Book - 2001
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The crime scene awaiting Acting Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is among the worst he has ever encountered. The assailant, Terence Payne, hovers close to death himself. And Payne's brutalized wife, Lucy -- whose overheard screams prompted the original call -- has already been moved to a local hospital for treatment. But these sins and tragedies pale before what else has transpired in a dank basement the press will soon dub the "House of Payne." Now that the fiend is in custody, the long nightmare appears over at last.

But is it? In Alan Banks's mind too many questions need to be answered before he can rest easy. How could the heinous crimes of a popular teacher like Payne have so completely escaped the notice of his peers, his neighbors...his wife? And was fragile, abused Lucy Payne a victim or a reluctant accomplice?

Despite the strain on his own personal life and relationships, Banks refuses to ease up on his investigation. Buried deep in the past are shards of irony, pity, and horror almost too painful to bear, and unspeakable betrayals that deformed more than one childhood. For Banks, for his lover, Annie Cabot -- who suspects heartless political forces are setting her up to destroy a life -- and for the beautiful consulting psychologist Dr. Jenny Fuller, there is much more that must be unearthed in the aftermath of abomination. Because the darkness has not yet lifted, and new casualties are mounting. And there are still monsters loose in the world...

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780380978328
Branch Call Number: Suspense F Rob


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Mar 05, 2020

4-4 1/2 star read. This is the 12th book in Robinson's excellent Alan Banks series and it was another absorbing, well plotted book. Inspector Banks is called in the aftermath of a domestic that turns out to be so much more. Two people are dead, one a police officer and the other a young girl, a missing person. A woman is injured, a man is dying and a young police officer is in shock. As Banks investigates, he realizes that the dying man is a serial killer as more bodies are found in the house. He also beat his wife. But things aren't quite as they seem. Is the wife an innocent victim or is she involved in some way? The young constable who badly injured the husband, the man who killed her partner, is haunted by what she saw and did in the house. Finding out the secrets of the people involved, Banks works to make sense of a terrible crime, identify the victims and determine who is responsible. A gripping thriller and a very good read.

Jul 07, 2019

I picked up this paperback at a thrift store where my companion had way more endurance than I, and read about 50 pages before she was ready to leave. Then, returning home, I read it in the airport shuttle, and on the flight, and during the 1.5 hour deplaning delay due to electrical storm, and during the long wait for luggage... This to indicate how compelling is the story, the writing, the characters... Pick it up.

rb3221 Jan 02, 2017

Banks is trying to solve a multiple murder case similar to the Bernardo and Homolka case that inspired Robinson to write this novel. At the same time Banks is having problems with his ex who is awaiting the divorce papers and is having problems with his present girlfriend while under the huge stress of being acting Superintendent.
This thriller and police procedural also deals with the 'backstory' to explain how Lucy became what she is. This novel is certainly not for the squeamish, this dark story of horrific crimes and the long standing effects of abuse.
Will I read more Robinson novels featuring Banks? Yes and overall this is a recommended read.

Feb 06, 2016

If you are a fan of fictional detective novels then I highly recommend this book. Robinson's incredible attention to detail, excellent character development and crimes that mirror the news of the day contribute to the overall juiciness of this book. Looking forward to reading the next one! The Inspector Bank's series is probably the best police & crime fiction I've read.

Jumpmaker Dec 24, 2012

The best of Robinson's novels.


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FavouriteFiction Oct 29, 2009

Inspector Banks and his lover Annie Cabbot investigate a rookie police officer who has beaten to death the serial killer who murdered her partner.


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