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All the Colors of Darkness (Inspector Alan Banks Series #18)
     

All the Colors of Darkness (Inspector Alan Banks Series #18)

3.9 24
by Peter Robinson
 

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New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author Peter Robinson delivers a gripping novel of jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge—all the colors of darkness that lead inevitably to murder.

In a world of terror and uncertainty, what does one small death matter?

The body hanging from a tree in a peaceful wood

Overview

New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author Peter Robinson delivers a gripping novel of jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge—all the colors of darkness that lead inevitably to murder.

In a world of terror and uncertainty, what does one small death matter?

The body hanging from a tree in a peaceful wood appears to Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot to be a suicide. But further investigation into the sad demise of Mark Hardcastle leads to another corpse, brutally bludgeoned to death.

Suddenly the case demands the attention of Chief Inspector Alan Banks, called back from his vacation even though nothing suggests this wasn't a crime of passion followed by remorse and self-destruction. Shocking revelations broaden the inquiry to unexpected places and seats of power. And a stubborn policeman who will not be frightened away could lose everything in one terrifying, explosive instant.

In this masterful novel of psychological suspense, Peter Robinson delves once again into the dark recesses of the human mind and shows what can happen when evil rests there.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

As much spy thriller as crime story, bestseller Robinson's solid 18th DCI Alan Banks novel (after Friend of the Devil) finds the Yorkshire copper trying to unravel a murder-suicide with potential ties to national security. While Banks is on holiday, Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot is called to the woods outside Eastvale, where a hanged man-soon identified as Mark Hardcastle, the local theater's set designer-is discovered in a tree. What looks like a simple suicide takes an unexpected turn when the badly beaten body of Hardcastle's boyfriend, Laurence Silber, is found in Silber's posh home. Banks, who returns to assist in the investigation, uncovers Silber's past life as a spy in MI6, which makes Banks doubt the prevailing theory that Hardcastle murdered Silber and then hanged himself. Robinson deftly integrates the requisite espionage elements with his regular cast. The unexpected cliffhanger will assure readers that this chapter in Banks's life is far from over. 11-city author tour. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

When Mark Hardcastle and Laurence Silbert are found dead, it looks like a case of murder-suicide. DI Annie Cabbot dutifully conducts a thorough investigation anyway, but she finds plenty of reason to suspect that the crime may not be what it appears. Inspector Alan Banks is called in to lead the case, and the mystery deepens when he uncovers Silbert's past involvement with MI6 (the British Secret Intelligence Service). The two detectives find themselves in a world of deceptions and cover-ups, where the people they encounter aren't who they seem to be. Even the most loyal fans of the series (this is the 18th Inspector Banks novel) will wonder if Banks has finally gotten in over his head. Best-selling author Robinson (Friend of the Devil) branches out into new territory in what may be his best novel yet. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ10/1/08.]
—Linda Oliver

South Florida Sun Sentinel
“Smoothly blends aspects of the spy thriller into what seems to be a murder-suicide....Robinson doesn’t miss a beat....All the Colors of Darkness is another example of Robinson’s seamless, insightful storytelling.”
Mystery Scene
“Robinson pulls the reader in from the first page of this tightly plotted story and the vividly drawn characters only enhance the pleasures of this fine novel. All the Colors of Darkness is the 18th mystery in the multiple-award-winning Alan Banks series—and it’s one of the best.”
Miami Herald
“Smart, absorbing detective series....[Robinson’s] latest novel about Yorkshire detectives Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot is every bit as captivating as its predecessors....You’ll be eagerly awaiting their next adventure.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A well-written, thought-provoking continuation of our relationship with characters who inhabit the same world of darkness, accident, and concern that we all do.”
Booklist
“Robinson shows a deft hand at using forensic science, conflict between characters, and recurring series themes. Another winner from one of Britain’s established A-listers.”
The Strand
“Robinson’s deft handling of psychological anguish makes this exploration of ‘jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge—all the colors of darkness’ an outstanding addition to this distinguished series.”
Suspense Magazine
“An intricate thriller.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer on All the Colors of Darkness
“A well-written, thought-provoking continuation of our relationship with characters who inhabit the same world of darkness, accident, and concern that we all do.”
South Florida Sun Sentinel on All the Colors of Darkness
“Smoothly blends aspects of the spy thriller into what seems to be a murder-suicide....Robinson doesn’t miss a beat....All the Colors of Darkness is another example of Robinson’s seamless, insightful storytelling.”
Booklist on All the Colors of Darkness
“Robinson shows a deft hand at using forensic science, conflict between characters, and recurring series themes. Another winner from one of Britain’s established A-listers.”
Miami Herald on All the Colors of Darkness
“Smart, absorbing detective series....[Robinson’s] latest novel about Yorkshire detectives Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot is every bit as captivating as its predecessors....You’ll be eagerly awaiting their next adventure.”
Mystery Scene on All the Colors of Darkness
“Robinson pulls the reader in from the first page of this tightly plotted story and the vividly drawn characters only enhance the pleasures of this fine novel. All the Colors of Darkness is the 18th mystery in the multiple-award-winning Alan Banks series—and it’s one of the best.”
The Strand on All the Colors of Darkness
“Robinson’s deft handling of psychological anguish makes this exploration of ‘jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge—all the colors of darkness’ an outstanding addition to this distinguished series.”
Suspense Magazine on All the Colors of Darkness
“An intricate thriller.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061853661
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/17/2009
Series:
Inspector Alan Banks Series , #18
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
52,954
File size:
838 KB

