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Strange Affair by Peter Robinson
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Strange Affair (2005)

by Peter Robinson

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Each time I read a DCI Banks novel I think I will jump right to the next one. I love this guy! But then I realize I will be caught up and have to wait for the next publication so I am slowly savoring each novel, reading something else in between these books. It’s great that Peter Robinson writes these novels in real time. When I started with Gallows View (Book #1) Alan Banks had just moved to Yorkshire, his children were in school, he was in a happy marriage and his career was on the right path.

I just finished Strange Affair (Book #15) and so much has changed. Banks is, naturally, older and has had some boost in rank. His kids are grown and one is in college. It’s been nice reading along watching the progressions.

Strange Affair starts off with a woman driving away from London, obviously frightened for her life as she expresses she will be safe in just a few hours. Before you get too many pages into the book she is found dead, still in her vehicle, with a single gunshot wound to her head. Her purse and cell phone are missing but in her back pocket is a hastily written note with Alan Banks’ name and address.

Banks can’t be located because he has driven off to London in search of his brother Roy. A day earlier Roy called Banks and left a voice message that he was in danger and he needed help. When big brother Alan couldn’t reach Roy he decided to drive to London. He didn’t tell anyone about Roy’s call and he didn’t call in to the police station to let them know he’d be gone. With the discovery of a dead woman who was headed toward Banks’ Yorkshire address and him now missing, the Eastvale police have him as an unofficial suspect.

Most of this storyline takes place in London. We alternate between Banks looking for his brother and DI Annie Cabbot looking into the murder of the young woman. Not too far into the book you see they are connected, both the murder and Roy’s disappearance. You also see a more reflective side of Alan Banks as he’s working though his depression over a house fire (Book # 14) and him getting to know more about his brother.

There are 22 DCI Banks books currently published. I will be on to #16 soon and once I catch up, I will one of the eager fans waiting for the next publication. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Aug 30, 2016 |
Detective Inspector Alan Banks is on vacation, still recovering from the fire that destroyed his home and nearly took his life, when he receives a phone message from his estranged brother, who sounds as if he is in trouble. When he goes down to London to investigate, however, he finds that his brother has disappeared, and tracking him down leads Banks into some very dark waters indeed…. "Strange Affair" is the 15th in the Inspector Banks series and, as with the others, is a very compelling read. Aside from the mystery and procedural aspects, I especially liked that we get to learn a lot more about Banks and his family, and their relationships with each other. Very highly recommended, but it’s probably best if you read the whole series from the start! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Aug 22, 2016 |
Another very good read by Peter Robinson in the Inspector Banks Series. This time the story revolves around a mysterious message Banks receives from his brother, who he has little contact with. Banks then heads to London to investigate. Another story in which Banks investigates a case 'unofficially' at a low time in his life. If you enjoy Inspector Banks books you will definitely enjoy this one. 4.5 Stars. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 30, 2016 |
Book Description
On a warm summer night, an attractive woman hurtles north in a blue Peugeot with a hastily scrawled address in her pocket, while, back in London, a desperate man leaves an urgent late-night phone message on his brother's answering machine. By sunrise the next morning, the woman is found inside her car along an otherwise peaceful country lane, shot, execution-style, through the head.

Welcome to the idyllic Yorkshire Dales, where Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot arrives on the scene and discovers, to her surprise, a slip of paper in the dead woman's pocket that bears the name of her colleague and erstwhile lover, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Banks, meanwhile -- already haunted and withdrawn after nearly dying in the fire that destroyed his home -- has gone missing just when he's needed most, and has left plenty of questions behind.

As Annie struggles to determine whether or not Banks is safe -- and what role he may have played in the woman's murder -- Banks himself investigates the mysterious disappearance of his estranged brother, Roy, whose late-night call for help brings Banks back to London. Working from Roy's swank apartment, Banks makes the rounds to Roy's old haunts and slowly inhabits the life of his younger brother -- the black sheep of the family, who always seemed to sail a little too close to the wind. As the trail of clues about Roy's life and associations draws Banks into a dark circle of conspiracy and corruption, mobsters and murder, Banks suddenly realizes he's running out of time to save Roy, and by digging too deep, he may be exposing himself and his family to the same -- possibly deadly -- danger.

My Review
This is a very interesting novel which shows us more about the relationship of Alan Banks and his brother Roy. I feel that this book really excels in all areas such as; character development, plot, suspense, dialogue, and atmosphere. The story was well-paced and keeps you reading until the very end. The relationship of Annie Cabot and Banks continues to evolve also. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes police procedurals but I suggest starting at the beginning of the series. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
Up to Robinson's usual high standards. Alan Banks investigates the disappearance of his shady brother, uncovering a brutal world of trafficking. ( )
  LARA335 | Mar 5, 2016 |
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"Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can form any conception of what are his sensations."
Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060544341, Mass Market Paperback)

Without a doubt, the family and friends of fictional sleuths are two of the most endangered species on the planet. Crime novelists seem to have no qualms about sacrificing the people nearest and dearest to their protagonists, if doing so will advance plot development or bestow emotional depth upon their series stars. Peter Robinson continues this ruthless tradition in Strange Affair, his tension-packed 15th novel featuring headstrong British Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Still on the mend after the blazing finale of 2004's Playing with Fire, temporarily sworn off whiskey but back to smoking, Banks is interrupted in the midst of brooding over his life and failed relationships by a message from his estranged younger brother, Roy, who says he needs the DCI's help in "a matter of life and death." Concerned, especially since Roy boasts a history of dubious business dealings, Banks leaves Yorkshire for his sibling's home in London, only to find that residence unlocked, Roy's computer missing, and his cell phone left behind. After learning that Roy was last seen stepping into a car with an unidentified man, and receiving on Roy's mobile what appears to be a photo of his only brother slumped over in a chair, the cop fears that a kidnapping has occurred.

Meanwhile, back in Eastvale, Banks's colleague and ex-lover, Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot, probes the shooting death of Jennifer Clewes, a 27-year-old family planning center administrator from London who's been found in her car, with the address of Banks's once-ruined (and recently broken into) cottage tucked into her jeans pocket. As Annie seeks to identify Clewes's attacker and determine whether this crime fits a pattern of roadway assaults, she's anxious also to discover what connection Banks may have to the case. But the DCI is frustratingly nowhere to be found.

Like 2003's Close to Home, Strange Affair adds some welcome bricks to Banks's back story, this time forcing him to reappraise a brother whom he had long resented and distrusted. Simultaneously, Robinson's latest police procedural delivers artfully contrived, intersecting story lines charged with rumors of international arms dealing, hints of misdeeds at a women's clinic, secondary players so shady they might be invisible after sundown, and insights into just how far Banks's career has distanced him from folks less steeped in the ugly side of mankind. An immensely satisfying mystery, filled with professional risks and personal regrets, this is truly an Affair to remember. --J. Kingston Pierce

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:20 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Annie Cabbot investigates the death of a woman found shot execution style who is found with her lover, Alan Banks', address is her hand. Meanwhile, Alan tries to unravel the mysterious disappearance of his younger brother and finds himself in a dark circle of mobsters and murder.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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