‘Watching the Dark’ is the latest instalment in Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks series. This is the 20th book in the series featuring the Yorkshire based detective, although it’s the first one that I’ve read.
The story starts with a police officer – Detective Inspector Bill Quinn (in some editions of the book Bill Reid), murdered with a crossbow in the grounds of a police convalescence centre. Some compromising photos are found amongst Quinn’s possessions.
As DI Alan Banks and his team begin their investigation, the body of an Estonian journalist with links to Quinn is also found. A professional standards officer – Joanne Passero is assigned to the case because of the possibility that Quinn was being bribed with the compromising photos. Banks immediately feels that he is the one being investigated.
Banks and Passero travel to Talinn in Estonia, following leads from a case that Quinn worked on where a 19 year old English girl went missing.
The English side of the investigation is run by Annie Cabot who has just returned to work after her own lengthy stay at the convalescence centre.
Between them they uncover police corruption, and Eastern European mafia groups with links to drugs, prostitution and illegal immigration. Eventually they uncover the reasons behind the murder of Quinn and the Estonian journalist, as well as solving an old case of Quinn’s.
This was an excellent novel and I’m surprised that I haven’t come across Peter Robinson and the Inspector Banks series before now. Robinson is very good at setting up an atmosphere and I really felt myself in Talinn, at the Garskill farm and in Banks’s conservatory at different times during the book, although at times the book was probably a bit slow and wordy.
It worked out OK starting at number 20 in the series, although I’m keen now to get more background on DI Alan Banks and on Annie Cabot and her earlier injuries.
Book Published 2012