Standing in the Shadows by Peter Robinson – Review

Standing in the Shadows by Peter Robinson Book Review logo

By Sandra Callard

In the realm of crime fiction, the late Peter Robinson has etched his name with a distinction as pronounced as the 27 novels that have preceded his latest creation. Introducing the ever-familiar visage of Detective Superintendent Alan Banks, Robinson’s final offering, Standing in the Shadows, stands testament to his unwavering prowess in crafting intricate and seductive narratives. With each turn of the page, a whirlwind of astonishments awaits, as the story elegantly navigates between the lives of inhabitants dwelling within a bustling student abode and their poignant journey toward academic culmination.

Nestled within the temporal backdrop of the Yorkshire Ripper’s chilling presence in northern England, the tenants of the house tread cautiously through dimly lit streets, conscious of lurking danger. Within this ominous tableau, the tendrils of murder emerge, coiling their grip around the discovery of a buried body. Robinson’s chapters bear the weight of years, spanning the period from November 1980 to December 2019. An enigmatic choice, initially perplexing, it beckons the reader to decipher its tantalizingly concealed significance.

Robinson’s artistry lies in his dexterous placement of clues, whispered secrets lying dormant or boldly paraded in plain sight. The seamless choreography of police procedure, rendered with an authenticity that underscores the writer’s mastery, unveils a police force willing to bend the rules in the pursuit of justice. Such is the precision of Robinson’s depiction that one could be forgiven for assuming he himself once walked a beat.

“Final enigma”

Standing in the Shadows by Peter Robinson Book Review coverWithin this literary tapestry, suspense and intrigue are woven deftly, an enchanting blend that transcends mundane boundaries. The ebb and flow between murder and normality, crime and routine, engenders an inexorable pull, a siren’s call that precludes setting the book aside.

Characters are luminous conduits through which the narrative unfurls, bursting forth vividly under Robinson’s hand. This sorcery of characterization allows the story to coalesce around their palpable presence, creating an immersive experience that ignites the imagination.

The narrative’s stage, meticulously poised in the heart of Leeds and its environs, is authentic. It resonates with readers who, like me, are familiar with the locale. Robinson summons landscapes and cityscapes with a stroke of his pen, conjuring an ambiance that transcends mere description, beckoning readers to traverse the terrain through his words.

Standing in the Shadows is his final enigma, the reader propelled into a labyrinth of uncertainty, where resolution remains an elusive spectre. As the last page turns, a pang of melancholy mingles with elation, as you realise you’re reading the last words of a crime fiction great.

‘Standing in the Shadows’ by Peter Robinson by Hodder & Stoughton


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.