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Strange Affair [Audio Cassette]

Peter Robinson , Ron Keith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 2005
When Alan Banks receives a disturbing telephone call from his brother, Roy, he abandons the peaceful Yorkshire Dales for the bright lights of London to search him out. But Roy has vanished into thin air, and now Banks fears this could have been their final conversation. Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabbot is called to a murder scene on a quiet stretch of road just outside Eastvale. A young woman called Jennifer Clewes has been found dead in her car, and in the back pocket of her jeans, written on a slip of paper, police discover Banks’s name and address.

Living in his brother’s empty, luxurious South Kensington flat, Banks finds himself digging into the life of the brother he never really knew, or even liked. He begins to uncover some troubling surprises, leaving Annie to track down Jennifer Clewes’s friends and colleagues alone. It seems that both trails are leading towards frightening conclusions. And when the cases begin to intersect, the consequences for Banks and Annie become terrifying . . .

Strange Affair is Peter Robinson’s fifteenth Inspector Banks novel, and it amply demonstrates why he’s counted among the top crime fiction writers in the world.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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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. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Feb. 15) Forecast: Robinson's reputation in the States (he is English and lives in Canada) continues to build. With the help of a big marketing campaign and an eight-city author tour, this could be a breakout novel for him.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Robinson is one of those multiawarded authors (the Edgar, the Anthony, the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere), who is absolutely reliable. This novel marks the fifteenth in the Inspector Alan Banks series, set in Yorkshire. Depressed over the loss of his cottage in a fire, Banks is galvanized into action by a pleading message from his estranged brother in London. When Banks travels to his wealthy brother's home, he finds it totally empty yet filled with disturbing clues as to the source of his brother's money. Banks' estranged lover and sidekick, Detective Annie Cabbot, is left to cope by herself with the investigation of the murder of a young woman on the motorway. When Cabbot finds a letter addressed to Banks on the victim, the reader knows that Robinson will tie the two investigations together in fiendishly clever ways. Another Robinson winner. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner in the Inspector Banks Series! Feb. 1 2005
Format:Hardcover
This installment of the series opens with Inspector banks receving a mysterious phone call from his brother in London. Fearing something dreadfully wrong the inspector leaves for London to search out his brother. At the same time DI Annie Cook investigates the murder of a young woman found dead in a car on a quite country road on the outskirts of Eastvale. in the woman's pocket is a slip of paper with inspector Banks name written on it! Much of the story is two parrelle plots, Banks in London trying to figure out what became of his brother as he also discovers surprising revelations about his brother he never understood. At the same time Annie is investigating the death of the young woman. In the end the parralle plots meet in a cleverly terrifing way! Banks fans will not be dissapointed by this novel!
I also must recomend "A Tourist in the Yucatan" interesting thriller/mystery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
After reading this novel, I honestly couldn't decide how many stars this book deserved.

WHY IT DESERVES 5 STARS: The writing is excellent. This is the first Peter Robinson book I've read but I have always been told that his writing is superb and the book did not let me down in this aspect. There was a good amount of dialogue and the story moved at a good clip. One aspect that I will take away from this novel is how well written the non-dialogue scenes; especially the ones in which someone is investigating something. Usually I tend to lean away from novels with long descriptions of a particular scene and prefer novels with lots of dialogue. However, this novel balanced the pace and entertainment of both types of scenes perfectly, a true testament of the author's skill. In retrospect, I must say that I actually thoroughly enjoyed the non-dialogue scenes and it is one of the few (very few) novels in which I enjoyed the descriptive scenes more than the dialogue scenes.

WHY IT DESERVES 2 STARS: In my opinion, this book was on the edge (i.e. extremely close to the edge) of the uncanny valley. For those of you who don't know what the uncanny valley is, it is a hypothesis in animation that essentially states that if the character's too-closely resemble a real human, the audience will be repulsed (i.e. 1 star). While this book did not reach the uncanny valley, it came mighty close. To be fair to the author, I would like to note that he was obviously trying to make the novel as realistic as possible and while I personally didn't receive it well, realism was his intention and he definitely made it real.

WILL YOU ENJOY THIS BOOK? You will enjoy this book if you like realism in your entertainment (i.e. movies such as Drive, Pulp Fiction or The Hurt Locker).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weighed Down by the Job Dec 6 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever become so closely identified with your work that you cannot react in a relaxed way with friends and family? A CEO once told me that he had learned to be so skeptical that if his wife said it was raining, he would look out the window to verify the rain before responding.

That's the place where Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks finds himself in this novel. He's estranged from everyone in his life and isn't sure that he cares to change that. But when he runs into an attractive woman he had met in an earlier investigation, he's surprised when she responds with distaste to his suggestion that they have dinner. Well, so what, he thinks.

Banks is still recovering from almost dying in Playing with Fire. His home is gone and so are the photographs and other mementos that reassure most of us. He's not really back to work yet. His relations with his partner and ex-lover Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot are strained. Banks is divorced and doesn't speak with his children very often. He rarely contacts his parents. He's like a man in a daze . . . lost in the fog.

Into this slough comes an unexpected message from his slightly disreputable brother, Roy. Despite his alienation, Banks decides to follow through.

Banks soon finds himself walking in his brother's shoes . . . and learning a lot that he didn't expect to learn.

While this is going on, a young woman is found dead in her care with no obvious cause of death at first glance. Annie heads up the investigation, and her focus takes an unexpected direction with Banks's name and address turn up in the dead woman's pocket.

The story proceeds from there, pursuing two different mysteries for the two detectives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Melancholy Inspector Banks Sept. 1 2007
Format:Hardcover
Strange Affair brings us Inspector Banks in a far more melancholy mode than even his own usual reflective self; but then, his brother is missing, his mother is ill, all the women in his life have rejected him, and he is recovering from severe burns after his house was destroyed by fire. The most fascinating aspect of this book is his slow recovery through challenges that bring him back to humanity by making him feel again. The horrors and tragedies in this book (far gloomier than most in this series, but brilliantly described, with painful clarity)are ironically the key to his recovery; by re-engaging with humanity at its worst, he slowly finds himself again. Like Reginald Hill, Peter Robinson is a powerful writer of remarkable literary mysteries. But I can't help myself from hoping that over the next few books Banks finds a few moments of human happiness.
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