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Bad Boy (Inspector Alan Banks Series #19)
     

Bad Boy (Inspector Alan Banks Series #19)

3.9 26
by Peter Robinson
 

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From New York Times bestselling author Peter Robinson comes this mesmerizing story-within-a-story—that will thrill his fans and bring him many new readers.

A distraught woman arrives at the Eastvale police station desperate to speak to Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But Banks is abroad, and the woman’s revelation of a loaded gun

Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Peter Robinson comes this mesmerizing story-within-a-story—that will thrill his fans and bring him many new readers.

A distraught woman arrives at the Eastvale police station desperate to speak to Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But Banks is abroad, and the woman’s revelation of a loaded gun hidden in her daughter Erin’s bedroom leads to a shocking fatality when a police armed-response team breaks into her house. The fallout will have dark consequences for Banks and his partner, DI Annie Cabbot. It turns out that Erin’s best friend is Banks’ own daughter, Tracy . . . who was last seen in the company of the weapon’s actual owner, a very bad boy indeed.

Now that his child is on the run with a psychopath, Banks finds himself caught in a bloody tangle of betrayal and murder. But the rogue DCI is a bit of a bad boy himself, and he’ll freely risk his life and career in the cause of love—and vengeance.

Thrilling, harrowing, and utterly compelling, Bad Boy showcases Peter Robinson’s masterful writing.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Robinson tries something different in his excellent 19th novel to feature Det. Chief Insp. Alan Banks (after All the Colors of Darkness) by keeping the Yorkshire policeman offstage for the first half of the book. Banks's daughter, Tracy, knows that her friend, Erin Doyle, is dating a bad boy. But she doesn't know how bad Jaff McCready is until the recovery of a gun at Erin's parents' home results in a fatal accident. Before Tracy knows what's happening, Jaff whisks her on an adventure, eventually hiding out at Banks's house while her father is on holiday in America. As Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot searches for Jaff, Tracy's infatuation turns sour when she finds Jaff's suitcase of drugs, money, and a gun, and becomes his hostage. When Banks returns to Yorkshire, he has to balance his roles as a cop and a father. Robinson deftly integrates Banks's personal life with an acute look at British attitudes about police, guns, and violence in this strong entry in a superb series. (Sept.)
Booklist
“Another outstanding crime novel from Robinson.”
Booklist (starred review) on Bad Boy
“Another outstanding crime novel from Robinson.”
Jeffery Deaver
“Robinson once again achieves the high bar he’s set in all his previous Inspector Banks books: gut-wrenching plotting alongside heart-wrenching portraits of the characters who populate his world, not to mention the top-notch police procedure. This one will stay with you for a long time.”
Joseph Wambaugh
“A murderous psychopath presents Alan Banks with the most intensely personal challenge of the maverick detective’s storied career. Superbly cinematic from the beginning to the explosive finale, this would be a thrilling movie.”
Strand magazine on Bad Boy
“Bad Boy is very, very good indeed.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch on Bad Boy
“A top-notch thriller that further advances Banks’ development as one of the most intriguing characters in detective fiction….With emotional literacy and inexorable momentum that builds tension to the breaking point, Robinson reaffirms his place in the top cadre of police-procedural writers.”
Booklist on Bad Boy
“Another outstanding crime novel from Robinson.”
Library Journal
. $25.99. MDCI Alan Banks's daughter, Tracy, has been feeling neglected lately. Her brother's music career has taken off, and she is still working in a bookstore while she tries to decide what she wants to do with her life. When suave and handsome bad boy Jaff McCready enters her life, she is ready for romance and vulnerable to his superficial charm. An illegal firearm found in her roommate's possession is traced to Jaff, and he convinces Tracy to leave the country with him. But she soon becomes his prisoner, as he holds her hostage in order to protect himself from the police. Banks must tread carefully if he is to save his daughter from this volatile and unstable young man. Verdict Branching out into new territory, Robinson's 19th installment in the Inspector Banks series (after All the Colors of Darkness) is more of a suspense story than a "whodunit." Excellent characterization and skillful plotting make this an engrossing read. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 4/1/10.]—Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs
Kirkus Reviews

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks returns from a reflective U.S. vacation to contend with the abduction of his daughter and the shooting of his female partner.

