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All the Colors of Darkness (Inspector Banks #18)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,508 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews

In a world of terror and uncertainty, what does one small death matter?

The body hanging from a tree in a peaceful wood appears to Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot to be a suicide. Further investigation into the sad demise of Mark Hardcastle, the set designer for the local amateur theater company, leads to the corpse of Mark's older, wealthier lover, brutally bludgeoned to

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 17th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2008)
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James Thane
DCI Alan Banks is on holiday in London, frolicking (or hoping to) with the new love of his life, when his colleague, DI Annie Cabbot is called to the scene of an apparent suicide. Mark Hardcastle, set designer for a local theater group, is found hanging from a tree in the woods outside Eastvale. Things get more complicated when Hardcastle's lover, Laurence Silbert, is found savagely beaten to death in the luxurious home that the two shared.

Banks is called back from his holiday to help deal with
Eh, I read most of this while I was stuck in the hospital for hours before they could take me home. I don't recommend it, even though I have enjoyed some of the previous Inspector Banks stories (I think).

The plot isn't exactly brilliant, but the biggest problem is the dire writing style. It's wooden and it distracts you from what plot and characterisation the book does have. The book is 500 pages long and could easily, very easily, be a lot shorter and a lot better. I will say now that I could h
Such a relief to read a mystery that does not involve a serial killer. Perhaps because the author is British? Seems like so many U.S. detective fiction writers (well, at least the non-cozy ones) these days are mired in either serial killers (every damn book, for pete's sake) or in ghastly, gruesome, detailed depictions of massacred and brutalized victims (not mutually exclusive, of course). Are American readers really this blood-thirsty? Is it impossible to sell a murder mystery without this obs ...more
Ian Mapp
Feb 18, 2009 Ian Mapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I really enjoyed this one - and looking at reviews, it would appear as though i was the only one!

In a switch from the henning mankell novel recenyly read, we have a mystery here which is not resolved until the end. We follow banks as he progresses through the investigation.

And the crime.... a nice clever play on Othello, as a local gay couple are found - one dead, one suicide. He theories of the investigation are that this has been caused by a third party spreading rumours and inne
Mar 29, 2009 Kathleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't been this disappointed in a book in a long while. I have always enjoyed Robinson's Inspector Banks series but this one made me wonder why I ever liked or sympathized w/ the hero. I got tired of hearing what music he was listening to and even more weary of the spy thriller plot Finished as fast as possible just so I could list it on Amazon used.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 08, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Robinson is up there with Rankin/Connelly
what do others think?

a really good read and interesting in being so close to real life and how things sometimes work
Jan 08, 2015 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Children find a man's body hanging from a tree in a local beauty spot. It seems like a simple and tragic case of suicide but it turns out to be far from simple when the man's lover is also found dead, apparently murdered at home. At first it seems like a murder followed by suicide perhaps sparked by sexual jealousy but neither Banks nor DI Annie Cabbot are convinced that this is the whole story and some information from the murdered man's mother leads Banks to think there could be more wide rang ...more
Rose Griffith
Apr 05, 2016 Rose Griffith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading the Inspector Banks books out of order. This is my fifth book and I've finally decided it would be beneficial to read them in order. Mr. Robinson does not include very much backstory to catch you up on what happened in the past. I'm usually a bit confused about the relationships. Just a head's up that you might want to read them in order.

