The Hanging Valley – 1989
A faceless, maggot-ridden corpse is discovered in a tranquil, hidden valley above the village of Swainshead. When the identity of the body is discovered, so is a possible connection with an unsolved murder in the same area five years ago. Among the annoyingly silent suspects are the Collier brothers, the wealthiest and most powerful family in Swainsdale; John Fletcher, a taciturn farmer; Sam Greenock, cocky owner of a Local guest house; and his troubled wife, Katie, who knows more than she realizes. When the Colliers use their influence to slow down the investigation, Inspector Alan Banks heads to Toronto to track down the killer. He soon finds himself in a race against time as events rush towards the shocking and haunting conclusion of his fourth case.
“Robinson excels in the depiction of character, especially in his portrait of his pleasingly fallible copper. He is steadily ascending toward the pinnacles of crime fiction.” Publishers Weekly (* starred review)
“Highly recommended, especially for fans of Ruth Rendell and Reginald Hill, who’ll appreciate the counterpoint of bucolic Yorkshire placidity and turbulent currents beneath.” Kirkus Reviews (* starred review)
“…one is tempted to read faster and faster to find out what will happen as this roller coaster plot hurtles toward a surprising but satisfying climax.” Booklist
“…so beautifully does author Peter Robinson describe the valleys and dales of Yorkshire that the reader might want to pack up and go there….’Valley’ is an amiable tale full of competent, believable investigation and wonderful local colour.” Les Roberts, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The Hanging Valley is the fourth book by Peter Robinson featuring music-loving Chief Inspector Alan Banks, and it’s a terrific book with a complex plot about murder and madness in the Yorkshire Dales….Definitely this author’s best book to date.” Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail
“Solid plotting and elaborate descriptive passages complemented by a taut psychological framework conspire to make The Hanging Valley a work that goes beyond the realm of Sherlockian puzzles….The suddenness and visual poignancy of the novel’s climax may catch some readers by surprise.” Etienne Gilfillan, Montreal Mirror