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Final Account (Inspector Alan Banks Series #7)

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Overview

There's more than blood and bone beneath the skin ...

The victim, a nondescript "numbers cruncher," died horriblyjust yards away from his terrified wife and daughter, murdered by men who clearly enjoyed their work. The crime scene is one that could chill the blood of even the most seasoned police officer. But the strange revelations about an ordinary accountant's extraordinary secret life are what truly set Chief Inspector Alan Banks off — as lies breed further deceptions and ...

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Final Account (Inspector Alan Banks Series #7)

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Overview

There's more than blood and bone beneath the skin ...

The victim, a nondescript "numbers cruncher," died horriblyjust yards away from his terrified wife and daughter, murdered by men who clearly enjoyed their work. The crime scene is one that could chill the blood of even the most seasoned police officer. But the strange revelations about an ordinary accountant's extraordinary secret life are what truly set Chief Inspector Alan Banks off — as lies breed further deceptions and blood begets blood, unleashing a policeman's dark passions ... and a violent rage that, when freed, might be impossible to control.

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Editorial Reviews

Wes Lukowsky
In the Yorkshire countryside, middle-aged accountant and financial consultant Keith Rothwell is murdered while his wife and daughter are forced to watch. Detective Inspector Alan Banks and his assistant, Constable Susan Gay, are the lead investigators on the case. As Banks and Gay investigate, they reveal the victim to have been a conservative, quiet man virtually devoid of personality and style. But then a beautiful young musician sees Rothwell's picture in the paper and reveals that he had a secret life: as Robert Calvert, the musician's former lover. Meanwhile, Rothwell's financial dealings are coming into focus: he was skimming from one of his clients, a drug-dealing Caribbean dictator, and may have been murdered for his transgressions. The few loose ends to the case trouble Banks, and he pursues them until he draws a surprising conclusion. Tremendous plotting and solid characters make this a superior British procedural from the critically acclaimed author of "Wednesday's Child".
From the Publisher
"Impressive.... A dark, unsettling story." —-The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060502164
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Inspector Alan Banks Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 266,949
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Robinson's award-winning Inspector Banks novels have been named a "Best Book of the Year" by Publishers Weekly, a "Notable Book" by the New York Times, and a "Page Turner of the Week" by People. Robinson was born and brought up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between North America and the U.K.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Final Account

Chapter One

The uniformed constable lifted the tape and waved Detective Chief Inspector Banks through the gate at two forty-seven in the morning.

Banks's headlights danced over the scene as he drove into the bumpy farmyard and came to a halt. To his left stood the squat, solid house itself, with its walls of thick limestone and mossy, flagstone roof. Lights shone in both the upstairs and downstairs windows. To his right, a high stone wall buttressed a copse that straggled up the daleside, where the trees became lost in darkness. Straight ahead stood the barn.

A group of officers had gathered around the open doors, inside which a ball of light seemed to be moving. They looked like the cast of a fifties sci-fi film gazing in awe on an alien spaceship or life-form.

When Banks arrived, they parted in silence to let him through. As he entered, he noticed one young PC leaning against the outside wall dribbling vomit on his size twelves. Inside, the scene looked like a film set.

Peter Darby, the police photographer, was busy videotaping, and the source of the light was attached to the top of his camera. It created an eerie chiaroscuro and sudden, sickening illuminations as it swept around the barn's interior. All he needed, Banks thought, was for someone to yell "Action!" and the place would suddenly be full of sound and motion.

But no amount of yelling would breathe life back into the grotesque shape on the floor, by which a whey-faced young police surgeon, Dr. Burns, squatted with a black notebook in his hand.

At first, the position of the body reminded Banks of a parody of Moslem prayer: the kneeling man bent forward from the waist, arms stretched out in front, bum in the air, forehead touching the ground, perhaps facing Mecca. His fists were clenched in the dirt, and Banks noticed the glint of a gold cufflink, initialled "KAR," as Darby's light flashed on it.

But there was no forehead to touch the ground. Above the charcoal suit jacket, the blood-soaked collar of the man's shirt protruded about an inch, and after that came nothing but a dark, coagulated mass of bone and tissue spread out on the dirt like an oil stain: a shotgun wound, by the look of it. Patches of blood, bone and brain matter stuck to the whitewashed stone walls in abstract-expressionist patterns. Darby's roving light caught what looked like a fragment of skull sprouting a tuft of fair hair beside a rusty hoe.

