Not Dark Yet
by Peter Robinson
I’ve found the last few Banks’ novels less than enjoyable and I’m sorry to say that this one seems to be following the same pattern. You’d be hard-pressed to understand what’s going on in this, the 27th book in the series if you hadn’t read the one previous (Many Rivers to Cross). It wasn’t until page 69 that the story-line came into focus for me, with one of the characters describing some of the events that had taken place in the previous book (which I HAD read).
Stories involving the Albanian Mafia and human-trafficking are hard enough to stomach at times, so a detective who shows compassion and true feeling is especially needed to counter the horrible nature of what the reader is faced with.
But we don’t get that with Banks here. He’s become hardened, less personable and more withdrawn. Robinson seems to rely on “shock value” to push his story forward and I find it rather distasteful. And he seems to be relying less and less on his secondary characters. I miss seeing Annie in full-throttle and the other members of Banks’ team sitting around the table, hashing out theories and ideas.
The musical references, which at the beginning of the series were interesting and quirky, have now become irritating, as we are bombarded by them, not just by Banks but by other characters, too. I wonder if Robinson is doing this just to max out the required word-count of his books. I’ve taken to skimming these passages and looking for the next bit of story-telling and action.
All in all, a disappointing read. I’m seriously considering not reading any further books in this series. There are so many good books out there that are deserving of my attention.