There's more than blood and bone beneath the skin... The victim, a nondescript "numbers cruncher," died horribly just yards away from his terrified wife and daughter, murdered by men who clearly enjoyed their work. The crime scene is one that could chill the blood of even the most seasoned police officer. But the strange revelations about an ordinary accountant's extraordinary secret life are what truly set Chief Inspector Alan Banks off---as lies breed further deceptions and blood begets blood, unleashing a policeman's dark passions...and a violent rage that, when freed, might be impossible to control.
©1994 Peter Robinson (P)2011 Tantor
"Impressive.... A dark, unsettling story." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Final Account" (originally published in the U.K. under the title "Dry Bones that Dream") represents a slight departure from form in the Alan Banks series, by going international. Otherwise, it continues the high-quality listening standard that the previous episodes have established. (By the way, if you are considering purchasing this audiobook without first having listened to its predecessors, then I would suggest that, instead, you start from the beginning of the series -- with "Gallows View" -- and listen to them in order. Doing so will increase your appreciation and enjoyment of these wonderful stories.) People will get mad at me for "spoiling" if I try to tell you what I mean by "going international;" so, suffice it to say that fans of international-intrigue-with-a-touch-of-conspiracy will find familiar political/financial shenanigans to deplore in "Final Account." If, like me, you have a mental block when it comes to money matters, then you may find here the best dumbed-down definition of the term "money-laundering" that you will likely encounter anywhere. I 𝙖𝙡𝙢o𝒔𝙩 understand what it means now. If, after an hour, or so, of listening, you think that you know how this mystery is going to resolve, then (stop reading here if you hate "spoilers") you have probably guessed right; only you will still want to see how the plot plays out, anyway. That shows you how well Peter Robinson writes: Even though you have figured out the mystery early on, you will still want to keep listening ... unless, of course, you have an impatient nature and dislike slow unfoldings. Robinson's Alan Banks books do not qualify as thrillers or action/adventure stories, but, rather, intelligent mysteries. You won't find a lot of testosterone in these audiobooks. You 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡, however, find interesting plots, beautiful writing, and meticulous character development. Protagonist Alan Banks differs from your stereotypical thriller detective in a number of ways: Unlike Lincoln Rhyme, for instance, Banks is no genius. He is intelligent, all right; but his success comes from his persistence and determination. Unlike Jack Reacher, for instance, Banks is 𝒔𝙝o𝙧𝙩: only 5' 9"! Yikes! How can a short man solve mysteries?
I have decided to add Robinson/Langton to my short-list of author/narrator combinations made in heaven. (Here is the rest of the list, so far: Pratchett/Briggs and Peters/Rosenblatt.) If, like me, you enjoy good acting every bit as much as good writing, then the Robinson/Langton duo will enthrall you -- more than compensating for any "slowness" or "seriousness" that you might find in the Alan Banks mysteries. Langton has a beautiful voice, but he can "do" all kinds of voices and all kinds of accents -- even the American accent ... almost. In particular, you will love his rendering of the funny Yorkshire rural accent.
In summary, I recommend "Final Account" to anyone with the patience to appreciate good English who-done-its, well-performed ... but only after you have listened all its prequels in sequence.
The characters were well developed, and the story was interesting.
There were some intriguing plot twists.
The narrator is an excellent actor with a range of accents.
I don't want to give anything away, but yes, one of the plot twists took me by surprise.
interested in history, science, and pulp fiction
I find the books in the Inspector Alan Banks series to be reliable and plentiful procedurals. I discovered this series after exhausting all of the Dalziel books, the rest of the Reginald Hill catalogue, all the Ian Rankin, the M.C. Beaton, the Tana French, and in between Louise Penny's annual installments. I recommend them as entertaining mysteries with an interesting detective who has enough trouble with the ladies to keep it unpredictable. I really liked 'Final Account,' as it uses one of my favorite literary devices (though I can't be more specific without spoiling), and takes place in the purview of white collar crime.
James Langton has done a reasonable job. His interpretation of the female characters were a tad annoying in that they sounded similar and somewhat insipid. Some of the description of the scene were overdone to the point of getting tedious. The over use of swearing was boring and there was no need. So when used at certain critical points in book the impact was lost. A good yarn that keeps the listener interested.........But not on the edge of their seat.
"already read it!!"
I downloaded this book for my husband, only to find he had already read it under a different title
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