In the 19th novel in British author Robinson's series, the Yorkshire inspector has no sooner gotten over the emotional fallout of the terror attack and romantic betrayal of his last adventure than he is hit with a double dose of upsetting news: His 24-year-old daughter Tracy is being held captive by a drug dealer being sought on a gun charge, and his partner and former lover Annie Cabbot is in critical condition after being shot by the dealer. Complicating matters is the fact that Tracy and the dealer, Jaff, the slick boyfriend of one of her flat mates, were sexually involved before life on the lam turned bad. It's up to Banks and his supporting cast of Eastvale cops to link Jaff to an unsolved killing from several years back and a brutal gang involved in the sex trade. The threat to Tracy is kept at a low boil; even after Jaff ties her up and rapes her, in her father's bed, the two act like any sparring couple. Her acting out with drugs, piercings, an assumed name and an unstable bad boy because her father neglected her in favor of his rock-star son Brian is superficially handled. And Annie's recovery is never in doubt. But the recharging feelings between Banks and Annie raise expectations for the next installment.

A lightweight but entertaining outing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062008763
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Series:
Inspector Alan Banks Series , #19
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
50,623
File size:
628 KB

Read an Excerpt

1


By the end of August, the waterlogged Yorkshire countryside was a symphony of green and gold under a blue sky scribbled with white clouds. Heaven only knew how the farmers had managed to mow and bale the hay, as the rain seemed to have fallen for days without end, but somehow they had succeeded, and their neat straw cylinders dotted the fields. Bright tractors ploughed in the stubble and turned the earth a dark, fecund brown. Smells of the recent harvest and of the coming autumn chill mingled in the mild air. On the moors, the purple heather was in bloom. By the roadside, swallows gathered on the telephone wires preparing for their long flight to South Africa.
 
Annie Cabbot wished she could go with them as she drove the last few miles to work that Monday morning. A few days on a game reserve would do her the world of good, photographing and sketching giraffes, zebras, leopards, lions and elephants. Then perhaps a tour of the Winelands, a taste of fine Cape Town cuisine and nightlife.
 
But it was not to be. She had exhausted her entire holiday allowance for the year, apart from a few days that she planned to use to create occasional long weekends between now and Christmas. Besides, she couldn’t afford to go to South Africa; she would be hard pushed to pay for a mini-break in Blackpool. Lucky swallows.
 
The traffic came to a halt about half a mile from the big roundabout on the southern edge of Eastvale, and when Annie finally got close enough to see the fender-bender that was causing the delay, she was already late for work. A patrol car had arrived at the accident scene, so she felt she could safely leave the uniformed officers to deal with the obvious case of road rage between the two drivers, who were standing by their cars shouting at each other, fists raised. Traffic wasn’t her department.
 
Annie made her way through the increasingly built-up and busy streets around the college, where a few late summer students strolled across the green to morning lectures, rucksacks slung over their shoulders. From there, she cut down a long narrow street of three-storey redbrick Victorian houses, mostly converted into student flats, over to Market Street. When she reached the market square, she took the narrow lane between the buildings and parked at the back of the Tudor-fronted police station. She said hello to a couple of officers she recognized standing outside sneaking a quick smoke break, then swiped her card in the slot on the back door and entered Western Area Headquarters.
 
A couple of people greeted her when she walked into the Major Crimes squad room. Geraldine Masterson, their new probationary detective constable, told her that Winsome Jackman and Doug Wilson – known to most of his colleagues as “Harry Potter” due to his uncanny resemblance to Daniel Radcliffe – were already out interviewing witnesses to last night’s hit and run on the Lyndgarth Road. The incident had left two teenagers in hospital and one no doubt very shaken driver holed up at home, just waiting for the knock on the door, wishing he hadn’t had that one last drink for the road.
 
Annie had hardly made a dent in the accumulated paperwork when her phone rang. She put down her pen and picked up the handset. “DI Cabbot.”
 
