HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Hanging Valley (1989)

by Peter Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Banks (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8812620,899 (3.66)54
No one dreamed something so hideous could grow in so beautiful a place...Many who visit the valley are overwhelmed by its majesty. Some wish they never had to leave. One didn't: a hiker whose decomposing corpse is discovered by an unsuspecting tourist. But this strange, incomprehensible murder is only the edge of the darkness that hovers over a small rural village and its tight-lipped residents, who guard shattering secrets of sordid pasts and private shames. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks knows that both the grim truth and a cold-blooded killer are hiding here, far from the city, the noise, and safety. And he's determined to walk into the valley of death to expose them both.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Well done. Better than the first three, hands down. ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
3.5 stars ( )
  natcontrary | Jun 22, 2020 |
This is Book #4 in the Inspector Banks series and it was very good. Peter Robinson lives part-time in Canada now but grew up in Yorkshire and so it makes sense that he based his detective in Yorkshire. This book came out in 1989 so there are no cell phones and most policing has to be done by actually going to locations. When the trail in this book leads Inspector Banks to Canada he ends up visiting Toronto. I expect that a lot of the comments made to Banks were probably also made to Robinson when he moved here.

A hiker discovers a body in an idyllic valley in the Yorkshire Dales. He returns to the small town of Swainshead where he had spent a few nights in a local B&B and reports his find to the locals gathered in the pub. This is not the first time Swainshead has had a murder committed on its doorstep so they call the policeman involved in that murder some five years previous. Inspector Gristhorpe is now Superintendant and Chief Inspector Banks works on his staff. So both Gristhorpe and Banks go to Swainshead to start the investigation. Gristhorpe fills Banks in on the previous murder which is still unsolved. A local young woman also disappeared at the same time and has never been heard of since. When the body is finally identified it turns out to be a man who was raised in the area but now lives in Toronto. Perhaps he knew something about the murder and disappearance and was killed for that knowledge? It is Banks job to figure out if there is a connection and find the killer or killers. There are a few false leads but it seems Banks is up to the task. His investigation takes him to various places around Yorkshire, Toronto in Canada, and the home of the Dreaming Spires i.e. Oxford. Along the way he listens to a diverse assortment of musice on cassette tapes in his Cortina or sometimes on a small tape player. Remember cassette tapes?

Banks is still married and living with his wife and two children and I keep wondering what happened to cause that to change. I'll just have to keep reading. Fortunately I have the next four books in the series available and the good folks at Whodunit Mystery Bookstore assure me they can get any more that I need. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jun 7, 2020 |
The Hanging Valley is book number four in Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks series. By this point, Chief Inspector Alan Banks has been in Yorkshire for almost two years and is settling nicely into a considerably slower pace of crime-fighting than the one he once faced in London. Banks really enjoys detective work, and always has, but in London he knew that too many citizens see contact with the police as a confrontation - and he found the resulting unpleasant pressure to be more uncomfortable than it was worth. Too, Banks found it difficult to work while under the constant scrutiny of superiors, and in London he felt there were way too may chiefs meddling in his investigations. But in Eastvale, Superintendent Gristhorpe is happy enough to let him get on with things on his own, and Banks is a happy man.

This time around, Banks is called to the nearby village of Swainshead to look into the death of a hiker whose two-week-old remains are discovered by a wildflower enthusiast out on a hike of his own. Quickly enough, it is determined that the man’s death is a homicide – and that this is not the first murder this tiny village has seen in recent years. When Banks moves into the village’s only hotel to begin his witness interviews, he begins to realize that Swainshead’s citizens are hiding a lot of secrets – from him and from each other – and that this will be no simple investigation. Swainshead is a little self-contained world all its own, a world in which ancient grudges, out-of-control ambition, a still-powerful wealthy family, and deep-set guilt will all play their part in bringing the hiker’s killer to justice. Before that happens, Banks will spend a week in Toronto tracking down a key witness and time in Oxford where he hopes to identify the link between the murders and the person responsible for them.

Four books into the series, it is becoming clear that Peter Robinson is not particularly interested in sharing his main character’s personal life with his readers (perhaps this will change in later books). Readers know that Alan’s wife, Sandra, is supportive and that she understands his frequent absences from their home. They know that he has two children, Brian and Tracy, but they know very little about the children’s personalities or how they are coping with the move from London to the Yorkshire countryside. More times than not, the detective’s entire family is conveniently out of town during his homicide investigations, and they only return when the case is over or at some investigatory lull. After four books, the reader still doesn’t have much of a feel for who they are and what their world is like.

Bottom Line: The Hanging Valley is a complicated, but rather straightforwardly handled, murder mystery that requires the reader to pay close attention if it is all to make sense in the end. The ending itself is a bit abrupt (in an almost off-putting way), and the climax relies a little too heavily on a lot of conversational explanation from Banks to his sergeant (too much telling and not enough showing is never a good thing). By this point, Robinson may have realized just how complicated his plot was and decided that the conversation was something he needed to do to ensure that his readers were up to speed. Maybe he was right. ( )
  SamSattler | Nov 4, 2019 |
A man's body is found in Swainsdale. Who is he? How did he get there? When it turns out to be Bernard Allen, who grew up in the village but resided in Canada, Banks must investigate matters in both England and Canada before resolving it. The murder appears to be tied to an unsolved case from five years earlier. There's a bit of an unexpected twist at the end. Inspector Banks is quickly becoming one of my favorite fictional detectives, particularly as narrated by James Langton. I'm looking forward to the next installment. ( )
  thornton37814 | Apr 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Robinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Janssen, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Jan
First words
It was the most exhilarating feeling in the world.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No one dreamed something so hideous could grow in so beautiful a place...Many who visit the valley are overwhelmed by its majesty. Some wish they never had to leave. One didn't: a hiker whose decomposing corpse is discovered by an unsuspecting tourist. But this strange, incomprehensible murder is only the edge of the darkness that hovers over a small rural village and its tight-lipped residents, who guard shattering secrets of sordid pasts and private shames. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks knows that both the grim truth and a cold-blooded killer are hiding here, far from the city, the noise, and safety. And he's determined to walk into the valley of death to expose them both.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.66)
0.5
1 3
1.5
2 7
2.5 4
3 64
3.5 33
4 90
4.5 4
5 28

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 180,123,511 books! | Top bar: Always visible