Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All the Colours of Darkness-Peter Robinson

All the Colours of Darkness
Peter Robinson
Morrow, Feb 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780061362934

The corpse of theatre set designer Mark Hardcastle is found dead hanging in Hindswell Woods near the River Swain by boys playing nearby. With Detective Chief Investigator Alan Banks on leave spending time in London with his girlfriend, Detective Investigator Annie Cabbot leads the on-sight inquiry that looks like a suicide. She goes from there to the deceased’s home he shares with his significant other Laurence Silbert. There she finds Silbert dead beaten to a bloody mess.

Although on the surface the two deaths appear to be a nasty murder-suicide, Annie and Banks, who has returned to investigate, have some doubts about the obvious as Hardcastle had no motive to kill his lover or himself especially at a time he received tremendous accolades for his work on Othello. Increasingly they wonder if the two scenes were set up to make it look like a murder-suicide as they investigate the activities of the two gay lovers in locales that are dangerousfor even cops.

This is an excellent one sitting English police procedural, which retains a freshness although it must be the trillionth investigation worked by Banks. The story line is fast-paced as the audience and everyone even Cabbot and Banks believe a murder-suicide is the likely scenario although long time fans will know they can bank on Peter Robinson to do what afterward seems obvious keeping the exciting plot fresh and the reader hooked.

Harriet Klausner