It was the desk sergeant. “Someone to see DCI Banks,” he said. “A Mrs. Doyle.” There was a moment’s pause while the sergeant appeared to be conferring with the visitor, their voices muffled. “Mrs. Juliet Doyle,” he went on. “She says she knows the DCI. Says it’s urgent.”
 
Annie sighed. “All right. Send her up. Might as well have someone show her to DCI Banks’s office. It’s a bit more private there.”
 
“Will do, ma’am.”
 
Annie closed the thick folder of crime statistics on her desk and walked down the corridor to Banks’s office. The few occasions she had been in there recently had unnerved her even more than her brief visits to his cottage to water the plants, take in any parcels and flyers and make sure all was well. Banks’s absence seemed even more palpable in the cool silence and the slight musty smell of his office. His desk was empty except for the computer, which hadn’t been switched on in ages. A CD player/radio combination stood silently on one of his bookshelves next to a couple of tattered Kingsley Amis paperbacks he’d picked up from the second-hand bookshop in the market square a few days before he left. Annie moved the computer monitor aside so that she would have an unobstructed view of the person sitting opposite her. A young PC knocked at the door and showed the woman in.
 
“I thought this was Alan’s office,” Juliet Doyle said. “It has his name on the door. Who are you? I don’t mean to seem rude, but I specifically asked to see Alan.”
 
She seemed nervous, Annie thought, her movements jerky and birdlike as she took in the sparse room. “DCI Banks is on holiday,” Annie explained, standing up and extending her hand. “I’m DI Annie Cabbot. Can I help you?”
 
“I . . . I don’t know. I was expecting Alan. This is all so . . .” Juliet fingered the chain around her neck. A heavy gold and jade pendant hung from it in the lightly freckled cleft between her breasts. She was probably in her mid-forties, Annie guessed, smartly dressed, her clothes definitely not from any of the shops you would find in the Swainsdale Centre, more likely Harrogate or York, wavy blond hair with dark brown roots, tasteful makeup, still attractive, and not concerned about showing a little cleavage. Her skirt was a modest knee-length, legs nicely tapered beneath it, and she wore a tan suede jacket in an elegant hourglass cut. Annie wondered if she fancied Banks, if there had been something between them.
 
“Please sit down,” Annie said. After a slight hesitation, Juliet perched at the edge of the chair opposite her. “Is it anything I can help you with, or was it something personal?”
 
“That’s why I was hoping to see Alan,” Juliet went on. “You see, it’s both, really. Oh, this is so difficult. When will he be back?”
 
“Not until next week, I’m afraid.”
 
Juliet Doyle seemed to consider this for a few moments, still fidgeting with her chain, as if debating whether the matter could wait that long.
 
 “Would you like some tea? Coffee?” Annie asked.
 
“No, thank you.”
 
“I can’t help you if I don’t know what it’s about,” Annie went on. “You say it’s both police business and personal, is that right?”
 
Juliet nodded. “That’s why it’s so hard. I mean, Alan would understand.” She had shifted her attentions from the necklace to the chunky diamond ring on the third finger of her left hand, twisting it around and around. Her fingernails were bitten low and painted pink.
 
“Why don’t you try me?” Annie said. “Just tell me what the problem is.”
 
“Alan would know what to do.
 
Annie leaned back in the chair and linked her hands behind her head. She felt as if she was in for a long haul. “Perhaps you could start by telling me exactly what your relationship is with DCI Banks?”
 
Juliet appeared startled. “Relationship? We don’t have a relationship.”
 
“I simply meant how you came to know one another.”
 
“Oh, that. I see. Yes. I’m sorry. We’re neighbours. Were.”
 
Annie happened to know that Banks had no neighbours anywhere close to his Gratly cottage, so she assumed that Juliet Doyle was referring to the past, perhaps when he had lived on Laburnum Way, about a mile down Market Street from the police station. But Banks hadn’t lived there for ten years. Had they kept in touch all that time? Was there something she was missing? “When was this?” she asked.
 
“When he and Sandra were still together. I still think it’s so tragic that they parted like that, don’t you? Such a lovely couple.”
 
“Yes,” said Annie, whose only experiences of Sandra had been humiliating and more than a little frightening.
 
“Anyway,” Juliet went on. “We were friends and neighbours. That’s why I thought he might be able to help me.”
 
