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The Hanging Valley

(Inspector Banks #4)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  6,533 ratings  ·  275 reviews
A faceless corpse is discovered in a tranquil, hidden valley below the village of Swainshead. And when Chief Inspector Alan Banks arrives, he finds that no-one is willing to talk. Banks's frustration only grows when the identity of the body is revealed. For it seems that his latest case may be connected with an unsolved murder in the same area five years ago. Among the sil ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Pan MacMillan (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,533 ratings  ·  275 reviews

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Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2018-completed
”A hanging valley . . . is a tributary valley running into Swainsdale at a right angle. The glacier here was too small to deepen it as much as the larger one that carved out the dale itself, so it’s left hanging above the main valley floor like a cross-section.”

Chief Inspector Alan Banks has only been in Yorkshire a couple of years. He and his immediate supervisor get along great, and they share one thing in common: a dislike for unsolved, cold cases.

For example, the murder that happened up
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of good crime fiction
A hiker on a fell-walking holiday near Swainshead stumbles across a maggot-infested corpse whose face had been ravaged — the second time the quiet of this Yorkshire village had been marred by murder.

Five years earlier a private detective from London, Raymond Addison, left the Greenock Guesthouse where he was staying in Swainshead and disappeared — until his corpse turned up a week later. No one knew why he was snooping around Swainshead. To add more mystery to Addison’s murder — still unsolved
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow, Peter Robinson's Books are getting better and better. I liked this one more than the previous three. I also love the bond between Chief Inspector Banks and his superior Gristhorpe, and I laughed when he said to Banks that he smokes like a bloody chimney.
The Story begins when a corpse has been discovered in a hidden valley near the village of Swainshead. its face has been crushed and the autopsy reveals that he has been dead for at least 10 days. After Identifying the body, some clues shows
I am really enjoying this series. This one was my favorite in it so far, until about 3/4 of the way through, when one of the suspects became a little unbelievable and the resolution a bit anti-climactic.

Saying that though I'll continue on with it. I hope that in future installments, we'll get to know Banks's wife and children a little more, as I enjoy that aspect in a recurring character's storyline.
Deb Jones
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
Author Peter Robinson remains true-to-form with his character-driven police procedural series featuring Inspector Alan Banks.
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 arr
Bill Lynas
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a faceless corpse is found in a hidden valley Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates. With this, the fourth (& so far the best) book in the series, Peter Robinson continues to add a few more layers of personality to his down to earth sleuth.
Banks shows that he can multitask. He questions suspects while smoking & drinking in the local pub, & he ponders clues as he drives along listening to some quality 1960's music.
I'm pleased to find that I am still enjoying these stories after four novel
Thomas Strömquist
A dead body is discovered near the village of Swainshead by a fell walking tourist, doubling the number of murders in the area for the last 5-year period. The first one has gone unsolved and at that time a local woman also went missing. Could some or all of these cases be related? After the investigation of a number of locals - the wealthy family, the serious farmer, the guest-house-owner couple (abusive husband, Carrie White-up-brought beautiful but damaged wife) - a trip to Canada - and an alm ...more
Natalie M
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Instalment #4 of the DCI Banks series delivers a true crime feast. The plot opens with a decomposing body found by a hiker, which seems to be connected to a missing local woman, and a murdered Private Investigator. The nuances are brilliant and the quirky likes and dislikes of Banks from his music predilections to his desire to drive his own car make this a great read. Throw in some brilliant characters in the townsfolk, the eminent Collier brothers and a highy-strung, socially isolated young wi ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Another good solid read from Peter Robinson in this, the 4th in the Chief Inspector Banks series.

A faceless corpse is discovered by a tramper in a tranquil, hidden valley below the village of Swainshead.

To Chief Inspector Banks it seems that his latest case may be connected with an unsolved murder in the same area five years ago. But nobody is talking, either about the current murder or the past one.

And what happened to the woman who vanished at the time of the first murder. Is she too dead? Or
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Inspector Banks #4 and another enjoyable, easy book to read. A hiker is found dead in an area the locals call "The Hanging Valley" and the suspects are many for such a small town. When Banks starts to investigate he finds there was another unsolved murder in this village just 5 years earlier. Part of his journey takes him to Toronto which was a nice addition. ...more
David Highton
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An early book in the Banks series with a murder on the fells near a tight insular Yorkshire Dales village where an unsolved murder took place 5 years ago. Banks is still the incomer from London but pursues the limited leads he has with determination. A good read, looking forward to tracking down the next in the series.
Book 4 of the DCI banks series. I put books 3 and 4 on hold at the library a couple of weeks apart and and this one came in a couple of days before book 3. I don't usually like to read books out of order but need to here or wait another month for them to cycle around the library system.

