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The eagerly awaited new novel from Canada’s top crime-fiction writer.

It’s the May half-term school holiday, and the first warm day of the year has drawn a few children to the River Swain for a swim. When one boy chases another off the path that runs alongside Hindswell Woods, a glimpse of orange through the trees tempts them into the shadows. Moments later, their high spirits vanish in an instant, for there, to their shock (and ghoulish fascination), they find a man in a brightly coloured shirt hanging from a branch by a rope around his neck. Alan Banks is in London with his new girlfriend when news of the kids’ ghastly discovery reaches the police in Eastvale, so the case falls to Annie Cabbot. And she’s mystified. Why would a successful set and costume designer, with a well-reviewed production of Othello currently playing, be in such despair that he would take his own life?

In All the Colours of Darkness, Peter Robinson has written an exceptionally gripping and intricately plotted story that delivers hard truths about jealousy and betrayal — and of the insidious, corrosive power of secrets. Once more, Robinson proves that he is one of the finest crime-fiction writers in the world.


From the Hardcover edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9781551991450
List price: $11.99
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WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD.
Peter Robinson's latest entry in the Alan Banks police procedural series is a rather dark one. Banks's investigation of what at first seems a simple murder-suicide involves him with Britain's security services, of whose actions Robinson doesn't have a very high opinion. He mentions a couple of books that Banks reads for background and it's safe to assume Robinson has read them too. All is grist to Banks's mill, even going to a Shakespeare production helps him realize what has really happened in the case. Otherwise, we are treated to more of the excellent police procedurals Robinson is known for.The relationship between Banks and his assistant and sometime lover DI Annie Cabbot is still unsettled; everyone is still trying to figure out their new Chief Superintendent, Catherine Gervaise; and we're learning more about Winsome Jackman and some of the other characters in the station. In short, another excellent book, and now we have to wait nearly a year for the next one. Although I found the ending somewhat unsatisfactory, I think that goes with the territory of police work intersecting with spy work.more
A slightly different sort of crime book where it's hard to identify exactly what is the crime and who should be charged. But it's a good investigative read. The ending, though, was a bit cut off, almost as if the author didn't know where to go with the story, so just ended it as quickly as possible, in the same way it could have been ended earlier in the book. But that's the problem with spy novels.more
This is an interesting read... Police procedural spy. I like the way the inter=relationship between the detectives an spy's evolves.Just want to comment on the huge amount of 'name-dropping' in this book. Huge number of music and movie citations [sounds a lot like ad placement and is annoying to me:]. I like it better when authors use more generic descriptions. I have no idea what the music or movie is about so I don't get a good sense of the mood the author is trying to convey.more
As soon as I opened this I realized I'd read it before but somehow omitted to record the fact! Anyway I recall it being another excellent Alan Banks story.more
All the Colours of Darkness is the eighteenth book in Peter Robinson’s remarkable crime series featuring DI Alan Banks. Although good, I didn’t think it lived up to his usual standard and so this one will not go down as one of my favourites of the series.I found it hard to get into the rather convoluted plot involving the deaths of two men, one a suicide committed in remorse over his having murdered his lover. The lover it turns out is retired from the secret service and before too long Banks has M16 breathing down his neck and trying to control the investigation.A huge leap-of-faith is required by the reader when Banks develops his theory from watching the play Othello. Luckily after eighteen books I do trust in his deductive reasoning but it was quite the stretch.Still Robinson can write. His descriptive narration, character development and scene setting is flawless as usual. So overall although I was slightly disappointed I have great faith that Peter Robinson will blow my socks off with book number nineteen.more
i liked this when i was finished more than i liked it while reading.more
