Excerpt for the stand alone Watching the Dark: An Inspector Banks Novel (#20) and a Rafflecopter giveaway for Before the Poison both by Peter Robinson.
The books are international crime fiction set in England.
Excerpt: There was something about Bach that suited the early morning perfectly, DCI Alan Banks thought, as he drove out of Gratly towards the St Peter’s Police Convalescence and Treatment Centre, four miles north of Eastvale, shortly after dawn that morning. He needed something to wake him up and keep his attention engaged, get the old grey cells buzzing, but nothing too loud, nothing too jarring or emotionally taxing. Alina Ibragimova’s CD of Bach’s sonatas and partitas for violin was just right. Bach both soothed and stimulated the mind at once.
Banks knew St Peter’s. He had visited Annie Cabbot there several times during her recent convalescence. Just a few short months ago he had seen her in tears trying to walk on crutches, and now she was due back at work on Monday. He was looking forward to that; life had been dull for the past while without her.
He took the first exit from the roundabout and drove alongside the wall for about a hundred yards before arriving at the arched entrance and turning left on the tarmac drive. There was no gate or gatehouse, but the first officers to arrive on the scene had quite rightly taped off the area. A young PC waved Banks down to check his ID and note his name and time of entry on a clipboard before lifting the tape and letting him through.
Driving up to the car park was like arriving at a luxury spa hotel, Banks had always thought when he visited Annie. It was no different today. St Peter’s presented a broad south-facing facade at the top of the rise that led down to the lake and surrounding woods. Designed by a firm of Leeds architects, with Vanburgh in mind, and built of local stone in the late nineteenth century, it was three stories high, had a flagged portico, complete with simple Doric columns at the front, and two wings, east and west. Though not so extensive as some other local examples, the grounds were landscaped very much in the style and spirit of Capability Brown, with the lake and woods and rolling lawns. There was even a folly. To the west, beyond the trees and lawns, the outlines of Swainsdale’s hills and fells could be seen, forming a backdrop of what the Japanese called borrowed scenery, which merged nature with art.
The forensic team had got there before Banks, which seemed odd until he remembered that a detective inspector had made the initial call. Kitted out in disposable white coveralls, they were already going about their business. The crime-scene photographer, Peter Darby, was at work with his battered old Nikon SLR and his ultra-modern digital video recorder. Most SOCOs – or CSIs, as they now liked to be called – also took their own digital photos and videos when they searched a scene, but though Peter Darby accepted the use of video, he shunned digital photography as being far too susceptible to tampering and error. It made him a bit of a dinosaur, and one or two of the younger techies cracked jokes behind his back. He could counter by boasting that he had never had any problems with his evidence in court, and he had never lost an image because of computer problems.
DI Lorraine Jenson stood with two other people about five or six yards away from the body, a lone, hunched figure resting her weight on a crutch by the water’s edge and jotting in her notebook. Banks knew her slightly from a case he had worked a few months ago that crossed the border into Humberside, where she worked. Not long ago, he had heard, she had a run in with a couple of drug-dealers in a tower block, which ended with her falling from a second-floor balcony. She had sustained multiple fractures of her left leg, but after surgery, the cast and physio, she would be back at work soon enough.
About Watching the Dark: New York Times bestselling author Peter Robinson brings back Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his colleague DI Annie Cabbot in a case riddled with corruption
A decorated policeman is murdered on the tranquil grounds of the St. Peter's Police Treatment Centre, shot through the heart with a crossbow arrow, and compromising photographs are discovered in his room. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is well aware that he must handle the highly sensitive and dangerously explosive investigation with the utmost discretion. And as he digs deeper, he discovers that the murder may be linked to an unsolved missing persons case from six years earlier and the current crime may involve crooked cops.
Rafflecopter giveaway for Before the Poison.
About the book: Quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, Chris Lowndes decides to return to the Yorkshire Dales after twenty-five successful years spent in Hollywood composing film scores. He purchases Kilnsgate House, a charming old mansion deep in the country, but something about the place disturbs him. His unease intensifies when he learns Kilnsgate was once the scene of a sensational murder. More than fifty years earlier, prominent doctor Ernest Arthur Fox was poisoned there, allegedly by his beautiful and much younger wife, Grace, who was subsequently tried, condemned, and hanged for the crime.
His curiosity piqued, Chris decides to investigate, and the more he discovers, the more convinced he becomes of Grace's innocence. Despite warnings to leave it be, his quest for the truth is soon leading him through dark shadows of the past . . . and into a strange web of secrets that lie perilously close to the present.
William Morrow Paperbacks | 1/2/2013 | Trade PB | Pages: 368
This is my first Rafflecopter giveaway so I have my fingers crossed that this works without too much trouble. Fingers crossed!