This story begins when a body is found up the dale. Even when the body is identified the crime is still baffling. Lot's of people with connections to the victim but absolutely no motive. To solve this one DCI Bank
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Hanging Valley is book 4 in the Inspector Banks series. In this book in the series, Banks travels to a picturesque community where a fells walker has found a faceless corpse on his hike. Obviously a murder, Banks soon uncovers links to a past murder that was never solved and a community member who disappeared without a trace. There are wealthy brother landowners, displaced farmers, newly landed recently divorced gentry, an unhappy wife and bully boy husband rounding out the cast in the commu ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chief Inspector Banks is called in when a hiker finds a decomposed body in a valley out on the fells. It soon becomes clear that the victim is somehow connected to a cold case from before Banks' arrival in Yorkshire. I enjoyed this investigation and the way Banks is becoming more comfortable and settled in his new constabulary. Although the ultimate culprit wasn't that hard to figure out, I enjoyed the journey. ...more
Mark Harrison
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Largely run of the mill Banks case. Body on moor, bunch of suspects, trip to author's home town Toronto, predictable killer but a nice read now I am comfortable with the main characters. All pretty mundane and a nice easy afternoon's entertainment. ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A man's body is found in Swainsdale. Who is he? How did he get there? When it turns out to be Bernard Allen, who grew up in the village but resided in Canada, Banks must investigate matters in both England and Canada before resolving it. The murder appears to be tied to an unsolved case from five years earlier. There's a bit of an unexpected twist at the end. Inspector Banks is quickly becoming one of my favorite fictional detectives, particularly as narrated by James Langton. I'm looking forwar ...more
May 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: canlit, mystery, 1992
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
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 B
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rob Kitchin
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
The Hanging Valley is the fourth book in the Chief Inspector Alan Banks series (which has now reached book #22). The story is a straightforward police procedural set in small village with a relatively small cast of characters. The strength of the tale is the steady plotting, with Robinson carefully unfolding the investigation, keeping a handful of likely suspects in frame until the final chapters. That said, the story simmers without ever boiling over, except for an excellent last couple of page ...more
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
SETTING: Eastdale, UK
SERIES: #4 of 22
WHY: DCI Alan Banks and his team are assigned to investigate the killing of a man whose rotting body was discovered in a wooded valley outside Swainshead. As it turns out, there have been other deaths in the area; and Banks feels that they are connected. Many of the locals come under suspicion. This is a series that I really like, but I did find the ending disappointing. Many important threads went unresolved.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: anger, fiction, mystery
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." ...more
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
The 4th book in the Inspector Banks series and for me the weakest yet.
I must admit I have not been blown away with this series and have found them a decent read but fall short compared to others such as Rankins Rebus or Connelly's Bosch.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quite complicated, not very plausible, and a lot of "well she said that he said....." to get through. By the number of drinks Banks consumed in the course of this novel, surely his next step must be rehab! Great descriptions of scenery, but not much else. ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audiobook
Didn't like this one as much as the others in the series I've listened to, because it seemed to go on way too long, almost like the author was trying to get all kinds of things into the book whether they made sense or not. Narrator was excellent, which did help quite a bit. <>< ...more
Seath Tankard crook
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Gripping plot but just too sexist and cliched.
Sam Sattler
The Hanging Valley is book number four in Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks series. By this point, Chief Inspector Alan Banks has been in Yorkshire for almost two years and is settling nicely into a considerably slower pace of crime-fighting than the one he once faced in London. Banks really enjoys detective work, and always has, but in London he knew that too many citizens see contact with the police as a confrontation - and he found the resulting unpleasant pressure to be more uncomfortable tha ...more
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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

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39 likes · 15 comments
“The victim was white, in his early thirties, five feet eleven inches tall, ten and a half stone in weight, and in good physical condition. The last part always irritated Banks: how could a corpse ever be in good physical condition ?” 17 likes
“Those old songs certainly brought back memories. Why did the past always seem so much brighter than the present? Because he had been more innocent then?” 0 likes
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