Read an Excerpt


All the Colors of Darkness



By Peter Robinson
William Morrow
Copyright © 2009

Peter Robinson
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-06-136293-4



Chapter One Detective inspector Annie Cabbot thought it was a great shame that she had to spend one of the most beautiful days of the year so far at a crime scene, especially a hanging. She hated hangings. And on a Friday afternoon, too.

Annie had been dispatched, along with Detective Sergeant Winsome Jackman, to Hindswell Woods, just south of Eastvale Castle, where some schoolboys spending the last day of their half-term holiday splashing in the river Swain had phoned to say they thought they had seen a body.

The river ran swift, broad and shallow here, the color of freshly pumped beer, frothing around the mossy stones. Along the riverside footpath, the trees were mostly ash, alder and wych elm, their leaves a pale, almost translucent green, trembling in the faint breeze. The scent of wild garlic filled the air, clusters of midges hovered over the water, and on the other side the meadows were full of buttercups, pignut and cranesbill. Tewits twittered and flitted back and forth, nervous about -people encroaching on their ground nests. A few fluffy clouds drifted across the sky.

Four schoolboys, all aged about ten or eleven, sat hunched on the boulders by the water, draped in towels or damp T-shirts, strips of pale skin, white as tripe, exposed here and there, all the spirit crushed out of their joyous play. They'd told the police that one of them had chased another off the path into the woods above the river, and they had stumbled upon a body hanging from one of the few oaks that still grew there. They had mobiles, so one of them dialed 999 and they waited by the riverside. When the police patrol officers and the ambulance crew arrived and took a look at the body, they agreed there was nothing they could do, so they stayed well back and radioed for the heavy brigade. Now it was Annie's job to assess the situation and decide on what action should be taken.

Annie left Winsome to take statements from the kids and followed the patrol officer up the slope into the woods. Through the trees to her left, she could see the ruins of Eastvale Castle high on its hill. Before long, just over the rise, she caught a glimpse of a figure hanging from a length of yellow clothesline on a low bough ahead of her, its feet about eighteen inches off the ground. It made a striking contrast to the light green of the woods because it-Annie couldn't tell yet whether the shape was a man or a woman-was dressed in an orange shirt and black trousers.

The tree was an old oak with a gnarled, thick trunk and knotty branches, and it stood alone in a small copse. Annie had noticed it before on her walks through the woods, where there were so few oaks that it stood out. She had even made a sketch or two of the scene but had never translated them into a fully fledged painting.

The uniformed officers had taped off the area around the tree, into which entry would be severely restricted. "You checked for any signs of life, I assume?" Annie asked the young constable making his way through the undergrowth beside her.

"The paramedic did, ma'am," he answered. "As best he could without disturbing the scene." He paused. "But you don't have to get that close to see that he's dead."

A man, then. Annie ducked under the police tape and inched forward. Twigs snapped under her feet and last autumn's leaves crackled. She didn't want to get so close that she might destroy or contaminate any important trace evidence, but she needed a clearer idea of what she was dealing with. As she stopped about ten feet away, she could hear a golden plover whistling somewhere nearby. Farther up, toward the moorland, a curlew piped its mournful call. Closer by, Annie was aware of the officer panting behind her after their trot up the hill, and of the lightest of breezes soughing through leaves too fresh and moist to rustle.

Then there was the absolute stillness of the body.