“Mrs. Doyle,” said Annie, “if this is a police matter, you really should tell me. Are you in some sort of trouble?”
 
Juliet flinched as if she’d been tapped on the shoulder by surprise. “Trouble? Me? No. Of course not.”
 
“Then what is it?”
 
Juliet scanned the office as if she suspected Banks was hiding behind a filing cabinet or in a cupboard. “Are you sure Alan’s not here?”
 
“Positive. I told you. He’s on his holidays.”
 
Juliet twisted her diamond ring again and let the silence stretch. Just when Annie was about to get up and show her the door, she blurted out, “It’s about Erin.”
 
“Erin?”
 
“Yes. Our daughter. Me and my husband, that is. Patrick. He sent me. He’s stopping home with Erin.”
 
“Is Erin in trouble?”
 
“I suppose she is. Yes. You don’t know what they get up to, do you? Do you have any children?”
 
“No.”
 
“Well, you wouldn’t know, then. It’s too easy to blame the parents, the way they do in the papers and on television. But when you just don’t know . . .” She let the sentence trail.
 
“I’m going to ring for some tea,” said Annie. The good old English panacea, she thought as she picked up the phone and asked for a pot to be sent up, a nice cup of tea. This was clearly going to take some time, and if Juliet Doyle didn’t need a cuppa, Annie certainly did. Maybe they’d bring chocolate digestives too, if she was lucky.
 
“Erin lives in Leeds,” Juliet said. “In Headingley. Hardly a den of iniquity, you might say, but you’d be surprised.”
 
“Like most big cities, it can be a dangerous place if you’re not careful,” said Annie. “But I must tell you, we’re North Yorkshire. If the problem is in Leeds, then you need to –”
 
“No, no. That’s not it. You don’t understand.”
 
Of course I don’t understand, Annie thought, gritting her teeth. I’d have to be a bloody mind reader to understand. “Tell me, then,” she said.
 
The tea arrived. A welcome interruption. No chocolate digestives, though. Normally, Annie would have asked or made some sort of comment to the young PC who brought in the tray, but it wouldn’t do to take up a petty issue like the lack of chocolate biscuits with Juliet Doyle sitting opposite her.
 
“Erin’s a good girl. I think she must have fallen in with a bad crowd,” said Juliet, accepting the cup Annie handed her, adding milk and sugar with slightly shaking hands.
 
“How old is she?”
 
“Twenty-four.”
 
“Working?”
 
“Yes. As a waitress. It’s a nice restaurant. Very upmarket. Down in The Calls, with all those fancy new boutique hotels and waterfront flats. And she makes decent enough money. But even so . . .” She shrugged.
 
“It’s not what you expected for her?”
 
“Not with a good upper second in psychology.”
 
“Times are hard. Perhaps she’s just waiting for the right job to come along.”
 
“I’d like to think so, but . . .”
 
“What?”
 
“Well, I think she’s more likely been wasting her time. It’s been two years now since she got her degree. She took a gap year before she went.”
 
“Does she have a boyfriend?”
 
“As far as I know, she still does,” said Juliet. “Not that we’ve met him, or even that she’s told us much about him. Mostly we keep in touch through phone calls, texts. You know what the young are like. The last thing they think of sometimes is visiting their parents unless they need something, or it’s a special occasion.”
 
“Young people can be very secretive,” Annie agreed.
 
“She’s a grown woman. I was married when I was her age.”
 
“But times change,” said Annie. “Kids aren’t so quick to leave the nest these days.”
 
“Erin’s not a parasite, if that’s what you mean. She was happy enough to get away from home in the first place. Couldn’t get out fast enough. That wasn’t the problem.”
 
“Then what is?” Annie said, close to the end of her patience. She was beginning to think that this was some sort of domestic matter, and she was starting to feel resentful that she was left not only to do Banks’s job while he was away but to handle his personal problems too. “Why are you here? What did you think Alan could do for you?”
 
Juliet’s back stiffened. “He’d know what to do, wouldn’t he?”
 
“About what?” Annie knew she was almost shouting, but she couldn’t help herself.
 
