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Strange Affair Audio Cassette – Dec 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio Cassette, Dec 2005
CDN$ 143.63

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Recorded Books (December 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 1419348795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419348792
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this artful abridgement of Inspector Alan Banks's 15th series appearance, things get personal for the Yorkshire policeman. Still despondent over the burning of his hearth and home in Playing with Fire, he's drawn to London by a panicked phone message left by his estranged younger brother. Meanwhile, Banks's name and old address turn up in the possession of an attractive young woman murdered on his own turf. That death is being probed by his ex-lover, Inspector Annie Cabbot. The author cleverly keeps things moving by switching from one investigation to the other, introducing both sleuths to a gallery of well-defined witnesses and potential suspects. Narrator Prebble, who can be heard on nearly 200 audiobooks, tells the story with an almost cool British reserve, slipping easily into a panoply of vocal characterizations appropriate to Robinson's large, distinctive cast. >From Banks's pleasant and faintly bemused mum to Cockney thugs and smarmy swells, Prebble gets the job done. He also handles the mood swings of the two main characters with ease. Using subtle shifts in pacing and vocal timbre, he balances Annie's professional patience in her interviews against her growing anger with Banks for the mental anguish he continues to cause her. And for Banks, the narrator runs the emotional gamut—from depression to full fury to a quiet understanding that "everyone gets tainted by a murder investigation." Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 17). (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


“I can’t imagine a more flawless police procedural than Strange Affair.… This is a thoroughly modern novel, even though it’s not technical wizardry that allows Banks to solve the crime. Instead, he draws on his peristent willingness to look human nature in the eye unflinchingly.”
–Rosemary Aubert, Globe and Mail

“Peter Robinson takes the straightforward police procedural and transforms it into something approaching art.”
Calgary Herald

“Moody, atmospheric, exciting and deftly plotted. Another explosive read from Robinson.”
Hamilton Spectator

“Magical storytelling. What [Peter Robinson] produces here is extraordinary.”
Ottawa Citizen

“Smart and shapely . . . immaculately constructed.”
New York Times Book Review

“Superlative. . . . Deeply absorbing.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A damn fine crime novel . . . like a master class in crime fiction.”
Baltimore Sun

From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Dec 6 2008
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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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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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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