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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review of The Hanging Valley

Goodreads | Eric_W Welch (Forreston, IL)'s review of The Hanging Valley:

2.5 stars, perhaps. Good audiobook. An alternative title might be "Banks goes to Toronto."   I always wonder when a local character takes off for other pastures as part of an investigation.  Did the author just visit there and want to add some local color? Is Robinson a Jays fan?

Ostensibly, Banks has to travel to Toronto to  find and  interview a woman who may have information about an unsolved murder in Swainsdale that had occurred years before but may be linked to a more recent one.

The body of Bernard Allen, a man who had briefly relocated to Canada, is discovered buried in the woods in a remote area of Yorkshire.  The investigation takes Banks to Toronto to search for a woman who might have known him. (And we get treated -- if that's the word -- to a Blue Jays game.)

Banks has to dig back into the past to determine the reason for the killing. I had difficulty getting a feel for the motivations of the characters and this is not one of Robinson's better efforts.   His writing is good, but the characters in this volume lacked full development.

Some reviewers have complained about the ending, that somehow it was a shock. Perhaps, but only in its abruptness. This may be one of those cases where a good reader (James Langton) makes a bad book better.  I had difficulty connecting with this story, but the excellent narration prevented switching to the off button.

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