“About the gun,” said Juliet Doyle, head bowed, speaking so softly that Annie could barely hear her. “She has a gun.”
 
 
“Tell me how it happened.”
 
Detective Superintendent Catherine Gervaise was sitting on the edge of her desk with her arms folded, and the way she towered over Annie and Juliet Doyle made Annie feel as if they were two truant schoolgirls brought up before the headmistress. Gervaise could have that effect when she wanted. Annie had her notebook open and her pen in her hand, waiting. No matter what action the situation warranted, there was likely to be a lot of red tape ahead, and she had to get it down right.
 
“I was dusting and cleaning her room,” Juliet began. “Honestly, I wasn’t prying. Erin was downstairs watching breakfast television. I like to keep a neat and clean house, and it was my morning to do the upstairs, so I didn’t see any harm in it.”
 
“So Erin still lives at home?” Gervaise asked.
 
“No. As I told Ms. Cabbot here, she lives in Leeds.”
 
“Would you give us the address, please?”
 
“Of course.” Juliet gave an address in Headingley and Annie wrote it down. She knew the area and recognized the street name.
 
“What is she doing in Eastvale?”
 
“She . . . she didn’t really say.”
 
“What did she say?”
 
“Just that she needed to come home for a while. I thought she might have split up with her boyfriend or something.”
 
“Did you ask her if she had?”
 
“Yes, but she just told me to mind my own business. She isn’t usually so rude. We brought her up to be polite and respectful to her elders. But she’s upset. I thought if I left her alone, she would tell me what was bothering her eventually. She usually does.”
 
“Are you very close?”
 
“I wouldn’t say very close, but I like to think that we are close, yes, that she feels she can talk to me, tell me anything. That’s why it was such a shock, finding the gun.”
 
“What do you know about her boyfriend?”
 
“Just what she told me on the phone, really.”
 
“What’s his name?”
 
“Geoff. I don’t know his last name. They only use first names, don’t they?”
 
“How long has she been going out with him?”
 
“About six months.”
 
“Do you think he’s been a bad influence on her?”
 
“Quite the opposite, really. From what she says, he’s a nice lad, and he’s done very well for himself, not like her usual scruffy student types. And I must say, I’ve noticed a great change for the better in her appearance on the few occasions I have seen her since they’ve been together.”
 
“Like what?”
 
“Her dress sense, for a start. Her whole style. Much smarter. For so long she dressed like a typical student, but she turned up for her dad’s birthday in a nice summer frock with a lovely heart pendant around her neck. She never used to wear jewellery unless it was the cheap kind, plastic coloured beads and the like. She’s had her hair done, too. You can tell she went to a good hairdresser. It’s a professional job.”
 
“When was this?”
 
“July the thirtieth.”
 
“Do you know what this Geoff does for a living?”
 
“He’s in sales and marketing. That’s all I know. And he’s got a company car. A BMW.”
 
“Sounds like a good catch,” said Gervaise. “What was Erin like when she came back home? What was her state of mind? You said she was upset.”
 
“Yes. She seemed distant, distracted. Quiet and withdrawn.”
 
“Is that like her?”
 
“No. She’s usually quite normal, when it comes to conversation and such. Always has been. Cheerful. Quick to smile. Gregarious, even. But this time she’s been acting like a hermit, staying in her room.”
 
“Did she ask you for any help at all?”
 
Juliet frowned. “What do you mean? What sort of help?”
 
“Financial, emotional, medical. Anything. Could she be in trouble?”
 
“You mean pregnant?”
 
“It’s a possibility,” said Gervaise. “Though that wasn’t what I meant specifically. Would she have been able to talk to you about something like that?”
 
“I’d like to think so.”
 
“How long has she been back here in Eastvale?”
 
“Since Friday morning. We kept her room. Always. Just as it was. Well, tidier.”
 
“Lots of parents do that,” Gervaise said. “It offsets the sense of loss when their children leave home. Sometimes it’s hard to let go.”
 
Annie knew that the superintendent had two children of her own, though it was hard to imagine it at the moment, as she perched there in her pinstripe skirt, buttoned-up jacket and crisp white blouse, all business.
 
“Yes,” said Juliet.
 