A group of children playing in the woods in the Yorkshire Dales discovers a man's body hanging from a tree. Mark Hardcastle, theatre set designer, appears to have committed suicide after killing his lover Laurence Silbert.DI Annie Cabbot's investigation is compliocated by the fact that her boss DCI Alan Banks is having a weekend in London with his girlfriend, and that the Chief Constable, a friend of Silbert's, wants unsavoury details hushed up. Banks is not happy when Superintendent Gervaise insists he is called back early. However when he begins to uncover details, Gervaise is far from happy about the direction the investigation is taking.The Chief Constable, in response to pressure from higher up, insists that the investigation be wrapped up quickly. Banks however becomes convinced that he is under observation, that there is more to know about Silbert, and, as Gervaise knows, telling him to stop just ensures he will ignore orders. She tells Banks to resume his holidays, and to leave the final details to Annie Cabbot. Which of course he can't do.It occurred to me, as I read on, that the plot line of the high level detective coming under threat because he won't abandon an investigation is wearing a bit thin. We've seen it used in many other novels - Frost, Harry Hole, and Kurt Wallander, just to name a few that come quickly to mind. But somehow for me that doesn't really detract from the fine plotting in this novel. Banks eventually comes up with a plausible explanation for the murder/suicide after a couple of stuttering and implausible theories. Annie Cabbot, as usual, is drawn in by the charisma of her boss, and puts her career, and her life, on the line.It always amazes me that Robinson, after all a Canadian, writes such an English novel. And what is it about Yorkshire? Robinson novels are set largely in Yorkshire and London, Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe are set in Yorkshire. And also, Wingfield's novels are set nearby in the Midlands.Yorkshire must rival Midsomer for murder capital of the world!ALL THE COLOURS OF DARKNESS seems even more littered than usual with references to Banks' musical taste, and even with references to other writers and their novels. Here are the songs mentioned.A very acceptable read.more
was really dissapointed with this book. i could of read first few chapters and then the end as the middle had nothing of substance. as for the random bomb that goes off very strange!more
I have read and enjoyed several of the Alan Banks mysteries and this is one of the weakest. The mystery and its resolution are not particularly interesting, and the final interactions between Banks and the secret service is ridiculous.more
I'v read all the books in Robinson's Banks series, and while they are all intelligent, engaging and much better than the run of the mill detective stories, the series has had its ups and downs before.This, I'd say, is a down period, and I'm not sure whether Banks has that much mileage left in him. But I've said that before and Robinson has surprised me by finding a way to bring some spark back to the series.more
This novel follows "Friend of the Devil" and the activities of Chief Inspector Alan Banks and D.I. Annie Cabbott. The story opens with children finding Mark Hardcastle hung from a tree in the woods near Hardcastle. While attempting to notify next of kin, police find Mark's lover, Laurence Silbert, beaten to death in his home. While Banks speaks to Silbert's mother, he learns that Silbert was a spook. Later, a person identifying himself as Mr. Browne tells Banks to lay off the investigation. Bank's supervisor also tells him not to persue inquiries into Silbert's past. This fires Banks up and he continues the investigation on his own. Hardcastle worked at a local theater and a co worker Derek Wyman had a falling out with him. Banks and Annie think Wyman was setting Hardcastle up so that his lover might think he was being two timed. As always Robinson knows how to tell an excellent story. How will Banks solve this mystery when so many things are against him? How much integrity must this man have to keep on his investigation when everyone tells him to stop and if he continues someone who worked for M6 might feed him to the wolves? Read this dandy and find out.more
There is nothing I love more than a good mystery except, perhaps, a good mystery series. I have several in my library - Maisie Dobbs and Inspector Rutledge are my two current favorites, but I've also been partial to Adam Dagliesh. Inspector Banks, a creation of Canadian author Peter Robinson, ranks highly in my list of must read mystery authors. All of the books are well written and have a nice balance of on the job / off the clock glimpses into the lives of the characters. All The Colours of Darkness concerns a crime initially ruled a murder-suicide that becomes complicated when it is revealed that one of the dead is a former MI6 agent. Suffice to say that what I enjoyed about this book, and have enjoyed about Inspector Banks in the past, is the lack of clean ending. Often Banks finds himself unsatisfied with the outcome of an investigation (although more often things do tend to be tidy). ATCOD is untidy, ambiguous and leaves you guessing. Great stuff.more
Latest in Peter Robinson's police procedurals set in Eastvale, a town in England, whose main character is detective Alan Banks. I've read all the series and consider it one of the best contemporary mystery series. This eighteenth volume doesn't disappoint. What seems to be a murder/suicide in a gay couple gets more complicated when it turns out the murder victim was a British intelligence agent. Was his lover manipulated into the murder?If this series were on television instead of books, I would say it has a great ensemble cast. The characters are complex and real. Moreover Robinson does good plot. It is a rare fictional series that holds up well over 18 books. If you haven't tried this series, give it a shot. Each book stands on its own, but the characters do a lot of development over the course of the series.more
