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We listeners all know, right from the get-go, that poor Owen Pierce has been falsely accused of murder ... but the townsfolk don't. Given their druthers, they would lynch him for the murder of beautiful young Deborah Harrison, leaving the real killer running around free. I like it when an author uses that technique: allowing the reader to know something that none of the novel's characters -- including the protagonist -- know. Then we get to watch our hero figure out the secret. 𝘞𝑒 know that Owen Pierce didn't do it, partly because of Peter Robinson's writing skill, but also thanks to James Langton's excellent acting chops. Langton possesses the rare gift of voice. I was admiring his skill throughout this audiobook, particularly because the plot presents us with so 𝘮𝑎𝑛𝑦 different suspects. A less skilled actor could have made Owen sound as guilty as all the townsfolk think that he is. Langton clearly read "Innocent Graves" all the way through before he began recording it, so that he knew which voices to give each character -- sending exactly the right subliminal clues to us listeners.
I also liked "Innocent Graves," because it includes some intriguing courtroom scenes -- the first novel in the Alan Banks series to do so. The evidence seems stacked so profoundly high against Pierce -- and his solicitor seems so disinterested -- that we see no way for him to escape false conviction. Then his brilliant barrister (the Brits make a distinction between the lawyer that takes the case and the lawyer that argues the case) saves Pierce in court by casting reasonable doubt on all the supposed "evidence." Still, the townsfolk believe that Pierce did the murder and got away with it; so that his release puts him in grave danger of vigilante violence. Inspector Alan Banks needs to work fast to find the real killer.
Some people find that Robinson's Inspector Banks novels move too slowly, with insufficient excitement. I confess to a weakness for thrillers, myself; but I make an exception for the Inspector Banks series. Robinson's beautiful writing and Langton's masterful narration trump any problem that I might have with insufficient action. So I recommend this series to any listener with the patience to appreciate these qualities ... provided that you listen to the books in chronological order, from the beginning, starting with "Gallows View." Don't try jumping into the series in the middle -- you will miss a lot and get grumpy.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Where does Innocent Graves rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I don't understand why people didn't like this book. Plot and characters were well developed. Narration was also terrific. The only down side was the rather abrupt ending. I expected a few more chapters at least!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Brilliantly written as usual . Peter Robinson an amazing imagination and the know how to keep you in suspense right to the end. I just love his books.
this book didn't do it for me I'm afraid , it rambled the characters weren't overly likeable and it ended on a , well it just ended . had this been the first book in this series that I had read I wouldn't of rushed out to buy more as it was this was the second book I have read and this left me even more disappointed and the previous one was excellent. The narration was adequate but no more than that the accents seem to jumble up and it is often difficult to determine which character was which