“Did you get the impression that this time it’s more than a passing visit?”
 
“Definitely.”
 
“And is this the first time she’s come to stay for any length of time since she left home?”
 
“Yes.”
 
Gervaise paused. “Now, about the gun you found on top of the wardrobe,” she went on.
 
“It was near the back, where you couldn’t possibly see it unless you stood on a chair or a stepladder. It was wrapped in a tea cloth. I suppose she thought it was safe up there. I mean, she doesn’t really think about housework or anything like that.”
 
“It would have been if it hadn’t been for your thoroughness,” said Gervaise. “You did the right thing coming to us, Mrs. Doyle.”
 
“I don’t know,” Juliet said, shaking her head. “My own daughter. I feel like such a . . . Judas. What will happen to her?”
 
Annie had deeply conflicted feelings towards Juliet Doyle at that moment. On the one hand, the poor woman was turning in her own daughter, and she must be going through hell. Whether Juliet was aware of it or not, Annie knew there was a mandatory five-year sentence for possession of a handgun, and the courts tended to be strict in its application, though there had recently been some complaints about overly lenient judges. Perhaps they would take special circumstances into account for a young woman with no prior record, but however forgiving they were, Erin Doyle was looking at a prison sentence of some sort, rather than probation or community service. And she would come out with a criminal record. Juliet probably didn’t suspect this. Still, Annie reminded herself, as yet they had absolutely no evidence that Erin Doyle was guilty of anything.
 
“It’s a very serious matter,” Gervaise went on. “Guns are dangerous weapons, and the more we get off the streets, the safer our towns and cities will be.”
 
It was the party line, Annie knew, and Gervaise was clearly trying to make Juliet feel more at ease with her betrayal, feel like a right-thinking citizen. But Annie sensed that Juliet Doyle was getting seriously worried now, and beginning to regret that she had come. She was probably thinking that she and her husband could have dealt with the whole mess themselves, disposed of the gun, chucked it in the river, given Erin a good talking-to. In a way, Annie thought, she was right.
 
For a mother to take such a step was almost inconceivable to Annie, no matter how much police policy encouraged it, or how much, as an officer of the law and a campaigner against gun crime, she was supposed to applaud it. While a part of her admired Juliet’s sacrifice to duty, to the greater good, another part of her felt disgust for what the woman was doing. Though Annie had never raised a child herself, she didn’t think she would be capable of betraying her daughter. She was certain that her own mother would never have done such a thing, though she had died when Annie was very young. Her father would have given her a stern talking-to and thrown the gun in the sea, but he would never have turned her in to the police either. But, she reminded herself, Juliet Doyle had come here asking for Banks’s help. No doubt she had hoped that he would be able to deal with the matter unofficially, off the record.
 
“What happens now?” Juliet asked.
 
Gervaise moved away from the edge of her desk and went to sit behind it. She didn’t seem quite so imposing there, and Annie felt the atmosphere lighten a little. “There are procedures to be followed,” Gervaise said. “Where is the gun now?”
 
“In the kitchen. Patrick has it. We didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to carry it in the street, and I must admit the idea made me very nervous.”
 
“And your daughter?”
 
“She’s with him. We agreed this was the best way. They would stay at the house, I would come here and talk to Alan, ask him to go back with me, but . . .”
 
“Yes, I understand that DCI Banks was a neighbour,” Gervaise said. “Don’t worry, we’re all professionals here. We’ll deal with this just as he would. I know it’s much more pleasant to have a familiar face around in a situation like this, but we all want the same thing. First of all, are you absolutely certain it’s a real gun? You have no idea how many people we get reporting replicas or ball-bearing guns.”
 
“Patrick said it is. He used to belong to a gun club, many years ago, after grammar school. I don’t know about such things.”
 
“Did he also happen to check if it’s loaded?”
 
“He says it is. He handled it very carefully.”
 
“Good,” said Gervaise. “Did he unload it?”
 
“No. He said it was best to leave it as it was, not to contaminate the evidence.”
 