Two men are found dead, one brutally beaten in his apartment and the other hanging from a tree in a local park. It appears to have been a lover's spat turned into a murder/suicide but once it is found out that one of the dead men was a secret agent with MI6 things start to seem more complicated than at first presumed.I enjoyed this book but can't say that it is up to par with the other Inspector Banks novels I've read to date. I enjoyed the whodunit and the author digs deep into Banks' psyche making him one of my favourite detectives. What I found (shall I say) boring was all the secret agent/spy stuff. MI5 this, MI6 that, just doesn't do it for me. I like my mysteries to be crimes and thrillers not spy novels. While I enjoy an Ian Fleming as much as the next fellow, I didn't expect this book to be so dependent on the spy aspects for the plot.The ending was a surprise, rather bleak, certainly not a happy ending. Inspector Banks' private life is a main feature of this novel and I enjoyed that aspect very much and once again it also was left with a bleak uncertainty, leaving one curious as to where his personal life will go in the next novel. Fans of the series will find enjoyment meeting up with favourite characters again but if you are new to the series do not start with this one as it is not representational of the series as a whole.more
Ohh, it was with great happiness and anticipation that I settled in on the couch with All the Colours of Darkness, newly released from McClelland!This is the 18th book in the Inspector Banks series from Peter Robinson. Every last one has been a great read and this one was no exception.The series takes place in England and has followed the career of Alan Banks and his co workers. Just as interesting is Banks' personal life. Over 18 novels, it has been fascinating to follow the progressions of the character's lives. It gives such a realistic note to the books and makes the characters even more believable. Banks' fondness for listening to all types of music has more than once sent me on a search for a CD, just to hear what he has described.Annie Cabot's (Banks' partner and ex-lover) latest case appears to be a suicide by hanging on a school property. However, when she finds the man's lover bludgeoned to death, Banks is called back to work from a weekend away. The case takes an even more curious turn when one of the victims is discovered to have worked for M16 - Britain's Security and Secret Intelligence Services. Even more curious is the speed at which the case is declared closed. Murder suicide - the end. Bank's supervisor, Inspector Gervaise, insists on him taking some time off and to accept that the case is closed. While agreeing, Banks decides to investigate further on the sly and enlists the help of Annie Cabot and Winsome Jackman. And they do discover more...."Oh, jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge. The usual stuff of Shakespearean tragedies. All the colours of darkness."This case borrows from current headlines and as always is an intelligent mystery.There is just something comforting about settling down with a Peter Robinson. I never bother reading the cover notes anymore - I just know that I'm in for a really good read. If you haven't yet discovered this award winning series, I encourage you to. They don't need to be read in order - each book is a great tale on it's own.more
Read all 16 reviews

Reviews

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD.
Peter Robinson's latest entry in the Alan Banks police procedural series is a rather dark one. Banks's investigation of what at first seems a simple murder-suicide involves him with Britain's security services, of whose actions Robinson doesn't have a very high opinion. He mentions a couple of books that Banks reads for background and it's safe to assume Robinson has read them too. All is grist to Banks's mill, even going to a Shakespeare production helps him realize what has really happened in the case. Otherwise, we are treated to more of the excellent police procedurals Robinson is known for.The relationship between Banks and his assistant and sometime lover DI Annie Cabbot is still unsettled; everyone is still trying to figure out their new Chief Superintendent, Catherine Gervaise; and we're learning more about Winsome Jackman and some of the other characters in the station. In short, another excellent book, and now we have to wait nearly a year for the next one. Although I found the ending somewhat unsatisfactory, I think that goes with the territory of police work intersecting with spy work.more
A slightly different sort of crime book where it's hard to identify exactly what is the crime and who should be charged. But it's a good investigative read. The ending, though, was a bit cut off, almost as if the author didn't know where to go with the story, so just ended it as quickly as possible, in the same way it could have been ended earlier in the book. But that's the problem with spy novels.more
This is an interesting read... Police procedural spy. I like the way the inter=relationship between the detectives an spy's evolves.Just want to comment on the huge amount of 'name-dropping' in this book. Huge number of music and movie citations [sounds a lot like ad placement and is annoying to me:]. I like it better when authors use more generic descriptions. I have no idea what the music or movie is about so I don't get a good sense of the mood the author is trying to convey.more
