From New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning author Peter Robinson comes this brilliant novel of suspense—a thrilling tale of family secrets and past evils that have spread from one generation to another and wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting town.
One phone call from a concerned neighbor has inadvertently led police to Terence Payne, the elusive serial killer known only as "Chameleon." Now Payne is in custody, perhaps dying, and a long nightmare appears to be over at last. But is it?
For Alan Banks – currently head of the local police force – too many questions remain unanswered at the chamber of horrors the press will dub the "House of Payne." Because the darkness has not yet lifted, the casualties are still mounting...and there are still monsters loose in the world.
Showcasing the dark forces of human nature, master of suspense Peter Robinson is at the height of his storytelling powers in a novel that will leave readers guessing until the final page.
Dark, darker, darkest endless shades of ebony seem to envelop Acting Det. Superintendent Alan Banks in this grim, compelling, character-driven mystery (after 2000's Cold Is the Grave). As the head of the North Yorkshire half of a two-county joint task force, Banks is helping look into the disappearances of five young girls. As the title implies, the answer comes early on in an explosive scene where the girls' grisly fate is discovered. But Banks is left with the aftermath: a cop facing possible charges for excessive force, a woman who may be a victim or may be guilty of monstrous crimes, an "extra" body and one that isn't where it ought to be. Banks also faces plenty of personal challenges as his wife, Sandra, still pressing for divorce, finds a new way to shock him, while sometime girlfriend and colleague, Annie Cabbot, seeks to change their relationship. Robinson's never tackled darker themes: child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, torture and murder. And while he never indulges in needlessly graphic descriptions, it is still horrific stuff. Introspective, thoughtful and plagued by uncertainties, Banks battles to maintain focus as the investigation plods on. As always, the author scrupulously details the police work, from the forensics to the efforts of a consultant psychologist (i.e., a profiler), who delves into a past case that may be related. A proven master of the British police procedural, Robinson should find a large audience for this gripping, psychologically astute tale.
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Better than the TV show.
Ok, I know they have to trim things to make it fit for a TV show, but they did a disservice. The book is 100 times better than the show. I don't want to spoil the story line, so I won't, but I wish Alan would find the right woman for him. This is the best book of the series I have read. Thank you Peter.