The Hanging Valley (Inspector Banks, #4)
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The Hanging Valley (Inspector Banks #4)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,958 ratings  ·  76 reviews
No one dreamed something so hideous could grow in so beautiful a place . . .

Many who visit the valley are overwhelmed by its majesty. Some wish they never had to leave. One didn't, a hiker whose decomposing corpse is discovered by an unsuspecting tourist. But this strange, incomprehensible murder is only the edge of the darkness that hovers over a small rural village and i...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Harper (first published August 1st 1990)
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Judy Goodnight
A complicated series of deaths: two definite murders, a possible accident, a possible suicide. are entangled in a complicated web of relationships. To untangle all the threads, Chief Inspector Banks goes so far as to fly to Canada to find a woman who may be able to shed light on the case.

I would have rated this at least one star higher if it hadn't ended the way it did. The police finally have it worked out & they're after the killer who we know is at that moment up to no good. So the police...more
2.5 stars, perhaps. Good audiobook. An alternative title might be "Banks goes to Toronto." I always wonder when a local character takes off for other pastures as part of an investigation. Did the author just visit there and want to add some local color? Is Robinson a Jays fan?

Ostensibly, Banks has to travel to Toronto to find and interview a woman who may have information about an unsolved murder in Swainsdale that had occurred years before but may be linked to a more recent one.

The body of Be...more
I was starting to worry a bit about this series, but I felt reassured after this addition to the series. With several murders taking place over a span of years in a quiet, sleepy town in the Yorkshire, Robinson does a great job of showing us the nuance and feel of this world. I could almost hear the Sherlock Holmes music (from the Jeremy Brett series) playing in the background. Well edited and tightly paced, readers of Brit mysteries will definitely enjoy.
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I found this more interesting than A Dedicated Man and A Necessary End, but I was really disappointed by the ending! Also, without giving too much away, one of the characters that Banks seems to favour and also has a soft spot for was so annoying and difficult to like!
Pretty good mystery with an abrupt ending. This book taught me the phrase "running around like a blue-arsed fly." I also liked the bartender's quip that the mayhem was good for business: "Aye, there's nobody drinks like a murder suspect."
The quiet village of Swainshead brings Banks and his team to investigate a brutal murder. The victim's face has been destroyed, so identifying him is the first problem. Once that is accomplished, it seems that this murder may be linked to another murder and a disappearance that occurred several years earlier.
It's a very small village, and a bit isolated. The same families have been minding each others' business for generations, so it's not easy for an incomer to make headway.

There are the brothe...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Hanging Valley, by Peter Robinson, a-minus, narrated by James Langton, produced by Tantor Media, downloaded from

This is one of the earlier books in the Banks series. Publisher’s note says it all.
No one dreamed something so hideous could grow in so beautiful a place.... Many who visit the valley are overwhelmed by its majesty. Some wish they never
had to leave. One didn't: a hiker whose decomposing corpse is discovered by an unsuspecting tourist. But this strange, incomprehensible...more
Not a bad crime story. The second of the series of Inspector Banks stories that I've read. The story was relatively tame; indeed it seems the detective did hardly any detecting at all, the murderer(s) being taken care of with little police intervention. I think the story was a vehicle for the author to wax lyrical about his own move from England to Canada, and write up his own first impressions, via the eyes of Inspector Banks. Not that these impressions weren't interesting, but not really what...more
Jeremy Stephens
What I didn't like about this book-

1. The particular edition I read made it seem like a stand alone novel rather than part of a series. It wasn't until after I had already read the thing that I saw the order form in the back to order the other books in the series.

2. The cover said it was a "novel of suspense". I didn't find anything suspenseful about this and in fact found it to be rather dull. Also, when I think of suspense, a mystery novel isn't the first thing that comes to mind.