As soon as I opened this I realized I'd read it before but somehow omitted to record the fact! Anyway I recall it being another excellent Alan Banks story.more
All the Colours of Darkness is the eighteenth book in Peter Robinson’s remarkable crime series featuring DI Alan Banks. Although good, I didn’t think it lived up to his usual standard and so this one will not go down as one of my favourites of the series.I found it hard to get into the rather convoluted plot involving the deaths of two men, one a suicide committed in remorse over his having murdered his lover. The lover it turns out is retired from the secret service and before too long Banks has M16 breathing down his neck and trying to control the investigation.A huge leap-of-faith is required by the reader when Banks develops his theory from watching the play Othello. Luckily after eighteen books I do trust in his deductive reasoning but it was quite the stretch.Still Robinson can write. His descriptive narration, character development and scene setting is flawless as usual. So overall although I was slightly disappointed I have great faith that Peter Robinson will blow my socks off with book number nineteen.more
i liked this when i was finished more than i liked it while reading.more
A group of children playing in the woods in the Yorkshire Dales discovers a man's body hanging from a tree. Mark Hardcastle, theatre set designer, appears to have committed suicide after killing his lover Laurence Silbert.DI Annie Cabbot's investigation is compliocated by the fact that her boss DCI Alan Banks is having a weekend in London with his girlfriend, and that the Chief Constable, a friend of Silbert's, wants unsavoury details hushed up. Banks is not happy when Superintendent Gervaise insists he is called back early. However when he begins to uncover details, Gervaise is far from happy about the direction the investigation is taking.The Chief Constable, in response to pressure from higher up, insists that the investigation be wrapped up quickly. Banks however becomes convinced that he is under observation, that there is more to know about Silbert, and, as Gervaise knows, telling him to stop just ensures he will ignore orders. She tells Banks to resume his holidays, and to leave the final details to Annie Cabbot. Which of course he can't do.It occurred to me, as I read on, that the plot line of the high level detective coming under threat because he won't abandon an investigation is wearing a bit thin. We've seen it used in many other novels - Frost, Harry Hole, and Kurt Wallander, just to name a few that come quickly to mind. But somehow for me that doesn't really detract from the fine plotting in this novel. Banks eventually comes up with a plausible explanation for the murder/suicide after a couple of stuttering and implausible theories. Annie Cabbot, as usual, is drawn in by the charisma of her boss, and puts her career, and her life, on the line.It always amazes me that Robinson, after all a Canadian, writes such an English novel. And what is it about Yorkshire? Robinson novels are set largely in Yorkshire and London, Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe are set in Yorkshire. And also, Wingfield's novels are set nearby in the Midlands.Yorkshire must rival Midsomer for murder capital of the world!ALL THE COLOURS OF DARKNESS seems even more littered than usual with references to Banks' musical taste, and even with references to other writers and their novels. Here are the songs mentioned.A very acceptable read.more
was really dissapointed with this book. i could of read first few chapters and then the end as the middle had nothing of substance. as for the random bomb that goes off very strange!more
I have read and enjoyed several of the Alan Banks mysteries and this is one of the weakest. The mystery and its resolution are not particularly interesting, and the final interactions between Banks and the secret service is ridiculous.more
I'v read all the books in Robinson's Banks series, and while they are all intelligent, engaging and much better than the run of the mill detective stories, the series has had its ups and downs before.This, I'd say, is a down period, and I'm not sure whether Banks has that much mileage left in him. But I've said that before and Robinson has surprised me by finding a way to bring some spark back to the series.more
This novel follows "Friend of the Devil" and the activities of Chief Inspector Alan Banks and D.I. Annie Cabbott. The story opens with children finding Mark Hardcastle hung from a tree in the woods near Hardcastle. While attempting to notify next of kin, police find Mark's lover, Laurence Silbert, beaten to death in his home. While Banks speaks to Silbert's mother, he learns that Silbert was a spook. Later, a person identifying himself as Mr. Browne tells Banks to lay off the investigation. Bank's supervisor also tells him not to persue inquiries into Silbert's past. This fires Banks up and he continues the investigation on his own. Hardcastle worked at a local theater and a co worker Derek Wyman had a falling out with him. Banks and Annie think Wyman was setting Hardcastle up so that his lover might think he was being two timed. As always Robinson knows how to tell an excellent story. How will Banks solve this mystery when so many things are against him? How much integrity must this man have to keep on his investigation when everyone tells him to stop and if he continues someone who worked for M6 might feed him to the wolves? Read this dandy and find out.more
