A decorated detective inspector is murdered on the tranquil grounds of the St. Peter’s Police Treatment Centre, shot through the heart with a crossbow arrow, and compromising photographs are discovered in his room. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is well aware that he must handle the highly sensitive - and dangerously explosive - investigation with the utmost discretion.
Because the case may involve police corruption, an officer from Professional Standards, Inspector Joanna Passero, has arrived to work with Banks and his team. Though he tries to keep an open mind and offer his full cooperation, the dedicated Banks and his practical investigative style clash with Joanna’s cool demeanor and by-the-book professionalism. All too soon, the seasoned detective finds himself under uncomfortable scrutiny, his methods second-guessed.
As Banks digs deeper into the life and career of the victim, a decorated cop and recent widower named Bill Quinn, he comes to believe that Quinn’s murder may be linked to an unsolved missing persons case. Six years ago, a pretty 19-year-old English girl named Rachel Hewitt made national headlines when she disappeared without a trace in Tallinn, Estonia. Convinced that finding the truth about Rachel will lead to Quinn’s killer, Banks follows a twisting trail of clues that lead from England to the dark, cobbled alleys of Tallinn’s Old Town. But the closer he seems to solving the complicated cold case, the more it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want the past stirred up.
While Banks prowls the streets of Tallinn, DI Annie Cabbot, recovered from her near fatal shooting and back at the station in Eastvale, is investigating a migrant labor scam involving corrupt bureaucrats and a loan shark who feeds on the poor. As evidence in each investigation mounts, Banks realizes the two are linked - and that solving them may put even more lives in jeopardy, including his own.
©2013 Peter Robinson (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Writer, painter and unabashed romantic with passion for history and mystery.
Could not stop listening to this and almost stayed up all night. I've been a dedicated fan of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series from the beginning. About three books back, I sensed that perhaps Robinson (and Banks) were losing their way a bit. I am glad to see that in this book Robinson returns to tight plotting, great detective work and perserverence separately by Banks and Annie, interesting secondary characters, fascinating locations, contemporary and believable crimes, nasty as well as conflicted villains, and wonderful, chilling location vignettes. Add to this the always superb Simon Prebble as narrator and it's hard not to overdo the superlatives.
This is one of my favorite series. Inspector Banks has mellowed in this one, not seeming so intense or angry as he can sometimes be in earlier books. This just continues to be one of those series that makes you feel comfortable but also holds your interest. And of course Simon Prebble makes the characters so alive.
I found myself looking up a bit about Estonia. I was surprised to realize just how very far outdated at best and just plain ignorant. A lovely country most excellent economy and progressive government and social programs. Looks damned cold in the winter for certain though.
The narrator was excellent. He brings life to Inspector Banks stories. I have followed Peter Robinson the author through most of these stories they always deliver on subjects which are deep and interesting. If you like criminal investigation, this is the man for the job.
I love books!
First time author, this one was different in that I first heard about him as his Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks stories were made into a TV series that was aired on Public Television (PBS). I thought the TV shows were interesting, looked the author up, and decided to give his written series a try. Turns out the author was born in northern England, Yorkshire, where the series takes place but after graduating from college he moved to Toronto, Canada where he has lived the last 30 years. He must use the books as a way to visit the old home area and write up his stories. Why not, eh? But, the story in this one was interesting, grabbed your attention, and kept you interested as DCI Banks and his team work through the mystery trying to figure out the culprits. I especially enjoyed the personal thoughts and quotes the different characters have about life as they proceed through the case. I have many of those same thoughts. The TV series has been cancelled on PBS so if I want to continue with DCI Banks I'll have to buy some more books. Doesn't sound bad to me!
This is an engrossing, well written police procedural. Its much better than most procedurals. It has intriguing story elements and interesting characters, Even the secondary characters are interesting and drawn well. Part of the story takes places in Estonia and the author seems to know the country. The reason I do not give it 5 stars is that the ending was a little disappointing.
English Mystery Collector
I've read the Banks series and other novels by Robinson. I was looking forward
to another very good read. It didn't happen.
The book lacks focus, wanders and has no real oomph. How an editor let this happen
I'll never know because the ideas are there but they fall flat.
Since the Banks series is great especially the early books I'll not give up on this
author but I will wait to see what others think before I buy the next one.
Even Simon Prebble couldn't save this one!
As a big fan of Peter Robinson, I like the book.
Mr. Prebble's narration for me was really monochromatic. He almost sounds bored reading the text.
Some one like Toby Longworth would have been a much better choice.
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