Banks is to locate Emily, Riddle's teenaged daughter, who has run away to London. When he finds her, Banks forges an odd friendship with the wild rebellious girl. He is horrified, then, when she dies from strychnine-laced cocaine a few weeks later. As the troubled Inspector tries to find the killer in London's trendy club scene, he is nagged by a persistent suspicion that both Riddle and his wife may be withholding crucial information.
Cold Is the Grave paints a disturbing picture of people ensnared by webs of alienation, manipulation, and hidden agendas. Narrator Ron Keith perfectly captures the darkness of this world as well as Banks' yearning for meaning and connection.
©2000 Peter Robinson; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC
"[A] canny exploration of contemporary evil....A cunningly constructed plot, enhanced by Robinson's engaging descriptions and insights." (Booklist)
"Sharply nuanced pain, hard-won wisdom, and moral complexity everywhere...Mystery-mongering at once as sensitive and grandly scaled as P.D. James'." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Superbly crafted." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
"Full of twists and surprises....Robinson shows he has only begun to dig into the personality of his tenacious, thoughtful inspector." (Chicago Tribune)
As a big fan of P.D. James, I was quite pleased to discover Peter Robinson. I have listened to two other Peter Robinson books besides Cold is the Grave and found them all quite satisfying and enjoyable. Robinson is all about character development, each one is really fleshed out psychologically and then he tells you what each character is thinking, feeling, wearing, listening to, eating and so on at any given moment. Obviously this kind of detail can drive some people crazy, especially if a lot of action is what they are looking for, but I really like that kind of detail, and Robinson does do it well. The narrator may take a little getting used to, he tends to sort of "chortle out" his female voices sometimes, but really he is quite good. Cold Is the Grave was a good story and Robinson leaves you wondering who did it till the last, but that is not even why I like his books. It's more the journey there rather than the destination that makes it a good listen.
I am an Ian Rankin fan and one day, when I couldn't find an Ian Rankin book that I hadn't already read, another customer in the bookstore told me to read Peter Robinson. I would like to thank that woman because she turned me on to another well-written, unconventional British cop series.
"Cold Is The Grave" is a story that kept me involved with not only an interesting plot but interesting characters, as well. The characters are very real. Alan Banks, a small town English policeman, doesn't solve the mystery because he is smarter than everyone else. He does it by hard work and an understanding of how people think. The story has Banks solving a problem for one of his commanders who doesn't normally like Banks' methods but realizes, that in difficult circumstances, Banks is the best man for the job.
Banks comes to some conclusions about his own life when he sees it in contrast to that of his superior officer. He is fallible but very human and, therefore, very likeable.
Although Robinson is a Canadian writer, he captured the essence of life in both a small English town and London very well.
This was a good book to listen to and I wanted more when it was finished.
THIS IS A GOOD TALE,ALTHOUGH SLOW TO GRAB YOUR INTREST, ONCE ATTAINED YOUR ARE HOOKED ALL THE WAY TO THE LAST WORD
I had to force myself to finish this one. Of the 50 or so books I've listened to, most have been 4-5 on the scale. This one has been a chore. The dialogue, characterization and story were not compelling enough to overcome the narrator's annnoying delivery. Besides the thick British accent, which I found distracting, his inflection and tone made him sound way too old for the characters, including Banks. A book with more cleverly constructed dialogue and more interesting characters might have been able to withstand the negitive effects of the delivery.
I like the characters. The story seemed a bit implausible to me, but i did listen to the whole thing. The reading by Ron Keith was unfortunate.
I like Inspector Banks, and the other main characters. The story was a bit implausible and disappointing after having read his prior book, The Dry Season, which i thought was very good. I am not sure, however, how much of the difference was because I read the first book, while Ron Keith read this one to me. Banks is supposed to be a good looking man in his forties, but Keith made him sound like a rather clownish 50 something. I liked Banks a lot in the first book, but really did not like him so much in this book, in large part because he sounded very much like John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, rather than the very good detective that the author had intended him to be. I liked my Banks much better.
I have not heard Keith read anything before, so he might have been a much better reader of another book, but he really made Banks sound clownish and much older than he was supposed to be.
No, it was a standalone story.
As a Brit, the accents, which slide all over the place, drive me crazy: a scottsman sounds welsh, (think southerners with brooklyn accents...) a Londoner sounds northern, northerners sound prissy and, as another listener noted, the narrator's voice is much too old for the main character. This narrator should find another job. The book itself is fine as background to doing menial tasks: the narrator makes it grate
I've thoroughly enjoyed 7 of Robinson's previous Inspector Banks mysteries, all narrated by James Langton. I felt like I knew Alan Banks and his family & associates, and I liked them. Mr Keith's narration, however, ruins all this familiarity. Where Langton's Banks was intelligent, sensitive, and sexy, Mr. Keith's interpretation makes Banks sound like an unappealingly obtuse geezer. I'll be switching to print immediately.
Aside from the intriguing storylines of the Inspector Banks series, there are two things about Robinson's writing that make me want to come back for more. He is one of the best authors that I've read in his ability to get the reader inside the head of a character. It's amazing to me how a male author can so succinctly describe the complexities of the conscious and subconscious of a character like Annie (Banks' co-worker and sometimes love interest). By the time you get done with the books, you really know who these characters are. Robinson also just writes really really well. His descriptions of the locale in which his stories take place make you feel like you are right there. For instance, when he is at home in his cottage, you are right there with him, listening to his classical or jazz music, having a smoke on the balcony or a sip of fine whiskey, and listening to the rush of the falls outside the cottage. The kind of detail that's required to get the reader so close to the characters and immersed in the story takes time, and some readers may enjoy a faster pace. As for me, I'm ready for another.
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