There is nothing I love more than a good mystery except, perhaps, a good mystery series. I have several in my library - Maisie Dobbs and Inspector Rutledge are my two current favorites, but I've also been partial to Adam Dagliesh. Inspector Banks, a creation of Canadian author Peter Robinson, ranks highly in my list of must read mystery authors. All of the books are well written and have a nice balance of on the job / off the clock glimpses into the lives of the characters. All The Colours of Darkness concerns a crime initially ruled a murder-suicide that becomes complicated when it is revealed that one of the dead is a former MI6 agent. Suffice to say that what I enjoyed about this book, and have enjoyed about Inspector Banks in the past, is the lack of clean ending. Often Banks finds himself unsatisfied with the outcome of an investigation (although more often things do tend to be tidy). ATCOD is untidy, ambiguous and leaves you guessing. Great stuff.more
Latest in Peter Robinson's police procedurals set in Eastvale, a town in England, whose main character is detective Alan Banks. I've read all the series and consider it one of the best contemporary mystery series. This eighteenth volume doesn't disappoint. What seems to be a murder/suicide in a gay couple gets more complicated when it turns out the murder victim was a British intelligence agent. Was his lover manipulated into the murder?If this series were on television instead of books, I would say it has a great ensemble cast. The characters are complex and real. Moreover Robinson does good plot. It is a rare fictional series that holds up well over 18 books. If you haven't tried this series, give it a shot. Each book stands on its own, but the characters do a lot of development over the course of the series.more
Two men are found dead, one brutally beaten in his apartment and the other hanging from a tree in a local park. It appears to have been a lover's spat turned into a murder/suicide but once it is found out that one of the dead men was a secret agent with MI6 things start to seem more complicated than at first presumed.I enjoyed this book but can't say that it is up to par with the other Inspector Banks novels I've read to date. I enjoyed the whodunit and the author digs deep into Banks' psyche making him one of my favourite detectives. What I found (shall I say) boring was all the secret agent/spy stuff. MI5 this, MI6 that, just doesn't do it for me. I like my mysteries to be crimes and thrillers not spy novels. While I enjoy an Ian Fleming as much as the next fellow, I didn't expect this book to be so dependent on the spy aspects for the plot.The ending was a surprise, rather bleak, certainly not a happy ending. Inspector Banks' private life is a main feature of this novel and I enjoyed that aspect very much and once again it also was left with a bleak uncertainty, leaving one curious as to where his personal life will go in the next novel. Fans of the series will find enjoyment meeting up with favourite characters again but if you are new to the series do not start with this one as it is not representational of the series as a whole.more
Ohh, it was with great happiness and anticipation that I settled in on the couch with All the Colours of Darkness, newly released from McClelland!This is the 18th book in the Inspector Banks series from Peter Robinson. Every last one has been a great read and this one was no exception.The series takes place in England and has followed the career of Alan Banks and his co workers. Just as interesting is Banks' personal life. Over 18 novels, it has been fascinating to follow the progressions of the character's lives. It gives such a realistic note to the books and makes the characters even more believable. Banks' fondness for listening to all types of music has more than once sent me on a search for a CD, just to hear what he has described.Annie Cabot's (Banks' partner and ex-lover) latest case appears to be a suicide by hanging on a school property. However, when she finds the man's lover bludgeoned to death, Banks is called back to work from a weekend away. The case takes an even more curious turn when one of the victims is discovered to have worked for M16 - Britain's Security and Secret Intelligence Services. Even more curious is the speed at which the case is declared closed. Murder suicide - the end. Bank's supervisor, Inspector Gervaise, insists on him taking some time off and to accept that the case is closed. While agreeing, Banks decides to investigate further on the sly and enlists the help of Annie Cabot and Winsome Jackman. And they do discover more...."Oh, jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge. The usual stuff of Shakespearean tragedies. All the colours of darkness."This case borrows from current headlines and as always is an intelligent mystery.There is just something comforting about settling down with a Peter Robinson. I never bother reading the cover notes anymore - I just know that I'm in for a really good read. If you haven't yet discovered this award winning series, I encourage you to. They don't need to be read in order - each book is a great tale on it's own.more
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