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Bad Boy
Inspector Banks
Peter Robinson

William Morrow
March 2017/ ISBN 978-0062433961
Mystery / British / Police Procedural

Reviewed by Leslie C. Halpern


In this latest paperback edition of the best-selling Inspector Banks Novel series featuring British Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, we meet a bad boy so seductive he entices a cop’s daughter to run away with him as he eludes the authorities. In this case, it’s especially shocking because the young woman is Tracy Banks, Alan’s daughter, who’s going through a rebellious phase and calling herself Francesca. Good looking, smooth with the ladies, and loaded with wads of cash, Jaff comes across to others as edgy, but Tracy and her friends have no idea just how bad this bad boy really is. As with all of Robinson’s novels, this one includes descriptions so vivid, readers will feel the attraction and repulsion as we experience Tracy’s ever-evolving relationship with Jaff.

When Banks returns from a vacation in America, he’s faced with a dual crisis: his partner (and former lover) Annie Cabbot has been critically wounded by a shooter and may not survive; and his daughter is missing and presumed to be in the company of Jaff, the suspect in Annie’s attack. That the shooting occurred at Alan’s own home makes the tragedy even worse. Although readers know Tracy’s infatuation with Jaff turns into fear and disgust as she changes from his friend to his lover, and ultimately to his prisoner, Banks and the staff at headquarters can only surmise what’s going on with the mismatched pair on the run.

There’s another thread in the story involving a loaded gun found in the home of former neighbors of the Banks family – a gun that triggers the rest of the story. This particular novel deviates from the usual Inspector Banks series because there’s no mystery for readers to solve. We know immediately who the bad boy is, and soon learn of what he’s capable. There are some loose ends to tie and connections to make, but it’s not quite the same. This book is more about following police procedures, watching characters develop over time, and marveling at how Robinson plots the story so intricately and masterfully.

Though not a typical Inspector Banks installment, Bad Boy provides a fascinating study of how bad boys operate and why good girls like them...for a little while anyway.

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] [book1 ] [book2 ]
Piece of My Heart #16
Friend of the Devil #17
All the Colors of Darkness
Bad Boy #19
In The Dark Places #22 [review 1] [review 2]
When The Music's Over #23 [review 1] [review 2]

Reviewed 2017