Wonderful, thought Annie. Another one been watching too many episodes of CSI. A loaded gun. Now they would have to bring in the Firearms Support Unit for certain. It would have made more sense, and been much safer, if Patrick Doyle had unloaded the gun. Annie also knew that most people rarely act sensibly during crises. After all, how often do you find a loaded gun in your daughter’s bedroom?
 
“Did he happen to mention what kind of gun it is?” Gervaise asked.
 
“He said something about a semi-automatic. Can that be right?”
 
Annie knew very little about firearms, but she knew that a semi-automatic used a removable magazine to hold cartridges, rather than a cylinder. It usually held several rounds of ammunition, and it fired one shot each time you pulled the trigger.
 
“So when you left the house,” Gervaise went on, “your husband and daughter were in the kitchen and the gun was on the table?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Still wrapped?”
 
“Patrick wrapped it up in the tea cloth again after he’d examined it, yes.”
 
“What state of mind was Erin in then?”
 
“She was upset, obviously. Angry. Tearful. Frightened.”
 
“Did you ask her who she’d got the gun from?”
 
“Of course. But she wouldn’t say.”
 
Gervaise pursed her lips and thought for a moment, then she glanced at Annie and stood up. “Thank you,” she said to Juliet Doyle. “I’m going to ring for someone to take care of you for the time being while we deal with the problem of the gun. That has to be our priority, you understand. We need to get that loaded gun out of your house and into safekeeping, and there are strict procedures we need to follow.” She picked up the telephone and talked to the officer on the front desk.
 
Juliet looked pleadingly towards Annie. “Will you stay with me?” she asked.
 
“I’m afraid I need DI Cabbot,” said Gervaise. “She’s the only other senior officer I have here at the moment. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure you’re nice and comfortable with WPC Smithies in the canteen.”
 
“Can’t I go home?”
 
“Not just yet,” said Gervaise. “Not until we’ve cleared the premises of the firearm.”
 
“But can’t I go with you?”
 
“I’m afraid not,” said Gervaise. She touched Juliet’s arm. “Don’t worry. I told you, you’ll be well taken care of.”
 
“Can I ring my husband?”
 
“Sorry,” said Gervaise. “It might seem petty and silly to you, but we can’t allow any contact until the matter is settled and the firearm is safely in our possession.”
 
“But what harm could it possibly do if I talked to my husband?”
 
It could do a lot of harm, Annie thought. It could precipitate an argument between father and daughter in the house, for example, and with a loaded gun lying on the table and tempers no doubt already stretched to breaking point, that could prove fatal. But before Gervaise could answer the question, if in fact she was intending to, WPC Smithies knocked at the door and escorted a reluctant Juliet Doyle to the canteen.
 
Gervaise beckoned Annie to stay. “We’ll do this by the book, Annie. I don’t want any guns on my patch, and I certainly don’t want any accidents with them due to haste or negligence. Is that clear?”
 
“Yes, ma’am. Want me to log the incident and call in an Armed Response Vehicle?”
 
“Yes. And get one of the DCs to run a check on the Doyles, especially the daughter. Everything seems hunky-dory on the surface, but find out if we’ve any cause for alarm. I’ll ring ACC McLaughlin and he’ll no doubt get in touch with the Deputy Chief Constable. I also want to arrange for the Leeds police to search Erin’s house. I hardly think she’s an arms dealer, but we’d better cover it. Let’s get this in motion. The longer we delay, the more chance there is of something going wrong.”
 
 
It wasn’t the first time Annie had witnessed an armed police raid. She had been involved in two of them in London a few years earlier. The first had gone smoothly, but the second had been a disaster. Shots had been fired and two men had been killed. This time she felt much stranger, being just down the road from the police station, across from Banks’s old suburban semi. It all seemed so ordinary. A black cat picked its way through a flower bed; people passed by the end of the street with their shopping and paused to see what was happening.
 
Annie sat silently in an unmarked police car with Detective Superintendent Gervaise and waited for the Armed Response Vehicles to arrive. She almost wished she smoked. It would be something to do to help pass the time. Instead, she just gazed out at the bay-windowed semis with their low-walled gardens, pebble-dash and trim lawns, and she realized she found it hard to imagine Banks ever living here as a family man. To her, he had always been very much a lone figure, even when they had had their brief romance. Now she couldn’t fathom him at all. Something had changed in him, something fundamental had broken, and she wasn’t sure if it could ever be mended.
 
