The eighteenth instalment in the Number One bestselling DCI Banks series
A beautiful June day in the Yorkshire Dales, and a group of children are spending the last of their half-term freedom swimming in the river near Hindswell Woods.
But the idyll is shattered by their discovery of a man's body, hanging from a tree.
DI Annie Cabott soon discovers he is Mark Hardcastle, the well-liked and successful set designer for the Eastvale Theatres current production of Othello. Everything points to suicide, and Annie is mystified. Why would such a man want to take his own life? Then Annie's investigation leads to another shattering discovery, and DCI Alan Banks is called back from the idyllic weekend he had planned with his new girlfriend. Banks soon finds himself plunged into a shadow-world where nothing is what it seems, where secrets and deceit are the norm, and where murder is seen as the solution to a problem.
The deeper he digs the more he discovers that the monster he has awakened will extend its deadly reach to his friends and family. Nobody is safe.
As much spy thriller as crime story, bestseller Robinson's solid 18th DCI Alan Banks novel (after Friend of the Devil) finds the Yorkshire copper trying to unravel a murder-suicide with potential ties to national security. While Banks is on holiday, Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot is called to the woods outside Eastvale, where a hanged man soon identified as Mark Hardcastle, the local theater's set designer is discovered in a tree. What looks like a simple suicide takes an unexpected turn when the badly beaten body of Hardcastle's boyfriend, Laurence Silber, is found in Silber's posh home. Banks, who returns to assist in the investigation, uncovers Silber's past life as a spy in MI6, which makes Banks doubt the prevailing theory that Hardcastle murdered Silber and then hanged himself. Robinson deftly integrates the requisite espionage elements with his regular cast. The unexpected cliffhanger will assure readers that this chapter in Banks's life is far from over. 11-city author tour.