Banks felt the bile rise in his throat. He could still smell the gunpowder, reminiscent of a childhood bonfire night, mixed with the stink of urine and feces and the rancid raw meat smell of sudden violent death.

"What time did the call come in?" he asked the PC beside him.

"One thirty-eight, sir. PC Carstairs from Relton was first on the scene. He's still puking up out front."

Banks nodded. "Do we know who the victim was?"

"DC Gay checked his wallet, sir. Name's Keith Rothwell. That's the name of the bloke who lived here, all right." He pointed over to the house. "Arkbeck Farm, it's called."

"A farmer?"

"Nay, sir. Accountant. Some sort of businessman, anyroad."

One of the constables found a light switch and turned on the bare bulb, which became a foundation for the brighter light of Darby's video camera. Most regions didn't use video because it was hard to get good enough quality, but Peter Darby was a hardware junkie, forever experimenting.

Banks turned his attention back to the scene. The place looked as if it had once been a large stone Yorkshire barn, with double doors and a hayloft, called a "field house" in those parts. Originally, it would have been used to keep the cows inside between November and May, and to store fodder, but Rothwell seemed to have converted it into a garage.

To Banks's right, a silver-gray BMW, parked at a slight angle, took up about half the space. Beyond the car, against the far wall, a number of metal shelf units held all the tools and potions one would associate with car care: antifreeze, wax polish, oily rags, screwdrivers, spanners. Rothwell had retained the rural look in the other half of the garage. He had even hung old farm implements on the whitewashed stone wall: a mucking rake, a hay knife, a draining scoop and a Tom spade, among others, all suitably rusted.

As he stood there, Banks tried to picture what might have happened. The victim had clearly been kneeling, perhaps praying or pleading for his life. It certainly didn't look as if he had tried to escape. Why had he submitted so easily? Not much choice, probably, Banks thought. You usually don't argue when someone is pointing a shotgun at you. But still . . . would a man simply kneel there, brace himself and wait for his executioner to pull the trigger?

Banks turned and left the barn. Outside, he met Detective Sergeant Philip Richmond and Detective Constable Susan Gay coming from around the back.

"Nothing there, sir, far as I can tell," said Richmond, a large torch in his hand. Susan, beside him, looked pale in the glow from the barn entrance.

"All right?" Banks asked her.

"I'm okay now, sir. I was sick, though."

Richmond looked the same as ever. His sang-froid was legendary around the place, so much so that Banks sometimes wondered if he had any feelings at all or whether he had come to resemble one of those computers he spent most of his time with.

"Anyone know what happened?" Banks asked.

"PC Carstairs had a quick word with the victim's wife when he first got here," said Susan. "All she could tell him was that a couple of men were waiting when she got home and they took her husband outside and shot him." She shrugged ...

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

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( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A very dark novel...

    When Robinson began this series, the books were a bit more lighthearted (by murder mystery standards). By book 7, however, the subject is very dark and some of the humor is gone, replaced by suspense and more drama. This isn't a bad thing, as the pages fly when reading this book. Any novel that starts out with a wife and child seeing the headless corpse of a loved one signals that very bad things are going to happen throughout the novel.

    Robinson once again examines the family dynamic and how keeping things from one another can tear a family apart, this time through the family of the deceased. They are an odd lot, fully bent on each keeping to themselves, even when trying to provide the same stories to the police.

    Also, the minor cracks Inspector Banks' marriage that began with "Wednesday's Child" (book 6) are beginning to grow. He finds himself lonely at times, searching his inner self for feelings he wasn't sure he had. He even gets in a fist fight (don't worry, no spoilers), which is uncharacteristic of the usually moral man who uses his head to solve problems.

    Overall this is a great book to read. As with all series, I recommend starting with Book 1 and working your way to this.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    DCI Banks - Final Account

    This book was a real nail biter. I recommend it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 27, 2011

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    Posted May 18, 2009

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    Posted June 20, 2011

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    Posted July 2, 2011

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    Posted January 31, 2011

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