Title: Strange Affair ***SIGNED***
Publisher: William Morrow, NY
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed and Dated By Author on the Full Title Page
Edition: 1st American Edition, 1st Printing.
First American Edition, First Printing with full number line. Signed, without inscription, and dated in the month of publication ("25/2/05") by author on the FULL title page. Unread As New book in As New dust jacket. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. Dust jacket covered in Mylar wrapper. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box. Check our inventory for additional Peter Robinson signed titles. Bookseller Inventory # 003124
On a warm summer night, an attractive woman hurtles north in a blue Peugeot with a hastily scrawled address in her pocket, while, back in London, a desperate man leaves an urgent late-night phone message on his brother's answering machine. By sunrise the next morning, the woman is found inside her car along an otherwise peaceful country lane, shot, execution-style, through the head.
Welcome to the idyllic Yorkshire Dales, where Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot arrives on the scene and discovers, to her surprise, a slip of paper in the dead woman's pocket that bears the name of her colleague and erstwhile lover, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Banks, meanwhile -- already haunted and withdrawn after nearly dying in the fire that destroyed his home -- has gone missing just when he's needed most, and has left plenty of questions behind.
As Annie struggles to determine whether or not Banks is safe -- and what role he may have played in the woman's murder -- Banks himself investigates the mysterious disappearance of his estranged brother, Roy, whose late-night call for help brings Banks back to London. Working from Roy's swank apartment, Banks makes the rounds to Roy's old haunts and slowly inhabits the life of his younger brother -- the black sheep of the family, who always seemed to sail a little too close to the wind. As the trail of clues about Roy's life and associations draws Banks into a dark circle of conspiracy and corruption, mobsters and murder, Banks suddenly realizes he's running out of time to save Roy, and by digging too deep, he may be exposing himself and his family to the same -- possibly deadly -- danger.
Review: Without a doubt, the family and friends of fictional sleuths are two of the most endangered species on the planet. Crime novelists seem to have no qualms about sacrificing the people nearest and dearest to their protagonists, if doing so will advance plot development or bestow emotional depth upon their series stars. Peter Robinson continues this ruthless tradition in Strange Affair, his tension-packed 15th novel featuring headstrong British Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Still on the mend after the blazing finale of 2004's Playing with Fire, temporarily sworn off whiskey but back to smoking, Banks is interrupted in the midst of brooding over his life and failed relationships by a message from his estranged younger brother, Roy, who says he needs the DCI's help in "a matter of life and death." Concerned, especially since Roy boasts a history of dubious business dealings, Banks leaves Yorkshire for his sibling's home in London, only to find that residence unlocked, Roy's computer missing, and his cell phone left behind. After learning that Roy was last seen stepping into a car with an unidentified man, and receiving on Roy's mobile what appears to be a photo of his only brother slumped over in a chair, the cop fears that a kidnapping has occurred.
Meanwhile, back in Eastvale, Banks's colleague and ex-lover, Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot, probes the shooting death of Jennifer Clewes, a 27-year-old family planning center administrator from London who's been found in her car, with the address of Banks's once-ruined (and recently broken into) cottage tucked into her jeans pocket. As Annie seeks to identify Clewes's attacker and determine whether this crime fits a pattern of roadway assaults, she's anxious also to discover what connection Banks may have to the case. But the DCI is frustratingly nowhere to be found.
Like 2003's Close to Home, Strange Affair adds some welcome bricks to Banks's back story, this time forcing him to reappraise a brother whom he had long resented and distrusted. Simultaneously, Robinson's latest police procedural delivers artfully contrived, intersecting story lines charged with rumors of international arms dealing, hints of misdeeds at a women's clinic, secondary players so shady they might be invisible after sundown, and insights into just how far Banks's career has distanced him from folks less steeped in the ugly side of mankind. An immensely satisfying mystery, filled with professional risks and personal regrets, this is truly an Affair to remember. --J. Kingston Pierce
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