3. Not enough...more
A hiker stumbles across a body in the Hanging Valley in a dale high above Swainshead, an hour's driver from Eastvale, and Inspector Banks and Jim Hinchley investigate. While staying at the local B&B, they learn that a group of men regularly meet at the local pub and focus their investigations on them. They learn that the victim is a local man who's lived in Toronto for the past five years. Another man was murdered in the same place 5 years ago, and a local woman has disappeared. Banks learns...more
Not as good as his others. I thought the Canada episode was superfluous and way too long and the ending was a disappointment. All the smoking and drinking was unbelievable; how would the police ever solve a crime as they're constantly necking alcohol?! For all that, though, it was still a good enough read (listen) even though I did feel that Robinson was just phoning it in this time.
I'm a big Peter Robinson fan, but this one wasn't up to his usual standards. As the 4th in the series, one can't really expect or want the author to fill in all the blanks about the continuing characters, but in this case, a few little flashbacks might have helped. The "mystery" itself wasn't very mysterious, and the usual entertaining strife between Inspector Banks and his family was entirely missing. A first-time reader would be scratching his or her head. Just as Inspector Banks was taking a...more
The series started strong but slowly loses steam. There is little character development and a rather plodding plot.
I adore Inspector Banks more with every Robinson book I read. I love the way this author weaves his stories of mystery. He somehow manages to leave no stone unturned. Every main character involved in the mystery seems to have a story of their own...a story that makes sense and sometimes ties in with the mystery…and sometimes doesn’t, taking you down some interesting paths none the less. The plot in this book takes a turn or two into the dark side of human nature, once again proving that this aut...more
Inspector Alan Banks finds himself in a beautiful area for a rest, but corpses show up. One old, one new. Are they connected? Why are folks seeming to be secretive and unwilling to help in the investigation. A trip to Toronto brings some insight, but an old incident at Oxford seems to be the reason for all the murders. What could be so important? The obvious murder suspect is murdered... now who did that? A family of a murdered girl from years ago finally gets some answers. And a real murderer f...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
What I like about author Robinson’s books is how he incorporates the investigation with the crimes that goes on behind closed doors that families insist upon keeping secret: crimes like abuse, adultery, rape, thief and fraud to preserve the family name.

Chief Inspector Banks, to solve a recent murder, must travel back in time to work the clues. The clues lead him to Canada to Oxford then back to where the current crime had been committed. James Langton is brilliant at his storytelling.
Couldn't put it down near then end x
I just started this series but I know I'll be reading them all and I'm really excited to know that there are so many to go! Inspector Banks if a wonder modern detective yet still has the ability to fit in with all classes. Sometimes smoothly, sometimes not! With many detective novels, I am sure I know who did it usually in the first few chapters, but honestly, I'm on chapter 13 and I have only a clue who did it. Well Done Mr. Robinson! Keep me hanging in the valley!
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks uses his razor-sharp intelligence to uphold the law and pursue the truth, no matter how dangerous the road to justice becomes. When Banks dedicates himself to identifying a decomposing body, he opens a Pandora's box of family rivalries, secret passions, and private shames.

Listen to The Hanging Valley on your smartphone, notebook or desktop computer.
Tina Culbertson
Another murder mystery in the Inspector Banks series by Peter Robinson. Actually, I ought to say Chief Inspector Banks as he needs to correct people on his position so many times. This is the fourth in the series and no, you don’t need to read them in the order printed/written to enjoy the stories.

Full Review Here at Novel Meals:
I am on a bit of a mystery tear right now. Peter Robinson writes really enjoyable British mysteries with a strong male police detective. As long as he stays away from personal relationships, which can turn maudlin in Robinson's hands, I really like his stuff. It is detailed enough that you feel as though you are following an investigation and you get to know the characters.
This was a pretty good mystery, not one of my favorite in the series.

I felt like was going to choke from all the second hand smoke, there was a lot of lighting of cigarettes and downing of drinks in this one.

I also felt the ending of the book was a little abrupt, and the trip in the middle of the book to Canada didn't really seem all that necessary, but still a good mystery.
Robinson's fourth Chief Inspector Banks book and up to his usual high standard. There's an opportunity here to learn a lot about geography (that is what a hanging valley is) as well as following the twists and turns of the story.

I'd guessed who was responsible well before the end, but that in no way detracted from how it was all unravelled. A satisfying police procedural.
The fourth entry in the Inspector Banks series. There's the usual collection of victims, simmering local animosities, and deep secrets some people would rather keep hidden.

Like the other books of the series, this is well-written and evokes the rural Yorkshire setting to good effect. It was a pleasure to read.
Lionel Denny
Another good tale by PR, with several potential candidates for the Who Did It award. The finale took me a bit by surprise, as I wanted a bit more but on reflection maybe its OK to leave the reader to mull over the ending. It often works like that in Movies, but it did result in 3 stars rather than 4 for me.
i freaking love peter robinson and inspector banks. i want to read all 20 million of these books, but i'm not sure i'll ever be able to get to all of them. i was stoked to find this one at a goodwill for $2. perfect light mysteries (this speaks a lot about me, i guess, that this is the lightest i can take).
DI Alan Banks investigates the murder of a visiting hiker, and through it learns about some dark secrets in the town. A straightforward investigation tale with no side stories this time. Enjoyable narration by James Langton, who sailed through gender and nationality distinctions with aplomb.
Fairly gothic for Robinson who like a stage director leaves characters and props around that you can just tell will be part of a grisly climax. The detective Banks is not so well developed as in later books in the series, but Robinson has the North Yorkshire town down to its smallest detail.
Another satisfying Inspector Banks mystery. The character visits Toronto in the course of the investigation and it's fun to read about known Toronto spots from a tourists point of view. I had though Robinson was Canadian but find he was born and schooled in Britain.
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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
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