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All the Colors of Darkness
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Product Description

Detectives Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot return in another electrifying novel from the acclaimed award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller Friend of the Devil

When the body of a man is discovered hanging from a tree in the woods near Eastvale, all signs point toward suicide. At least that's what it initially looks like to Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot.

The man is soon identified as Mark Hardcastle, the set and costume designer for the local amateur theater company. Mark was successful and well liked in the community, but enough remains mysterious about his background that suicide isn't completely out of the question. But when Mark's older and wealthier lover is discovered bludgeoned to death in his home, Annie begins to think differently. Could it have been a crime of passion, or did overwhelming grief lead to a man taking his own life? Increasingly confounded, she calls in the vacationing Chief Inspector Alan Banks°™even if it means prying him away from his new girlfriend.

Once on the investigation, Banks finds himself plunged into a case where nothing is as it seems. More and more his own words about the victim's latest production, Othello, are coming back to haunt him, for "jealousy, betrayal, envy, ambition, greed, lust, revenge°™all the colors of darkness" are quickly becoming his world as well.

Customer Reviews:

  • Not up to Par
    For the first time I was disappointed in a Peter
    Robinson book. Plot was lacking and I can;t imagine Inspector Banks crying....more info
  • Robinson treads ever more deeply into the dark psyche of humanity
    One of the high points of any year for me is the arrival of a new Peter Robinson book. Chief Detective Inspector Alan Banks, Robinson's creation, has become synonymous with the subgenera of the British police procedural novel in much the same way that Ed McBain's Steve Carella has become synonymous with the American version of that work. Robinson takes chances with Banks, a character who is not entirely likable, not because of some flawed moral compass but simply because at times he is a little hard to take.

    A bachelor in spite of himself, it is somewhat easy to see why he is unlucky in love; his off-track record includes Annie Cabbot, a detective supervisor who is under his immediate supervision. The end of that particular relationship has resulted in a somewhat prickly state of affairs between Banks and Cabbot, one that continues in ALL THE COLORS OF DARKNESS, Robinson's latest novel.

    The story begins, rather symbolically, with the discovery of a body hanging from a tree in a park. The deceased, Mark Hardcastle, is the set and costume designer for a local amateur theater company. At first it appears to be a suicide. The subsequent discovery of the horribly bludgeoned body of Hardcastle's lover, however, widens the scope of the investigation to the extent that Banks is called back from a holiday with his new girlfriend. Banks is initially peeved by the interruption but soon becomes obsessed with the case, particularly when it is revealed that the bludgeoned victim was, and still may be, in the clandestine foreign service. Everyone except Banks and, to some extent, Cabbot is quick to dispose of the case as a murder-suicide.

    Indeed, Banks receives a late night visit from a mysterious stranger who advises him to let the case lie, an instruction echoed by his own superiors the next day. He is practically ordered to continue his interrupted holiday, but he cannot let go of his investigation, particularly when it appears that Hardcastle may have been manipulated into killing his lover. Banks is being warned from all sides --- including some unexpected ones --- and even a veiled threat against his new girlfriend is not enough to warn him off the trail.

    There is an undercurrent in the air that leads to Othello, one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. Othello was being staged by Hardcastle's theater troupe. Did the underlying themes of jealousy and revenge motivate Hardcastle? Or was someone inspired to manipulate Hardcastle in the same manner in which the Bard's Moor was so tragically ill-used? Perhaps Britain's spy service is involved, given that Hardcastle's lover was intertwined with them. Banks becomes obsessed with the truth, even when, alas, it does him ill and not well. As ALL THE COLORS OF DARKNESS proceeds to its dark conclusion, a rough if accidental justice is meted out, even as potential difficulties and mysteries lurk in Banks's future.

    Robinson, well into his second decade of masterful writing, treads ever more deeply into the dark psyche of humanity, though he does so without losing his sensitive touch and occasional droll humor. As is his wont, he leaves a couple of minor plot points dangling at the book's conclusion that undoubtedly will be resolved or splintered in future volumes. Those familiar with his work, however, will not require such tantalizing bits as bait to keep reading.

    --- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub...more info
  • Good but not great...
    As always Peter Robinson tells a good tale, but though I love Inspector Banks and his crew, this one had me
    yawning a bit in the middle as it seems too drawn out. The the arrival of the MI6 and MI5 bad/good guys in the backstory I found off-putting. Interesting, complex characters abound, and once again Inspector Banks loses his current girl (I look forward to finding out who will be his next bedmate). THe trend toward British detectives always at odds with their bosses is getting a little old....more info
  • D.I. Banks - he'll grow on you
    I've only read one other Inspector Banks book, and now wish I had done more. Alan Banks is a great character, multi-layered and complex. Here, his back story is sometimes more interesting than the cases he's working on. I wondered about his history with Sophie and Annie as he navigate between them during his case. Definitely an interesting character to follow. ...more info
  • A Well-Written, Multi-Layered --Albeit Somewhat Slow-Paced -- English Mystery!
    All The Colors of Darkness is Peter Robinson's eighteenth mystery and serves to enhance his reputation as one of the elite writers in this genre. Without going into a lot of detail and risk giving away any clues into its multi-layered plot and rich characterizations, All The Colors of Darkness centers around a man found hanging from a tree in the woods by a group of boys. While it appears at first to Detective Inspector Annie Cabot that the man's death is a result of suicide, the deeper she digs, the more baffled she becomes. Robinson's series hero, Detective Inspector Alan Banks, is then brought into the investigation and finds himself plunged into a shadow world where nothing is what it seems. In typical Robinson fashion, All The Colors of Darkness is a relatively slow-paced story, as Robinson devotes himself into his characters' development and their prose, as well as into detailing the procedures of British police work. If your interest is in reading a fast-paced, action-driven mystery than All The Colors of Darkness is probably not for you. However, if you enjoy an often slow-paced, but an always sophisticated and intelligent mystery, than I highly recommend Robinson's latest book to you. I hope you enjoy it. ...more info
  • Another roller coaster ride
    For fans who eagerly await eash new Robinson text; this one definitely won't disappoint.

    For those who have never read Robinson, the relationship between DCI Banks, his new girlfriend and her family might prove a little confusing. Since this particular thread is from a previous novel, it might cast a first time reader somewhat adrift. Even though Robinson weaves the loose ends in nicely, this excursion into Banks' personal life only really matters if one is familiar with his previous relationship involving Annie Cabbot. Having said that, Mr. Robinson gives enough information about his characters to prevent a new reader from becoming lost. As for the story, it's another roller coaster ride! Absolutely nothing is as it seems. ...more info
  • Another great addition to the series
    This is one of my favorite series of books and as always, Peter Robinson does not disappoint. ALL THE COLORS OF DARKNESS is a cleverly written, intriguing mystery that incorporates OTHELLO into the story line as well as British espionage.

    The Character of DCI Alan Banks remains a constant. He is a man dedicated to the truth, but is smart enough to know that sometimes the truth won't win.

    It also appears the Mr. Robinson has taken my advice and has made DI Annie Cabbot more rational and less screwed up. I mentioned in my review of FRIEND OF THE DEVIL that I thought it was time for a change with this character, and I'm glad to see the change has come.

    What's great about this series is that you need not have read all the previous books to enjoy this one, but if you have not read them, please do. You will not be disappointed.
    ...more info