Monday, October 30, 2017

Banks Flies to Toronto: The Hanging Valley

     Peter Robinson. The Hanging Valley (1989) The title refers to a geological entity: a valley carved into a valley side  at roughly right angles  to the main valley, ending high above it, usually with a waterfall. There's one above Swainshead.  What was once a hanging crime is done there: murder. The victim’s face has been hacked to prevent identification, but Banks has a lucky break: the man’s dentures have a serial number. Knowing his identity doesn’t help much. It takes patient assembly of small clues, and a visit to Toronto to unravel the knot. Robinson uses the latter to indulge in a bit of a rant about the anti-intellectual attitudes of Canadian community college students.
     Below average for the series, with work-manlike narrative, and an attempt at Rendellesque psychic pathology. Still, better than most crime stories. ***

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