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Strange Affair
DCI Alan Banks Mystery, No. 15

By Peter Robinson

     Since fire had consumed his home and possessions four months ago, Detective Inspector Allan Banks has become withdrawn and taciturn. He has been suffering from depression: his home destroyed, his relationship with Detective Inspector Annie Cabot has cooled, his work has been boring. He has sworn off his favorite Scotch and smoking. He has been brooding about his life. When he receives a disturbing phone call from his brother, Roy, and is unable to reach him, he decides to leave Eastvale in Yorkshire and go to London to find him. Roy is Bank's younger brother who Banks suspects of dubious business dealings. When he arrives at Roy's apartment he finds the door unlocked, Roy's computer missing and his mobile phone, which he was never without, left behind. When Banks receives on Roy's mobile phone a picture of Roy slumped over a chair, he expects the worst. During his investigations into Roy's affairs he finds all is not as he thought and has to revise his opinions about Roy and his activities. The trails lead to international arms deals and misdeals in women's health clinics.

     Meanwhile in Yorkshire Detective Inspector Annie Cabot, colleague and former lover of Banks, probes the shooting death of Jennifer Clewes, a heath planning center administrator from London, who was found on a deserted road with Banks’ old address in her jeans. Banks is nowhere to be found so Cabot cannot determine the relationship. She tries to learn if there is a connection between this shooting and that of several other women attacked on lonely roads in Yorkshire.

     This is another of Robinson's excellent mysteries. It is tension packed and suspenseful. The characters are complex, allowing the reader to get into their lives. There is additional information about Banks’ earlier years which gives an understanding about his present life. The relationship between him and his parents and brother is well developed. The author evokes the sounds and sights and colors of London and Yorkshire. This is a well-written and well-plotted mystery, which is another reason to continue following the life and career of Alan Banks.

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]

The Book

William Morrow/Harper Collins
Feb 15, 2005
Mystery / British Police Procedural

The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2005
© 2005