Annie could see for herself that he was a man now. His head was closely shaved, and what hair remained had been dyed blond. He wasn't twisting at the end of the rope, they way corpses do in movies, but hanging heavy and silent as a rock from the taut yellow clothesline, which had almost buried itself in the livid skin of his neck, now an inch or two longer than it had originally been. His lips and ears were tinged blue with cyanosis. Burst capillaries dotted his bulging eyes, making them appear red from where Annie was standing. She guessed his age at somewhere between forty and forty-five, but it was only a rough estimate. His fingernails were bitten or cut short, and she saw the cyanosis there, too. He also seemed to have a lot of blood on him for a hanging victim.

Most hangings were suicides, Annie knew, not murders, for the obvious reason that it was very difficult to hang a man while he was still alive and kicking. Unless it was the work of a lynch-mob, of course, or he had been drugged first.

If it was a suicide, why had the victim chosen this particular place to end his life? Annie wondered. This tree? Did it have strong personal associations for him, or had it simply been convenient? Had he ever realized that children might find him, and what effect seeing his body might have on them? Probably not, she guessed. When you're that close to ending it all, you don't think much about others. Suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness.

Annie knew she needed the Scenes-of-Crime Officers here as soon as possible. It was a suspicious death, and she would be far better off pulling out all the stops than jumping to the conclusion that nothing much need be done. She took out her mobile and rang Stefan Nowak, the crime scene manager, who told her to wait and said he'd organize his team. Next, she left a message for Detective Superintendent Catherine Gervaise, who was in a meeting at County HQ in Northallerton. It was too early to determine the level of investigation yet, but the super needed to know what was happening.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from All the Colors of Darkness by Peter Robinson Copyright © 2009 by Peter Robinson . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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. He divides his time between Toronto and England.

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All the Colors of Darkness 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
ReadIing the 18th book in the Inspector Alan Banks series is very much like sitting down for a chat with an old friend. For many of us, Banks is comfortable, familiar, someone in whom we have an interest , a person for whom we've come to care. Whatever the case, we know in advance that the time spent together will be sometimes surprising , always satisfying. So it is with All The Colors Of Darkness.

We now find a very content Alan Banks who "stretched and almost purred" as he awakes. After all, he's with Sophia, a rare beauty who's a bit of a mystery to him but a delightful one. It's his weekend off and he and Sophia are hosting a dinner party in the evening. Thus, he's not at all agreeable when he receives a call from his associate DI Annie Cabbott saying that his help is needed. Sophia is no more understanding about Alan's sudden departure than his former wife was about their canceled plans, his unanticipated absences.

However, as concerned as he is about disappointing Sophia Banks soon finds himself caught up in one of the most challenging cases of his career - nothing is as it appears to be, it is far worse than he could have imagined. Two men are dead.

The first to be found is Mark Hardcastle whose body is hanging from "a length of yellow clothesline on a low bough...his feet about eighteen inches off the ground." Mark was gay, a set designer at the Eastvale Theatre, and evidently well liked. The second body is that of his partner, the affluent Laurence Silbert, who had been brutally beaten to death.

Jealousy? A lovers' quarrel turned deadly? A murderer then stricken with remorse a suicide? Detective Superintendent Gervaise is willing to accept that explanation. Banks and Annie are most definitely not.

As is his wont Robinson orchestrates intriguing plots, allowing the pieces to gradually fall together. For this reader there was a bit of slowness from time to time, especially during a luncheon meeting between Banks, Sophia and her parents. I found myself a bit lost with the author's historic description of nearby St. Andrew's and remembrances of T. S. Eliot quotes. That said, Robinson has done a yeoman's task of creating a compelling mystery set in places he knows well.