That said, this was a very good read. This was entirely different story structure in that the murders that take place in the beginning are ra
Valerie Penny
May 13, 2015 Valerie Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my daughters gave me All the Colours of Darkness by Peter Robinson. I was delighted. I first met Peter when I attended an Arvon writing course in Inverness, Scotland and he was one of the tutors. What an incisive mind he has! Peter hales from Armly, Leeds, Yorkshire, England where he was born on 17, March 1950. He gained an honours degree in English Literature from Leeds University. He then emigrated to Canada in 1974 and took his MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Wi ...more
Peter Robinson's latest entry in the Alan Banks police procedural series is a rather dark one. Banks's investigation of what at first seems a simple murder-suicide involves him with Britain's security services, of whose actions Robinson doesn't have a very high opinion. He mentions a couple of books that Banks reads for background and it's safe to assume Robinson has read them too. All is grist to Banks's mill, even going to a Shakespeare production helps him rea
Thomas Strömquist
Did not care for number 18 in the Banks series. The apparent murder/suicide of a gay couple looks kind of straightforward, but Banks has a "Othello"-based suspicion; that someone prompted the jealousy that brought the horrible chain of events on. He manages to bring Annie Cabott along on a futile private investigation. This treads water for a large part of the book and the only distraction lies in that the murder victim was a retired(?) employee of MI6, and the shady people of secret services ta ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Peter Robinson rarely strikes a false note in his fiction, and All the Colors of Darkness, which draws on elements of espionage and Cold War treachery, is another solid installment in the Inspector Alan Banks series. Banks has become one of the most recognizable figures in a growing stable of gritty British crime solvers (Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus comes to mind). Critics are divided as to whether Robinson's latest effort is his best, but they are unanimous in praising the author's continued s

A rather disappointing book. In his investigation into a murder/suicide of a high profile gay couple, Inspector Banks philosophizes about music, literature, the performing arts and intimate relationships in general. Theorizing that the crime may be driven by jealousies explored in Shakespeare's "Othello", he uncovers a list of suspects and government officials who would prefer he just go away. Tenacious as always, Banks cannot let it go. Additionally he is in the beginning stages of a possible r ...more
Mish Middelmann
Reassuring to have Inspector Banks resolving such big problems for me while I'm in bed sick, reading light detective novels.
Paula Dembeck
May 28, 2015 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the eighteenth addition to the Inspector Banks Series.

In the Hindswell Woods just south of Eastvale Castle, four young schoolboys come upon the body of a man hanging from a large oak tree. The man appears to be about forty or forty-five and is covered in blood. But when the police arrive, they find little physical trauma to the body, just a few scratches the victim probably received when he climbed the tree. The origin of all that blood is a mystery.
The scene looks very much like a suici
Oct 18, 2015 Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The Inspector Banks novels delight me no end. They are clever, ingenious, and have as their hero a deeply flawed man who drinks too much, loves his adult children but is estranged from them in various ways at various times, and can't hold a love interest. All these flaws grow out of the same seed: Allan Banks is a detective through and through and his life is his work. Everything else comes second, or last.

In this book, what looks like a murder/suicide turns into something far more complex. The
Banks is forced to cut short his weekend away with his girlfriend Sophia to investigate what appears to be a murder suicide. But what seems at first to be a straightforward case takes a strange turn when pressure is bought to bear to resolve matters to prevent an "unnecessary" public trial taking place. DCI Banks finds himself facing some difficult situations which have far reaching consequences.

This is the 18th in the DCI Banks series – I think the fact that I have stuck with this series since
May 30, 2009 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Robinson is one of my favorite authors and this book--number 18 in the Alan Banks series--did not disappoint. At times I was unsure if it was a traditional English mystery or a spy thriller. The plot didn't reflect well on M15 and M16 and the ending held out the promise that there would be repercussions in future volumes. I look forward to them.
Victoria Moore
Sep 02, 2014 Victoria Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Robinson's "All The Colors Of Darkness" is a fully developed "novel of suspense" featuring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks that parallels William Shakespeare's play "Othello." Based in England, Robinson makes the story richer and more enjoyable by describing the interiors of his character's residences and the parts of England they travel and work in. Preoccupied by a complicated personal past, Banks comes across as a well-read, love-struck, music aficionado with an ability to persist ...more
Sam K.
Oct 04, 2014 Sam K. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hi :D.

