Aftermath (Inspector Alan Banks Series #12)

Aftermath (Inspector Alan Banks Series #12)

4.1 19
by Peter Robinson

View All Available Formats & Editions

From New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning author Peter Robinson comes this brilliant novel of suspense—a thrilling tale of family secrets and past evils that have spread from one generation to another and wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting town.

One phone call from a concerned neighbor has inadvertently led police to Terence Payne,


From New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning author Peter Robinson comes this brilliant novel of suspense—a thrilling tale of family secrets and past evils that have spread from one generation to another and wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting town.

One phone call from a concerned neighbor has inadvertently led police to Terence Payne, the elusive serial killer known only as "Chameleon." Now Payne is in custody, perhaps dying, and a long nightmare appears to be over at last. But is it?

For Alan Banks – currently head of the local police force – too many questions remain unanswered at the chamber of horrors the press will dub the "House of Payne." Because the darkness has not yet lifted, the casualties are still mounting...and there are still monsters loose in the world.

Showcasing the dark forces of human nature, master of suspense Peter Robinson is at the height of his storytelling powers in a novel that will leave readers guessing until the final page.

Editorial Reviews
Inspector Alan Banks uncovers family secrets and sins that have wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting town when he digs deep into the disappearance and murders of innocent Yorkshire girls.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
He creates a suspense story with many of the dynamic qualities of literary fiction.
St Louis Post-Dispatch
Superbly crafted.
Houston Chronicle
A winner....Returning to the world of Alan Banks is, as always, a pleasure.
Boston Globe
Each of [Robinson's] books takes me deeper into Banks's internal and external world.
New York Times Book Review
A devilishly good plotter...[Robinson's] characterizations are so subtle that even the psychological profiler is stumped.
Dennis Lehane
The novels of Peter Robinson are chilling, evocative, deeply nuanced works of art.
Publishers Weekly
Dark, darker, darkest endless shades of ebony seem to envelop Acting Det. Superintendent Alan Banks in this grim, compelling, character-driven mystery (after 2000's Cold Is the Grave). As the head of the North Yorkshire half of a two-county joint task force, Banks is helping look into the disappearances of five young girls. As the title implies, the answer comes early on in an explosive scene where the girls' grisly fate is discovered. But Banks is left with the aftermath: a cop facing possible charges for excessive force, a woman who may be a victim or may be guilty of monstrous crimes, an "extra" body and one that isn't where it ought to be. Banks also faces plenty of personal challenges as his wife, Sandra, still pressing for divorce, finds a new way to shock him, while sometime girlfriend and colleague, Annie Cabbot, seeks to change their relationship. Robinson's never tackled darker themes: child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, torture and murder. And while he never indulges in needlessly graphic descriptions, it is still horrific stuff. Introspective, thoughtful and plagued by uncertainties, Banks battles to maintain focus as the investigation plods on. As always, the author scrupulously details the police work, from the forensics to the efforts of a consultant psychologist (i.e., a profiler), who delves into a past case that may be related. A proven master of the British police procedural, Robinson should find a large audience for this gripping, psychologically astute tale. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Oct. 9) Forecast: Stronger than Cold Is the Grave, which won the Anthony and the Ellis awards, this novel stands to rack up even bigger sales, fueled by a five-city author tour and25-city national radio campaign. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Robinson, author of In a Dry Season and ten other novels featuring British Inspector Alan Banks, returns again to contemporary crime in his latest Yorkshire mystery, which traces the evildoing of a serial rapist and murderer who preys on young women. No Robinson tale is ever clear-cut, however, and this one is complicated by issues of child abuse (the murderer's wife was the subject of brutal sexual victimization and abuse as a child), spousal abuse (the murderer is alleged to have terrorized his wife), and police brutality (the arresting officer hit the murderer so many times after he killed her partner that she is brought up on charges herself). For Robinson, hidden in the past is the answer to his suspicion that the murderer's wife was not only a participant in the assaults on these young women but an instigator. Meanwhile, Banks's personal life continues on its convoluted way: his ex-wife of 20-odd years is pregnant by her husband-to-be and waiting for Banks to sign the divorce papers, and his relationship with Detective Annie Cabot is complicated by the job. Some readers may wish that the inspector's personal life were less muted here; others may long for the simpler days of less violent, non-serial murder mysteries. Nonetheless, this multilayered novel puts Banks firmly in the upper echelon of British mystery writers. [Mystery Guild featured alternate.] Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Orlando Sentinel
“Aftermath casts [a] spell... Robinson continues to stretch the boundaries of the standard procedural.”
The San Diego Union Tribune
“[A] splendid series.”
Tampa Tribune
“Highly textured... Banks is a multidimensional figure struggling to cope with his private demons while directing murder investigations.”
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Seamlessly plotted...The tenacious, thoughtful Banks is even fresher than when Robinson began this series...”
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“Robinson spins and intricate excellent crime novel.”
Dallas Morning News
“A shocking suspense story that gives the reader a glimpse of the darker side of life.”
Otto Penzler
“One of today’s most accomplished practitioners of detective fiction.”
From the Publisher
"The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are, simply put, the best series now on the market. In fact, this may be the best series of British novels since the novels of Patrick O'Brian. Try one and tell me I'm wrong."
–Stephen King

