Strange Affair by Peter Robinson.
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow(February 15, 2005)
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In his last outing (Playing With Fire), Insp. Alan Banks nearly died when a serial killer set fire to his cottage in the Yorkshire village of Eastvale, and the melancholic detective remains understandably depressed as this superlative 15th novel in the series gets underway. Living in a rented flat, Banks is struggling to put his life back together when an urgent phone message from his younger brother, Roy—a successful, slightly shady London businessman—requests his help: "It could be a matter of life and death.... Maybe even mine." When he can't reach Roy by phone, Banks travels to London to see what's wrong and finds his brother's house unlocked and no hint about where he might have gone or why. On the night of Roy's phone call, a young woman is shot to death in her car just outside of Eastvale, and she has Banks's name and address in her pocket. Annie Cabbot, Banks's colleague on the force (and a former lover), is in charge of that case, and her investigation quickly intersects with Banks's unofficial sleuthing into his brother's inexplicable disappearance. The gripping story, which revolves around that most heinous of crimes, human trafficking, shows Robinson getting more adept at juggling complex plot lines while retaining his excellent skills at characterization. The result is deeply absorbing, and the nuances of Banks's character are increasingly compelling
Second book in a row for Peter Robinson and "Inspector Alan Banks".
This time not only was the secondary story about Alan Banks himself, but now we had more than one murder going on. Seemingly having nothing to do with each other, and yet sooner or later... one clue at a time.. we find out that indeed, they do have something to do with each other.
The author is putting his protagonist, Banks, through the mill. He isn't over one bad thing when another happens to him. His wife divorces him... when he finally finds a lover she leaves him... then his home burns down and now, one of the murders is Alan Banks own estranged brother. (hear the creepy music in your head?!)
I have to admit, knowing many of the characters from before, one seems to meld into the other like an old friend you haven't seen in a long time.. you just pick up where you left off!
I have begun to think that Peter Robinson could probably write some really good "cold case" stories as well as current crimes.
A few of the books I've been reading lately have come too close to the "now time". I don't like to hear that they are using the Internet and such.. good old fashioned , find the bad guy is much more interesting to me. But once again, this is an enjoyable, quick read, keeping your interest in finding the next clue at all times.