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I have this book on my shelf and have been meaning to read it for ages. I read 2 or 3 of the Inspector Banks books as well. Think I need to get it out and see if it might work for my book group (depending on how many copies the library has). Nice review, Dani!

Liz F

I know I have a copy of this because it turned up in a library book sale last year and I pounced on it!
Peter Robinson is a very good writer and it is very easy to get caught up in one of his Banks novels - I just wish I could get the image of the actor who plays the character in the TV adaptation out of my mind's eye because it quite puts me off as I think it was horribly miscast!

When I worked in a book shop, more than ten years ago now, Peter Robinson was one of the authors who came in for a signing and turned out to be really lovely - quiet, polite and unassuming and not a bit like the rude and pushy publisher's rep who accompanied him!


I read this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I remember now that it ends up being about what happened in Asia in the Second World War but I can't recall how it got there! I also remember taking down lots of excellent suggestions for classical music to listen to. Isn't it amazing what books can teach a person?!


Yay! You finished one of the languishing books then? That's got to make you feel good. Even better since it turned out to be so good.


I have this... One day I may read it...


This story really appealed to me so it hasn't sat long on my bookshelves, but I do admit I have a few others by him (a few Insp Banks novels) that I have had for far too long. This would be interesting to read for a book club as I think you might have some interesting discussions. I am just getting into the first Insp Banks mystery and I think I am hooked. Thanks for the kind words, Kay!


I will stay away from the TV adaptations of the books! I hate it when you have an image in mind of a character thanks to a movie that doesn't at all mesh with how you imagine him! The author sounds like a nice guy (how cool you got to meet him)--he is certainly prolific and writes well. You are right about the Alan Banks books--I am very much enjoying the first and have already ordered the second one. I might have to change gears a little after this one, though, and pick up an international crime novel--to many good choices at the moment!


I was thinking, too, how fitting it would be to listen to some of the music he refers to in the book, but I never did get around to it. And yes, the second half of the book focuses on her work as a nurse in Asia, which is how the 'mystery' is tied in and explained. He sort of does a sleight of hand as this all segued into the main story without the reader almost not noticing!


I did feel pretty happy to get back to an in progress book--I had been very much enjoying it but got so off track with my reading last fall. The JK Rowling mystery was another book that had been languishing that I managed to finish, so I was happy about that one, too. I am still hoping to slide in books from that pile into my regular reading this year (without adding too many new books to it!).


Hah--How many books can I say That about! Too many to count actually.

Denise Rogers

I delved into an Inspector Banks novel because I liked this one so much, but I have to say I did not enjoy the Banks book. There was a bit too much soap opera going on in the book with the women in his life (it's one of the reasons I abandoned the Elizabeth George novels, too). On the other hand, I like the Donna Leon books, which can certainly be said to have a bit of romance and soap opera to them, too. So I am not sure why I like one and not the other.


I nearly gave this book a miss since I love the Inspector Banks series and didn't want to read a stand-alone. glad I gave it a try; you are right Danielle, it is excellent and I have recommended it to quite a few fellow Peter Robinson fans. I envy you, just starting on the series.


Isn't it funny how in the hands of one author a particular subject is really interesting and in another it just grates? So far I am really liking the Alan Banks book--so far so good. I do still like Elizabeth George (though I am a few books behind now), though I know a lot of her older fans tend to give her a miss these days. I do think her stories do often seem a little unwieldy and she does have a lot of the drama going on, but I still like her. I do think her best books are her earlier ones however! Must get back to Donna Leon--what's not to love about a setting of Venice and a detective whose wife is a Henry James scholar! :) Happily there are so many choices for mysteries out there that if one doesn't click another one surely will!


It is always fun discovering a new mystery series where the author is established and there will be lots of books to choose from. I totally understand that hesitation--I love Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine and have read loads of her books, but for some weird reason I have yet to try a single Wexford novel, though I suspect I would like him, too. I'm glad you tried Before the Poison and enjoyed it too!


I thought he only wrote the series, which I LOVE and want to reac everything of.
Good to know there are some great standalone titles out there as well.


I'm a huge fan of the Inspector Banks series - I'm think I'm up to book 15 or so. I need to re-visit soon. Anyway, really excited you enjoyed this one and I hope you'll enjoy meeting Inspector Banks! Like Liz F mentioned the adaptation was horribly miscast. Ugh. I've watched a couple of them and they are ok but I keep thinking that's not him! Haha...


This is a fairly recent novel. I had only read one of his Alan Banks novels and that was years ago, but this one looked really good. I am glad I picked it up and now I am very much enjoying the Banks mystery. I'll keep on with the series, but I think when I finish I need a little international crime for a change of pace.


I think I will stay away from the TV adaptation, from the sounds of it, it is pretty dire! I really like the book and have already ordered the second one. There are a lot, aren't there? Cool that you have read so many--I have only a few mystery series where I can say that. In the last few years I have gotten away a bit from some of my regular mystery reading but I hope to get back to it this year. Books are almost always much better than the movies, aren't they?!


I am pretty much caught up on reading all the Alan Banks series, and obviously I love them since I am reading them all. The Peter Robinson novel you describe is one I haven't read. Enjoy the Alan Banks books!


I'm not sure how many standalones he has written--but this is one of them. I really enjoyed it. I am midway through the first Alan Banks mystery and will most certainly be reading more--I already bout the next book. Always nice to discover a new mystery series--and to have lots of good reading ahead of me!

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