All the Colours of Darkness is an average detective/mystery novel. I like the espionage twist, the writing is not too bad (but can be very rudimentary and bland for pages and pages), however one rather annoying thing was the constant description of the music that Inspector Banks listens to... lists of singers and bands, paragraphs describing certain albums.. it gets very boring and repetitive after the first few mentions. I don't care if he likes Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, or thinks tha
Jun 29, 2014 Kaustubh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I will continue to read the Banks mysteries but this one was different and I have mixed feelings. It begins with what turns out to be a murder-suicide, which is high profile enough that it pulls Banks away from a holiday. However, has he gets in to the motivation for the crimes, he gets mixed up with M16, the Brit equivalent of the CIA. There's a lot going on here - not-so-subtle warnings to back out of any more investigating, hints that loved ones are being watched, statements that one should j ...more
Jean Boobar
Apr 14, 2016 Jean Boobar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Alan Banks #18...and do I ever love this character, this series. Anyone reading my reviews of previous books in the series will know that I am savouring each one...I now have only three left to read and then I'm caught up. So, I will say once more what I have said before...

Dear Mr. Robinson...I need your books...please write faster! And while I fully understand that your newly published book "Gardening with Rock & Water: A Practical Guide to Design, Plants and Features with Over 80
May 12, 2014 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was given this by a friend because we share a love for British mysteries, but while it's well written and a complex mystery, I didn't like it enough to want to read any more DCI Banks books. In part I didn't connect with the characters. They are individual and three-dimensional, true, but they didn't engage me at the level required to make me a series fan. In addition, (SPOILER ALERT) this book failed me at the genre level. Readers of mysteries typically read these books for a sense of justice ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-crime
Dark indeed is this episode in the life of DCI Alan Banks. The sinister presence of M16 (the British equivalent of the CIA) is a grim reminder that the worst damage inflicted on democracies by terrorists is that it revives "The end justifies the means" as a rationale for brutal behavior by government agents. Many lives are shattered here, and Banks' relationship with the much younger Sophia is also a casualty, although that was probably doomed from the start.
Have been catching up with Banks this
Oct 14, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective-crime
"All the Colours Of Darkness", an Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson.I couldn't put this book down today. This thriller was amazing.

When abruptly pulled away from a mini vacation to head up the investigation of what initially appears to be a straightforward murder-suicide case, Chief Inspector Alan Banks is frustrated. Though most would have taken the path of least resistance and marked the file closed, Banks excels under pressure and with his team continues searching for the cause behind
Suspense Magazine
When abruptly pulled away from a mini vacation to head up the investigation of what initially appears to be a straightforward murder-suicide case, Chief Inspector Alan Banks frustration is palpable. Though most would have taken the path of least resistance and marked the file closed, Banks excels under pressure and with his team continues searching for the cause behind this senseless tragedy. Working without authorization or the support of his superiors, his hunt for understanding places everyon ...more
I'm adding this book now even though I read it a few years ago--one of Robinson's Inspector Banks novels--because I happened to buy it on remainder, not realizing I'd read it (the opening scene is grisly enough that I realized I'd read it instantly: a man is found hanging from a tree). Robinson is a Brit, now living in Canada, and his main interest is poetry, but he has a hit series with the Banks novels (not unlike Stephen Dobyns, a great poet and a good mystery writer).

It's odd, isn't it, that
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter Robinson was born in Yorkshire. After getting his BA Honours Degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds, he came to Canada and took his MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, with Joyce Carol Oates as his tutor, then a PhD in En
More about Peter Robinson...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Banks (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Gallows View (Inspector Banks, #1)
  • A Dedicated Man  (Inspector Banks, #2)
  • A Necessary End (Inspector Banks, #3)
  • The Hanging Valley (Inspector Banks, #4)
  • Past Reason Hated (Inspector Banks, #5)
  • Wednesday's Child (Inspector Banks, #6)
  • Dry Bones that Dream (Inspector Banks, #7)
  • Innocent Graves (Inspector Banks, #8)
  • Blood at the Root (Inspector Banks, #9)
  • In a Dry Season (Inspector Banks, #10)

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“Banks felt more alone and further away for having just talked to Sophia than he had before her call. But it was always like that - the telephone might bring you together for a few moments, but there's nothing like it for emphasising distance.” 6 likes
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