The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson

I first met Peter Robinson almost ten years ago when I was studying crime writing at an Arvon Course in Moniack Mohr near Inverness in Scotland. he was a most instructive tutor and entertaining raconteur. I have since read many of his books and still consider his advice to be integral to my own crime writing.

The Hanging Valley is only the fourth novel in Peter’s long series of DCI Banks books. I have read several of them. This one starts with a truly gruesome description of a corpse found in a hanging valley in Yorkshire. The faceless corpse is discovered in a tranquil, hidden valley below the village of Swainshead. When DCI Alan Banks arrives, he finds that no-one is willing to talk. His frustration only grows when the identity of the body is revealed. For it seems that his latest case may be connected with an unsolved murder in the same area five years ago.

This case takes Banks from the author’s original home in Yorkshire, England to the author’s adopted home of Toronto, Canada. This affords the reader some interesting descriptions of that lovely city and allows Banks to interview an important witness to the earlier crime.

Among the silent suspects Banks must interrogate are the Collier brothers, the wealthiest and most powerful family in the area, who are on friendly terms with the police hierarchy. Inevitably, they start using their influence to slow down the investigation, Banks finds himself in a race against time.

This is a clever novel, but I would expect no less of Peter Robinson. If you enjoy beautifully written, clever, crime fiction I think you will enjoy The Hanging Valley.

The Author

Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada. Peter has written twenty-four books in the Number One Bestselling DCI Banks series as well as two collections of short stories and three standalone novels, the most recent of which is Number One bestseller Before The Poison. Peter’s critically acclaimed crime novels have won numerous awards in Britain, the United States, Canada and Europe, and are published in translation all over the world.

Val Penny

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