Close to Home: A Novel of Suspense (Inspector Banks Novels)

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9780060198787: Close to Home: A Novel of Suspense (Inspector Banks Novels)

The past returns to haunt Chief Inspector Alan Banks in this harrowing novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Peter Robinson.

There are human bones, buried in an open field, the remains of a lost teenaged boy whose disappearance devastated a community more than thirty-five-years ago...and scarred a guilt-ridden friend forever...

A long-hidden horror has been unearthed, dragging a tormented policeman into a past he could never truly forget no matter how desperately he tried. A heinous crime that occurred too close to home still has its grip on Chief Inspector Alan Banks—and it’s leading him into a dark place where evil still dwells. Because the secrets that doomed young Graham Marshall back in 1965 remain alive and lethal, and disturbing them could cost Banks much more than he ever imagined.

Master of suspense Peter Robinson once again delves into the human psyche to reveal what leads some to commit murder in this compelling, unforgettable thriller.

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Product Description:

Detective Inspector Alan Banks has never forgiven himself for having possibly caused the disappearance and presumed death of his best friend back in the summer of 1965, a pivotal time when both boys stood on the precipice of manhood.

When the tragic bones are shockingly unearthed and identified near Banks's childhood home more than 35 years later, the imagined skeleton in the detective's closet becomes all too real. Plummeted back into a past he thought he'd left behind, Banks is drawn into an investigation that hits dangerously close to home.

Review:

Having already shown, in 1999's In a Dry Season, that he can plumb historical homicide for gripping modern drama, Peter Robinson goes further in Close to Home, telling parallel stories about teenage boys lost in a grownup world, decades apart. The first is Graham Marshall, a childhood pal of Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, who vanished mysteriously in 1965, the supposed victim of a pedophile. Hearing that Graham's bones have finally been unearthed, Banks quits his vacation in Greece and heads to his hometown of Petersborough, England, hoping to assist the investigation--and, perhaps, assuage his guilt over his friend’s fate. Meanwhile, Banks's colleague and ex-lover, Annie Cabbot, is busy probing the recent disappearance of 15-year-old Luke Armitage, the sensitive, brainy son of a rock star who committed suicide during Luke's infancy. After Cabbot catches hell for interrupting what may or may not have been a legitimate ransom payment for Luke's return, she seeks Banks's advice, drawing these two plot lines neatly together.

As this intense and intricately crafted puzzler develops, blending fiction with a bit of fact (the Kray brothers, who ran a criminal ring in London's East End during the mid-20th century, play off-camera roles here), Robinson explores Banks's troubled relationship with his parents, especially his working-class father, who "had never approved of his choice of career." He also raises doubts about a famed copper who’d originally tackled the Marshall case, involves Banks romantically with a damaged detective whose investigative diligence threatens her safety, and shows Cabbot as someone better and stronger than merely Banks's protégé. Working with themes of lost youth and the dark secrets hidden in small towns, Robinson delivers in this 13th Banks novel a police procedural of remarkable human depth. --J. Kingston Pierce

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