toward suicide. At least that's what it initially looks like to Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot.
The man is soon identified as Mark Hardcastle, the set and costume designer for the local amateur theater company. Mark was successful and well liked in the community, but enough remains mysterious about his background that suicide isn't completely out of the question. But when Mark's older and wealthier lover is discovered bludgeoned to death in his home, Annie begins to think differently. Could it have been a crime of passion, or did overwhelming grief lead to a man taking his own life? Increasingly confounded, she calls in the vacationing Chief Inspector Alan Banks, even if it means prying him away from his new girlfriend.
Once on the investigation, Banks finds himself plunged into a case where nothing is as it seems. More and more, his own words about the victim's latest production, Othello, are coming back to haunt him, for "jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge: all the colors of darkness" are quickly becoming his world as well.
©2009 Eastvale Enterprises, Inc.; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
Robinson gets a bit silly here and there, but it's worth the purchase. The usual interesting story and good ensemble, though "guest" characters are a bit wobbly this go-round, and the premise occasionally made me itch.
AUDIO: The reading would have been quite adequate except for some insane -- literally insane -- music stuck in at odd moments. It was a sort of cross between country-drunk and MGM's idea of hula-hula music -- just right for Yorkshire, right? Awful! Each time the producers assaulted me with this twanging slop, it utterly shattered everything the author and narrator had built up. The worst part is ... why? Why do such an awful and destructive thing when it was so totally, completely pointless?
This is another great Banks novel. Someone else mentioned the weird music. I agree - it's jarring and unnecessary. Doesn't belong at all. What were they thinking?
Simon Prebble as reader starts the book on a plus. The characters and story were well-written. A very good mystery.
I did not finish this book. I found the audio impossible to listen to, the modulation of the words was poor. The narrator began the word strongly, but dropped his tone towards the end of the word. i know this sounds a little crazy, but i found myself turning the volume up, and up, and up... and still straining to hear the end of each word. Earbuds made a slight difference, but I listen to these on my commute, so earbuds are a potential ticket, so it is not an option available to me.
I have read all of the previous Banks novels, in fact own them, and love them. I was very excited to add this to my library. but alas, will be returning it, if they will let me.
I have listened to 5 or 6 of the Peter Robinson DCI Banks books now, and have enjoyed them all. This one was a bit different in subject matter, and I was a somewhat disappointed in the wind up, but I stayed interested and listened nearly non-stop to this one. Simon Prebble did a good job, but I still find it a bit difficult to dintinguish between characters when women are talking. His voice is very nice in tone though.
Most of the audioboooks I listen to are first rate and this is no exception
Alan. He's real!
EVERYTHING! The most important part of audiobooks is the narrator and Simon Prebble is among the best.
I seek only entertainment and avoid stories that would evoke extreme emotion such as politics, children and animals.
Only one comment. I never listen to abridged versions regardless the narrator.
This is the second book by Peter Robinson that I've listened to. His character development is masterful, the plot completely intriguing and surprising. I found myself caring about the characters, as if I knew them personally. I could listen to Mr. Prebble's (the reader) voice for an eternity. The combination of brilliant writing and a fantastic performance by the reader produces a "not-to-be-missed" book. I just downloaded my third Robinson book. I'm hooked!
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