Strange Affair by Peter Robinson

strangeEach time I read a DCI Banks novel I think I will jump right to the next one. I love this guy! But then I realize I will be caught up and have to wait for the next publication so I am slowly savoring each novel, reading something else in between these books. It’s great that Peter Robinson writes these novels in real time. When I started with Gallows View (Book #1) Alan Banks had just moved to Yorkshire, his children were in school, he was in a happy marriage and his career was on the right path.

I just finished Strange Affair (Book #15) and so much has changed. Banks is, naturally, older and has had some boost in rank. His kids are grown and one is in college. It’s been nice reading along watching the progressions.

Strange Affair starts off with a woman driving away from London, obviously frightened for her life as she expresses she will be safe in just a few hours. Before you get too many pages into the book she is found dead, still in her vehicle, with a single gunshot wound to her head. Her purse and cell phone are missing but in her back pocket is a hastily written note with Alan Banks’ name and address.

Banks can’t be located because he has driven off to London in search of his brother Roy. A day earlier Roy called Banks and left a voice message that he was in danger and he needed help. When big brother Alan couldn’t reach Roy he decided to drive to London. He didn’t tell anyone about Roy’s call and he didn’t call in to the police station to let them know he’d be gone. With the discovery of a dead woman who was headed toward Banks’ Yorkshire address and him now missing, the Eastvale police have him as an unofficial suspect.

Most of this story line takes place in London. We alternate between Banks looking for his brother and DI Annie Cabbot looking into the murder of the young woman. Not too far into the book you see they are connected, both the murder and Roy’s disappearance. You also see a more reflective side of Alan Banks as he’s working though his depression over a house fire (Book # 14) and him getting to know more about his brother.

There are 22 DCI Banks books currently published. I will be on to #16 soon and once I catch up, I will one of the eager fans waiting for the next publication.

For my representative meal I made a chicken, sausage, potato and tomato bake.  Wine was the choice of drink as DCI Banks is off his whiskey for a while.

Recipe may be found at Squirrel Head Manor…. HERE.

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Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday
The British Book Challenge at The Overflowing Library

Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking Series

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A Necessary End by Peter Robinson

This is my third book in Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks series. The locale is once again in Eastvale, North Yorkshire. This one focuses on the murder of a fellow constable during a demonstration which turned violent. The material was a bit dated but then this was written over 15 years ago. Still, it had me engrossed and I read it in record time. It starts with an anti-nuclear demonstration on the town square and gets out of hand as the police attack the demonstrators. One of the constables, PC Gill, is killed with a knife during the fracas and subsequent arrests of the demonstrators.

For political reasons, a special investigator is sent up from London, Dick Burgess also known as Dirty Dick. He is a reprehensible character and the sort of cop that gives so many a bad name. He uses illegal methods, has the morals of an alley cat and honestly doesn’t care if they have arrested the right man in connection with the killing – as long as they have an arrest to appease the public. I disliked his persona immensely as did the main characters in the book.

Most of the suspicion centers on a communal farm named Maggie’s Farm, housing artists and political activists who have no love of the police. There are several characters you feel empathetic towards and in Robinson’s usual style, you don’t know who the culprit is until the end. Lots of character development and there was a bit of food mentioned in this one too.

It was the cream tea which grabbed my attention besides being tempted by chocolate mousse, roasted lamb, Steak au Poivre and brandy.

Trying to remember back to our trip to England in 1999 where we were schooled on the proper way to layer the strawberries and cream…I failed. It was still good, mind you, but yes……the cream is spread on the scone first, followed by the strawberry jam on top. I ate two, just to be sure it was properly prepared. We had good Yorkshire tea too.

Next up will be reviews on book three of the Inspector Banks series, a Cuban Cookbook review and a Nora Ephron book.

Adding my review to Goodreads Goodreads and Beth Fish Reads.