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Publisher's Summary

When the brutally beaten body of a young man is found in an alley, Eastvale's Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his colleague, Detective Constable Susan Gay, have no choice but to lock up the three Pakistani youths who seemingly started it all after an argument in a pub. But they're out in no time, and Banks is in big trouble with the chief for risking a racial incident with the arrest. Ordered to run the investigation from his desk and leave the legwork to others, Banks's hands are tied and his temper is flaring. When disturbing facts start emerging about the victim, Banks can't simply sit at his desk---and he soon alienates himself from both the investigation and his own department. While his twenty-year marriage crumbles around him, he tries to make sense of a gray world grown ever more black and sinister, as he follows a treacherous trail of hate, greed, and twisted philosophy that leads to the darkest pits of a man's inhumanity to man. Brilliant and exasperating by turns, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks inhabits a Yorkshire landscape colored in shades of gray where good and evil seldom conform to their comfortingly ordinary colors of black and white.

Investigate another case with Inspector Banks.
©2005 Peter Robinson (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Sociologically acute." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
  • Story

These keep getting better

These books are not heavy reading and yet there is so much conveyed about the area. The personalities and emotions and lots of social issues with so little words in comparison. The suspense keeps the book on and schedule all amuxk!

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  • jeanne
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 10-14-12

Excellent!

What did you love best about Blood at the Root?

Plot is quite involved, as usual, but very well done. We see the beginning of the disintegration of banks' marriage. Narration is excellent. Quite enjoyed the whole thing beginning to end!

What about James Langton’s performance did you like?

Perfect accents for each character. Well done.

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  • Mystery Girl
  • 05-30-12

Dated

Though the publication date is 2011, this book was clearly written 20 years earlier. The protagonist listens to his music on his Sony Walkman (remember those?). And young flat dwellers take calls on a communal phone 'on the landing' (check your history books if you don't understand). That said, it is a good story, well-told, and some of the racial themes are unfortunately still current.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane
  • 03-25-17

Awful

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Such a dreary voice the reader has although he's quite good at accents but his normal reading voice is dire. What happens to Simon Slater? I'm embarrassed to have to admit I fell asleep before the end but couldn't be bothered to rewind to find out the ending. A complete waste of a credit!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • tinyNorman
  • 01-18-15

Very ordinary police procedural.

Nice pastime, but not outstanding. Lots of descriptive passages that don't really add much to the story. Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge novels are much better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nick
  • 12-25-12

Read Now,You have seen the TV versions

This book is typical of Peter Robinson,an author I have been reading for a few years. The subjects are unusual and I always felt they deserved making into a TV series as has now happened with ITV's Inspector Banks. I would recommend reading the books in order of publication as his career takes a few twists and turns. Read these books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • 12-23-12

Not as gripping as usual

This book started slowly for me.I did not enjoy it as much as his earlier and later novels.

The narration compared to some of the other Peter Robinson books lacked intonation so although the content improved I could not enjoy it as much as I have done when read by Robert Glenister.

The themes are still current.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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