Monday, May 10, 2021

Not Dark Yet (DCI Banks #27) - Peter Robinson


Not Dark Yet
, Peter Robinson’s twenty-seventh “DCI Banks Novel” picks up where the  previous Banks novel, Many Rivers to Cross, leaves off, bringing Zelda’s story to what seems to be a logical place to leave it. Zelda, for those unfamiliar with the goings-on in Many Rivers to Cross, is a stunningly beautiful Eastern European woman who was abducted by a sophisticated ring of sex traffickers as a seventeen-year-old as she walked out the front door for the last time of the orphanage in which she had grown up. Zelda now lives in Yorkshire with one of Banks’s best friends, and if he were only to admit it to himself, Alan Banks is probably a little bit in love with Zelda, too.


Zelda is something called a “super-recognizer,” meaning that she is highly skilled at recognizing faces years after she has last seen them, even in old photos and videos. This is a skill especially valued by law enforcement authorities, and they have made good use of Zelda’s willingness to work with them in locating and identifying sex traffickers who would much prefer to remain anonymous. But being a super-recognizer also allows Zelda to locate the men responsible for making her a sex slave so that she can extract her own brand of revenge on them, and she is determined to do exactly that.


In a parallel plot-line, Banks, Annie, and the rest of the team are trying to find the killer of Connor Clive Blayton, a wealthy man who was found floating face-down in the luxury pool inside his mansion. Blayton was known for the wild, anything goes, parties at which he enjoyed nothing more than surrounding himself with celebrities and powerful politicians. But after a trove of secretly recorded video recordings are found — and reviewed — the list of people who would be happy enough to see Blayton’s mouth closed for good turns out to be a long one. One recording, however, stands out to investigators because it shows the brutal rape of what appears to be an underaged young woman — and that’s the thread that investigators start  yanking on in hopes that it will somehow lead them to the killer they seek. 


At this point in his career, Banks is a seasoned investigator with a good track record, and he has pretty much seen it all. But it’s one thing to investigate a crime, and it’s another thing entirely to get caught up in the crime himself. Before this one is over, Banks will be second-guessing both  his future as a policeman and the fine line that sometimes separates the good guys from the bad guys.


Bottom Line: Not Dark Yet is a satisfying chapter of Alan Banks’s life, adding personal details about Banks, his family, and his friends to the man’s history while the two separate police investigations run their course. There’s even a potentially ominous (for fans) hint at the end of the novel that Banks may be pondering a change in his lifestyle when one character asks if Banks is going to arrest them, and he responds, “No, I’ve had enough of all that. More than enough.” So, even if he remains a cop, Alan Banks is going to be a different cop from the one he was before he met Zelda. 


Peter Robinson author photo


6 comments:

  1. I have not read any of the Alan Banks series, but I'm taking a look at it and may add it to my reading list after your interesting review. I do like a good detective story now and again.

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    1. If you prefer the sub-genre of police procedurals, you'll probably like the DCI Banks series, Dorothy. Until the more recent books, it hasn't been as much about character development as some of the other series, but that's all changed now, too.

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  2. I read the first DCI Banks mystery but have yet to get back to the series. I need to do something about that.

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    1. Cathy, I've read the first five and the last three after first discovering the series in 2018. There's quite a difference between the first five and the last three. As I see them, the earlier novels were more about plot and a whole lot less about character development than the later books are. Naturally, I'm enjoying the later books most, but I'm determined to eventually get all of them read.

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    1. I know the feeling, Diane. That's why I'm working so hard to catch up on a few of the series I read. I'm only up-to-date on one (the Dave Robicheaux series) and I only have one of the Longmire books and two of the Gamache books still unread. But I read over a dozen series, so I still have a long, long way to go.

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