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The body of Caroline Hartley is found one evening before Christmas by her lover, Veronica Shildon. It is a cosy scene–log fire, sheepskin rug, Vivaldi on the stereo, Christmas lights and tree–but Caroline is naked and covered in blood. Detective Constable Susan Gay is the first detective at the scene. She has recently been promoted to C.I.D. and the case soon takes on overwhelming professional and personal importance for her. DC Gay and Chief Inspector Alan Banks soon find plenty of suspects as they begin to delve into Caroline’s past and the women’s present life: Veronica’s ex-husband, who is a well-known composer; a feminist poet; the cast and crew of a play Caroline was rehearing; and Caroline’s eccentric, reclusive brother, Gary Hartley. Inspector Banks’s fifth case is an ironic, suspenseful tale of family secrets, hidden passions and desperate violence. Winner of 1991 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel.
“After nearly thirty years of reading thousands of mysteries and thrillers, I’ve come up with my three favorites…and the latest [is] from Canadian author Peter Robinson, Past Reason Hated.” The Times, St Petersburg
“Robinson’s got police procedure down pat, and he always manages to come up with an intriguing cast of characters, a skilfully crafted plot, and a climax that’s as surprising as it is satisfying.” Booklist
“Intelligent, insightful and thoroughly compelling, this latest Inspector Banks novel just might convince you that the British really do write a better mystery. In the impeccable tradition of P.D. James and Elizabeth George, Peter Robinson’s latest work makes for fascinating reading….This book should come with a warning label that Robinson’s novels are habit forming. If you weren’t a fan of his before you pick up this book, you’re guaranteed to become one by its exciting conclusion.” West Coast Review of Books, Art, and Entertainment
“Robinson writes the classic mystery, hewing to the time-honored format but managing also to keep the proceedings contemporary and fresh, largely through the creation of convincing and complex characters.” San Diego Union-Tribune
“Robinson…creates an appealing Yorkshire setting with evocative descriptions of the wintry town, dales and seaside.” Publishers Weekly
“A steady, cleareyed revelation of Caroline’s personality, combined with piercing insight into an unusually generous circle of suspects.” Kirkus Reviews
“The author’s characterizations are unfailingly sharp and subtle….Mr Robinson is always looking for little signs of evil that can give away a town like Eastvale.” Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“Robinson has intriguing characters, a solid-gold Yorkshire setting, and a slam-bang plot that keeps moving right up to the final chapter.” Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail
“…a superior piece of work and his best to date.” John North, Toronto Star
“The latest Inspector Banks mystery, Past Reason Hated, is a sure sign that Peter Robinson is a mature, confident writer–and one who wastes no time in proving it.” Martin Dowding, Quill and Quire
“It is Banks’s fifth case from the pen of Peter Robinson, and his best to date. Robinson has skilfully woven together the threads of a complex life to present a puzzling and intriguing case.” Maurice Foisy, CHQM FM, Vancouver
“For an intriguing mystery with a musical twist and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as a clue, do read Past Reason Hated. Author Robinson has delivered the goods again.” Linda Turk, Thunder Bay Times-News