“If you love mysteries and absolutely superb writing, Aftermath is a must read.”
Calgary Herald

“British crime fiction needs a new leader. Peter Robinson may well be the new top gun.”
San Antonio Express-News

“Robinson should find a large audience for this gripping, psychologically astute tale.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Robinson says he likes to take risks with his books, not follow formula. He’s right on both counts in Aftermath – the risks are horrifying, the lack of formula magnificent. Don’t wait for the movie.”
Ottawa Citizen

“Dark and powerful.”
Toronto Sun

“As readable as crime fiction gets.”
Toronto Star

“If there were an Order-of-Canada-style process for naming detective thriller writers to Ian Rankin- or Michael Connelly-like status, I would nominate Peter Robinson.…Aftermath is as good a police thriller as I’ve read since…well, since Robinson’s Cold is the Grave.”
Globe and Mail

Praise for Peter Robinson:

“Mystery-mongering at once as sensitive and grandly scaled as P.D. James.”
Kirkus (starred review)

“This is crime-fiction writing at its best.”
Globe and Mail

“Robinson’s work stands out for its psychological and moral complexity, its startling evocation of pastoral England and its gritty, compassionate portrayal of modern sleuthing.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Inspector Alan Banks Series , #12
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
713 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Maggie Forrest wasn't sleeping well, so it didn't surprise her when the voices woke her shortly before four o'clock one morning in early May, even though she had made sure before she went to bed that all the windows in the house were shut fast.

If it hadn't been the voices, it would have been something else: a car door slamming as someone set off for an early shift; the first train rattling across the bridge; the neighbor's dog; old wood creaking somewhere in the house; the fridge clicking on and off; a pan or a glass shifting on the draining board. Or perhaps one of the noises of the night, the kind that made her wake in a cold sweat with a thudding heart and gasp for breath as if she were drowning, not sleeping: the man she called Mr. Bones clicking up and down The Hill with his cane; the scratching at the front door; the tortured child screaming in the distance.

Or a nightmare.

She was just too jumpy these days, she told herself, trying to laugh it off. But there they were again. Definitely voices. One loud and masculine.

Maggie got out of bed and padded over to the window. The street called The Hill ran up the northern slope of the broad valley, and where Maggie lived, about halfway up, just above the railway bridge, the houses on the eastern side of the street stood atop a twenty-foot rise that sloped down to the pavement in a profusion of shrubs and small trees. Sometimes the undergrowth and foliage seemed so thick she could hardly find her way along the path to the pavement.

Maggie's bedroom window lookedover the houses on the western side of The Hill and beyond, a patchwork landscape of housing estates, arterial roads, warehouses, factory chimneys and fields stretching through Bradford and Halifax all the way to the Pennines. Some days, Maggie would sit for hours and look at the view, thinking about the odd chain of events that had brought her here. Now, though, in the predawn light, the distant necklaces and clusters of amber streetlights took on a ghostly aspect, as if the city weren't quite real yet.

Maggie stood at her window and looked across the street. She could swear there was a hall light on directly opposite, in Lucy's house, and when she heard the voice again, she suddenly felt all her premonitions had been true.

It was Terry's voice, and he was shouting at Lucy. She couldn't hear what he was saying. Then she heard a scream, the sound of glass breaking and a thud.


Maggie dragged herself out of her paralysis, and with trembling hands she picked up the bedside telephone and dialed 999.

