Sara's Reviews > Before the Poison

Before the Poison by Peter Robinson
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May 29, 2012

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This is the first book I have read by Peter Robinson, and I'm not familiar with his other books. I notice there are many people who enjoy his Inspector Banks novels; he seems to have quite a loyal following. I was impressed by his writing, which was sure and capable. Unlike several other reviewers, I enjoyed the minutiae he included: the protagonist's taste in music, movies, food, and most of all, fine wine and assorted spirits. I also liked the concept - it isn't exactly new territory, an old crime is resurrected and our hero is compelled to seek out the truth, but it is one that, when handled correctly, can remain fresh and intriguing. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is another novel dealing with a similar concept which I believe was much more successful than this novel.

I can't really explain why I feel it missed the mark; I can only go by how I felt as I was reading it. I was not compelled by this story, it was too genteel and there was something missing, an energy and underlying urgency that requires the reader's undivided attention. Many times, I found my mind wandering and reading became more of a task than a pleasure. There was a blandness there, despite the subject matter which ranged from murder to execution to war atrocities. There was a lot going on, but the action felt static and I was not particularly interested in the rather flat outcome. I did finish the novel however, and based on the strength of the writing, I have borrowed two more Peter Robinson novels from the library.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Sara (last edited May 29, 2012 08:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara mistake.


message 2: by Jan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jan Read his In A Dry Season. That's a topper for sure. So much better than this one. You'll find the energy you want there.


Sara Thanks Jan - I'll definitely check that one out. I'm currently reading an Inspector Banks novel and enjoying it.


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