Synopsis (from author's website)
When Detective Inspector Bill
It emerges that
Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabbot, just back at work after a serious injury, is following up leads in Eastvale. Her investigations take her to the heart of a migrant labour scam involving a corrupt staffing agency and a loan shark who preys on the poorest members of society. As the action shifts back and forth between Tallinn and Eastvale, it soon becomes clear that crimes are linked in more ways than Banks imagined, and that solving them may put even more lives in jeopardy.
I'm not sure why this book took me much longer than usual to read. I think it is probably that Robinson's writing is much more detailed than that of most of his contemporaries. There's always a lot going on in an Inspector Banks novel, not just several plot threads, but also connections with previous plots in previous novels. WATCHING THE DARK is no different. They are novels designed to satisfy fans of the series, to further develop threads, characters, and ongoing stories. That is their value as a series, more like episodes in a saga, and that's why the series grows on you. Readers have been with DCI Alan Banks for over 25 years now. I haven't read them all, but certainly most.
Despite, or maybe because, I read the book slowly, I thoroughly enjoyed it: had time to smell the flowers so to speak, to appreciate the connections between the various plot threads. On fairly tenuous evidence, Banks is convinced there are links between the murder of DI Bill Quinn and a case he (Quinn) was involved in 6 years before: the disappearance in Estonia of a young English woman. He decides he needs to go to Estonia to investigate himself, but he will be accompanied by an officer from Professional Standards, and he does not like that one little bit.
The character portrayal is excellent, and for the most part, the plot is believable. Just be prepared for it to be a demanding read.
My rating: 4.7
I've also reviewed
FRIEND OF THE DEVIL (2007)
4.6, ALL THE COLOURS OF DARKNESS (2008)
4.6, BAD BOY (2010)
4.9. BEFORE THE POISON - 2011 - not an Alan Banks title