Probationary Police Constable Janet Taylor stood by her patrol car and watched the silver BMW burn, shielding her eyes from its glare, standing upwind of the foul-smelling smoke. Her partner, PC Dennis Morrisey, stood beside her. One or two spectators were peeping out of their bedroom windows, but nobody else seemed very interested. Burning cars weren't exactly a novelty on this estate. Even at four o'clock in the morning.

Orange and red flames, with deep inner hues of blue and green and occasional tentacles of violet, twisted into the darkness, sending up palls of thick black smoke. Even upwind, Janet could smell the burning rubber and plastic. It was giving her a headache, and she knew her uniform and her hair would reek of it for days.

The leading firefighter, Gary Cullen, walked over to join them. It was Dennis he spoke to, of course; he always did. They were mates.

"What do you think?"

"Joyriders." Dennis nodded toward the car. "We checked the number plate. Stolen from a nice middle-class residential street in Heaton Moor, Manchester, earlier this evening."

"Why here, then?"

"Dunno. Could be a connection, a grudge or something. Someone giving a little demonstration of his feelings. Drugs, even. But that's for the lads upstairs to work out. They're the ones paid to have brains. We're done for now. Everything safe?"

"Under control. What if there's a body in the boot?"

Dennis laughed. "It'll be well-done by now, won't it? Hang on a minute, that's our radio, isn't it?"

Janet walked over to the car. "I'll get it," she said over her shoulder.

"Control to three-five-four. Come in, please, three-five-four. Over."

Janet picked up the radio. "Three-five-four to Control. Over."

"Domestic dispute reported taking place at number thirty-five, The Hill. Repeat. Three-five. The Hill. Can you respond? Over."

Christ, thought Janet, a bloody domestic. No copper in her right mind liked domestics, especially at this time in the morning. "Will do," she sighed, looking at her watch. "ETA three minutes."

She called over to Dennis, who held up his hand and spoke a few more words to Gary Cullen before responding. They were both laughing when Dennis returned to the car.

"Tell him that joke, did you?" Janet asked, settling behind the wheel.

"Which one's that?" Dennis asked, all innocence.

Janet started the car and sped to the main road. "You know, the one about the blonde giving her first blow job."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Only I heard you telling it to that new PC back at the station, the lad who hasn't started shaving yet. You ought to give the poor lad a chance to make his own mind up about women, Den, instead of poisoning his mind right off the bat."

The centrifugal force almost threw them off the road as Janet took the roundabout at the top of The Hill too fast. Dennis grasped the dashboard and hung on for dear life. "Jesus Christ. Women drivers. It's only a joke. Have you..."

Aftermath. Copyright © by Peter Robinson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Otto Penzler
“One of today’s most accomplished practitioners of detective fiction.”
Dennis Lehane
“The novels of Peter Robinson are chilling, evocative, deeply nuanced works of art.”

Meet the Author

One of the world’s most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Inspector Banks series; he has also written two short-story collections and three standalone novels, which combined have sold more than ten million copies around the world. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Aftermath (Inspector Alan Banks Series #12) 4.1 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Peter Robinson's characters and plots are superb. This story is engrossing and extremely well-written. Conversations amongst the characters are the most believable and natural that I have read. I'd recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a great story compounded by excellent writing.
McGeeArch More than 1 year ago
Started reading this series on a flight back from Ireland a few years ago.  It was the 4th or 5th book in the series so I went back and started from the beginning.  Great series.  And this book ranks as one of the best.
PrairieBison More than 1 year ago
After having read a number of Alan Banks series books, all of which were very much enjoyed, I found the plot to this one was a bit too contrived. The roughness with which the police seemed to enjoy treating their suspects or anyone in an interview situation, the Wonder Woman capabilities of the young detective, and the insane actions of detective inspector Cabot all lead me to look for another author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But along the lines of the Hunger games... i still like it though! You should keep going! Marmosin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable read-------
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was not familiar with this series but the characters are well written and you felt you knew them after a while. It was fast pace and very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great! Nice beggining! Keep gong!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read several of Robinson's books and this is better than the others in many respects. Interesting characters & a plot that twists & turns more often than Elvis' hips. Enjoy! AJ West
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I said, beautiful story well written, highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have ceased to read many series sample or scan library book to see if i want to return only downliad what i hope our keepers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&#260 <p> &#261 <p> &#262 <p> &#263 <p> &#264 <p> &#265 <p> &#266 <p> &#267 <p> &#268 <p> &#269
Anonymous More than 1 year ago