Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Wm Morrow / HarperCollins
Release Date: Jan 27, 2004
ISBN: 0061031097
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
Genre:   Mystery / British / Police procedural
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Barbara Buhrer

Close to Home
DCI Alan Banks Mystery, No 13
By Peter Robinson

      Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is spending a much needed vacation in Greece, recovering from his divorce, his broken love affair, and burn out from his work. While there, he reads in the paper that the bones discovered during a shopping mall excavation are identified as those of Graham Marshall, a childhood companion who had vanished mysteriously in 1965. It was supposed that he was a victim of a pedophile. Banks returns to his boyhood home of Petersborough to assist in the investigation.

     At the same time, 15-year-old Luke Armitage, the son of a rock star who committed suicide when Luke was an infant and of a famous model, disappears. Bank's ex-lover, Annie Cabbot, is in charge of this investigation and is accused of interrupting the possible ransom payment. She seeks Banks' advice.

     Banks becomes involved in the investigation of the two parallel cases, delving into the past and Graham's possible connection with criminal elements, with Luke's flawed relationship with his mother and stepfather; with possible corruption at high police levels.

      This police procedural is handled with knowledge and skill. The plot is complex and well structured, developing the parallel cases in depth. Banks is a realistic likable protagonist. He is a complex character with insights given into his childhood that are moving and haunting. He has a troubled relationship with his parents who have never approved of his career choice and who compare him unfavorably with his younger brother. His possible relationship with the detective investigating the Graham case may become a problem for him. The various characters are believable and well developed, delving into the psyches of each. The dialogue is crisp. The solutions to both cases are developed unexpectedly but satisfactorily.

     There are many references to music incorporated in the story. If the reader is music-knowledgeable they will be a pleasure and meaningful but for the uninformed they may leave the reader at a loss. The descriptions of the English country are vivid, giving the reader the feeling of being there.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Cold is the Grave #11
Aftermath #12
Close to Home #13
Playing Fire #14
Strange Affair #15 [audio] [book]
Piece of My Heart #16
Friend of the Devil #17
All the Colors of Darkness
In The Dark Places #22 [review 1] [review 2]
When The Music's Over #23 [review 1] [review 2]


© 2004