- Gail Cooke
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
When abruptly pulled away from a mini vacation to head up the investigation of what initially appears to be a straightforward murder-suicide case, Chief Inspector Alan Banks frustration is palpable. Though most would have taken the path of least resistance and marked the file closed, Banks excels under pressure and with his team continues searching for the cause behind this senseless tragedy. Working without authorization or the support of his superiors, his hunt for understanding places everyone-friends and family included-into treacherous circumstances as Banks quickly uncovers the fact that his pursuit may have national consequences. Though new to this author's collection of work, it is simple to see why Peter Robinson has found such success with this long running series. "All the Colors of Darkness" begins as a clear-cut gritty crime drama effectively combining the best of a modern day spy adventure. At first, some may find the minor details too extensive as each room and its contents are described in full leaving little room for personal imagination. However, as you continue forward through the pages his distinctive style and remarkable skill stand out making "All the Colors of Darkness" an intricate thriller. Reviewed by Suspense Magazine www.suspensemagazine.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not one of Robinson's better efforts but still entertaining. AJ West
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georgesmiley More than 1 year ago
Brilliant, quite the best thing that PR has written thus far. Can he better it? Time will tell. Not going to spoil the plot, just go out and buy it you will not be disappointed (unless you dislike brilliant writing and British Detective fiction)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding work by one of the best crime writers working today. (And I've now read all 18 in the Banks series.) Combining the police procedural with the spy novel is no easy thing but Robinson pulls it off effortlessly. Highly recommended.
mysterygal64 More than 1 year ago
This newest Banks novel lived up to expectations. The story line was great and I hope the new character, Tommy, stays in for future books. Annie is very loyal to Banks as a friend more than former lover and I find that very noble. In the end, Alan Banks is still a dedicated detective, complex, intuitive, flawed yet sensitive. His tenacity to finding out everything, bit by bit, piece by piece is greatly respected by his co-workers and believe it or not, his superiors. Not too crazy about the new love interest, as she a little whinny and self-centered. It does'nt take much too see where her heart lies! You'll do better Inspector Banks and you deserve it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter Robinson's characters in All the Colors of Blindness are unbelievable, the plot contains too many improbable happenings and it is filled with gratuitous gore. Still, the writing carries you along and it is fun to identify with protagonist. Though it is far from Mr. Robinson's best, I enjoyed reading it.
Stork2009 More than 1 year ago
Very solid procedural crime novel, no drop or let off from previous Banks novels
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You probably know the basic plot of "All the Colors of Darkness" from the other reviews, so I won't rehash it. Suffice it to say that Peter Robinson's latest is up to his usual high standards, with an unexpected plot element that makes the book half spy novel and half mystery. It's also one of the growing number of suspense novels (like Lee Child's and Barry Eisler's latest, among others) whose main characters are critical of the current state of Western politics, mainly concerning Iraq and the war on terror. Maybe I'm biased for being such a big Alan Banks fan, but in this book Robinson made all the political commentary fit within the story seamlessly: the viewpoints expressed did not come off as an author preaching, but as real opinions held by a real character. Alan Banks gets deeper and more human in each successive book, with his growing misgivings about his career and the effects it has on his personal life. I think he's just a fascinating hero, and I'm sure I'd read an Alan Banks novel even without a mystery attached. Can't wait for the next installment, especially after this one's startling ending.
Also recommended: A STRANGER LIES THERE - another great character-driven thriller, it won the Malice Domestic Award for best first mystery.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
The corpse of theatre set designer Mark Hardcastle is found dead hanging in Hindswell Woods near the River Swain by boys playing nearby. With Detective Chief Investigator Alan Banks on leave spending time in London with his girlfriend, Detective Investigator Annie Cabbot leads the on-sight inquiry that looks like a suicide. She goes from there to the deceased¿s home he shares with his significant other Laurence Silbert. There she finds Silbert dead beaten to a bloody mess.

Although on the surface the two deaths appear to be a nasty murder-suicide, Annie and Banks, who has returned to investigate, have some doubts about the obvious as Hardcastle had no motive to kill his lover or himself especially at a time he received tremendous accolades for his work on Othello. Increasingly they wonder if the two scenes were set up to make it look like a murder-suicide as they investigate the activities of the two gay lovers in locales that are dangerousfor even cops.

This is an excellent one sitting English police procedural, which retains a freshness although it must be the trillionth investigation worked by Banks. The story line is fast-paced as the audience and everyone even Cabbot and Banks believe a murder-suicide is the likely scenario although long time fans will know they can bank on Peter Robinson to do what afterward seems obvious keeping the exciting plot fresh and the reader hooked.

Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the first DCI Banks novel a year ago, I haven't been able to run through them quickly enough. Well-defined characters, good plots, and believable police procedure. Alas, All the Colors of Darkness fails across the board. The notion that MI6, like its U.S. counterpart the CIA, runs wild domestically in the UK, intimidating people, invading homes and offices, and eventually killing a witness after running Banks and the witness of the road, is a bit preposterous. The UK, as I recall, is still a democracy, and still a reasonable free country. Also, Banks is becoming the Job of detectives, with everything going wrong in his life and nothing right. Come on, Peter, get back on track.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good start
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Peter Robinson series of Alan Banks are my favorite British mysteries. I somehow missed this one.
4cille More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Mr. Robinson's writing, but find it hard to take Banks alcoholism and the poor decisions he make because of this. I'd love to find him addressing this problem and attending AA in oder to get his haphazard life on a more sane track.