What appears to be a cut and dry case of murder/suicide where a local theatre designer has apparently hanged himself after having bludgeoned his partner to death, turns out to be something much more that threatens the well being of Detective Alan Banks and DI Annie Cabbot as they try to peel back the layers of truth.
When Banks meets one of the dead men's mothers, she reveals to him that her son was a spy. In his work day world secrets and deceit were the norm and murder the Machiavellian solution. In the M16 realm of kill or be killed "the end almost always justified the means." The closer Banks and Cabbot get to revealing other truths about the players, the closer they come to their own mortality.
Robinson's ability to create tension and to build suspense lasts through to the final pages. And, he has me reaching for a copy of OTHELLO, to re-familiarize myself with its web of deceit and darkness that give this 18th Banks mystery its title.