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BROKEN LINES [Hardcover]

Jo Bannister
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 28 1999
Riding his motorcycle through the frosty back roads in the country is Detective Sergeant Donovan's idea of relaxation: Walking in on the armed robbery of a Castlemere gas station isn't. Donovan pursues the thief, but the chase ends in a horrible accident.

The nineteen-year-old driver of the getaway van survives the crash, thanks largely to Donovan himself, who plunges into the burning wreckage and pulls the young man to safety. Case closed, or so it seems.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the accused robber is none other than Mikey Dickens, youngest son of a local crime family, and the Dickens family solicitor knows some good tricks for getting clients released.

Donovan, supported by Detective Superintendent Frank Shapiro and Detective Inspector Liz Graham, is determined to prove Mikey's guilt. But has he finally met his match? For as he goes after Mikey for a second time events escalate out of his control, leaving him fighting for his reputation, his career--and even his life.


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From Publishers Weekly

The police of Castlemere, England, try desperately to identify the person behind a brutal beating in this brilliantly plotted addition to a reliable British procedural series (A Bleeding of Innocents, etc.). Though common purpose and mutual respect have always bound the disparate personalities of Superintendent Frank Shapiro, Inspector Liz Graham and Sergeant Cal Donovan, that trust and solidarity are severely tested when Donovan's hot pursuit of a petty thief, Mikey Dickens, results in a tragic accident. When evidence of the crime can't be recovered, it appears that Dickens, who is the favorite son of the paterfamilias of the largest criminal group in Castlemere, may skate. A missing gun, a vacillating eyewitness, a near-fatal attack and Donovan's fiery temper combine to shift suspicion from Dickens to Donovan. Is Donovan the subject of an elaborate frame? Or have temper and provocation driven him to betray his calling and administer "justice" on his own? Bannister's craft and subtlety (even the title has hidden depths) keeps the solution well hidden while she steadily ratchets up the tension in this gratifying drama.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Detective Sergeant Cal Donovan interrupts a burglary in progress, witnesses a subsequent spectacular accident, then falls under suspicion for attempted murder. His Castelmere mates (No Birds Sing, St. Martin's, 1996) rush to find the true culprit. A solid British procedural from a seasoned veteran.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover
This is my first Jo Bannister and I am very disappointed. These characters are steroetypically drawn and strain credulity. The plot borders on witless, and the setting (with which I am familiar) lacks resonance. My disappointment is tempered by the fact that I borrowed this from the library, saving my money to purchase new titles from credible successors to P.D. James et al.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done police procedural March 11 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In the rural back roads outside Castlemere, Detective Sergeant Cal Donovan rides his motorcycle before stopping for gas. However, Cal steps into the middle of an armed robbery at the gas station. The culprit slams a gun into Cal's face before driving away from the scene of the crime. Cal pursues only to watch the culprit crash into another vehicle. The crash shakes up the other car's occupant, but she turns out all right. Cal rescues the robbery suspect from the burning wreck.
The armed robber turns out to be Mikey Dickens, the youngest son of the local crime family. The sure shot case unravels because of Mikey's clever solicitor and the sudden loss of substantial evidence. When Mikey turns up nearly dead, all the physical evidence points towards an avenging Cal as the suspect. This leaves it up to other members of the police force to prove his innocence before Cal's reputation and that of the department is destroyed forever.
Many fans of police procedurals hold Jo Bannister in high esteem for her charming Castlemere series. Books like A TASTE FOR BURNING and CHARISMA are some of the sub-genre's top novels. Her current Castlemere tale, BROKEN LINES, may be her best novel to date. The author cleverly employs an elaborate who-done-it filled with suspense. She then fills that story line with an in-depth look at the various connections between the characters, leaving readers to ponder the meaning of relationships. Ms. Bannister provides the audience with a unique story that will cause a mass desire for the next book in this series to appear quickly.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done police procedural March 11 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In the rural back roads outside Castlemere, Detective Sergeant Cal Donovan rides his motorcycle before stopping for gas. However, Cal steps into the middle of an armed robbery at the gas station. The culprit slams a gun into Cal's face before driving away from the scene of the crime. Cal pursues only to watch the culprit crash into another vehicle. The crash shakes up the other car's occupant, but she turns out all right. Cal rescues the robbery suspect from the burning wreck.
The armed robber turns out to be Mikey Dickens, the youngest son of the local crime family. The sure shot case unravels because of Mikey's clever solicitor and the sudden loss of substantial evidence. When Mikey turns up nearly dead, all the physical evidence points towards an avenging Cal as the suspect. This leaves it up to other members of the police force to prove his innocence before Cal's reputation and that of the department is destroyed forever.
Many fans of police procedurals hold Jo Bannister in high esteem for her charming Castlemere series. Books like A TASTE FOR BURNING and CHARISMA are some of the sub-genre's top novels. Her current Castlemere tale, BROKEN LINES, may be her best novel to date. The author cleverly employs an elaborate who-done-it filled with suspense. She then fills that story line with an in-depth look at the various connections between the characters, leaving readers to ponder the meaning of relationships. Ms. Bannister provides the audience with a unique story that will cause a mass desire for the next book in this series to appear quickly.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding police and steroetypical characters run amok. June 25 1999
By A. Newton (ebay@avms.org) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is my first Jo Bannister and I am very disappointed. These characters are steroetypically drawn and strain credulity. The plot borders on witless, and the setting (with which I am familiar) lacks resonance. My disappointment is tempered by the fact that I borrowed this from the library, saving my money to purchase new titles from credible successors to P.D. James et al.
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