Two Volvo T5s parked at the junction with Market Street. Each Armed Response Vehicle from the Firearms Support Unit comprised two Authorised Firearms Officers, or AFOs, in full Personal Protective Equipment, carrying pr-24 batons, rigid handcuffs and CS spray, in addition to Glock side arms and tasers. They would have Heckler & Koch MP5 carbines locked in the boots of their Volvos, along with an array of other lethal weapons.
 
Laburnum Way was a cul-de-sac about a hundred yards in length, so their arrival effectively cut off the street. Two patrol cars were parked at the far end. People were already watching at their windows.
 
The four AFOs had already been briefed on the layout of the house, as provided by Juliet Doyle, should they need to effect entry. They didn’t expect to have to do that, however, as Patrick Doyle and his daughter knew where Juliet had gone, and they were expecting a police visit.
 
Annie thought one of the team members was a woman, but it was hard to tell behind all the body armour and equipment she was carrying. Another car pulled up and Mike Trethowan, the Firearms Cadre’s superintendent, also wearing full PPE, spoke briefly with his officers then came over to join Annie and Gervaise.
 
“Any change?” he asked.
 
“None,” said Gervaise. “According to our information, they’re just sitting there in the kitchen waiting for us to arrive.”
 
“And the kitchen is where?”
 
“Back of the house. Down the hall, door off to the right.”
 
The superintendent sniffed the air, nodded and went back to his team.
 
This wasn’t a firearms hostage situation or a fatal shooting. So far, nothing had happened, and the procedure was a simple one. As it appeared that no one was intent on using the firearm, and that the situation was more or less under the control of the girl’s father, the uniformed officers would knock at the door and shout for Patrick and Erin Doyle to come out. Once they appeared, they would be asked to hand over the weapon in question and step away. It was simply a matter of being on guard and using the usual extra care and caution around firearms. The house was certainly quiet enough from the outside.
 
Things started to go wrong right from the start, when no one answered the door. Because of the natural tension when firearms are involved, everyone was a little impatient, but even Annie had to admit that a pensioner using a walker could have got there by the time Superintendent Trethowan recalled the local officers and sent two armed men around the back and two up the front path. Annie glanced at Gervaise, whose expression was set, teeth clenched, Cupid’s bow mouth almost a single straight red line.
 
Getting no response to their shouts, the AFOs used a battering ram on the door, which splintered open, and the two officers rushed inside, making as much noise as they could. Within seconds, they had disappeared from view, and after a brief silence, Annie heard a muffled shout and then a clicking sound, like some distant cicada chattering in the trees, followed by a scream and a lot of shouting and banging about.
 
She and Gervaise jumped out of the car and dashed for the garden, but Superintendent Trethowan, outside the house, raised his hand to warn them to stay back, then he went inside. Annie could hear the other two officers breaking in at the back, then more shouting, the sound of a chair or a table crashing over, and finally another loud scream, a different voice this time.
 
Annie felt her heart beating so hard and fast that she thought it would explode inside her chest. She was shaking all over. For what seemed like ages, nothing happened. The house fell silent again, apart from the sounds of the team walking about inside, doors opening and closing. Finally, Trethowan came out with two officers, and the three of them walked towards the van.
 
“What happened?” Gervaise asked as they passed by.
 
But Trethowan simply shook his head. Annie couldn’t see his expression because of the protective headgear.
 
About thirty seconds later, someone shouted the all-clear, and another officer came out carrying a small item wrapped in a tea cloth. So that was what it was all about, Annie thought. So tiny. So deadly. And from what she could see as the man passed right by her, the tea cloth had a map of the Yorkshire Dales printed on it. A moment later, the final two armed response officers came out, dragging between them a struggling and screaming young woman in rigid handcuffs: Erin Doyle. Then came the sound of an ambulance speeding towards them down Market Street.
 
“Oh, shit,” said Gervaise. “Here we go.”


From the Hardcover edition.

What People are Saying About This

Joseph Wambaugh
“A murderous psychopath presents Alan Banks with the most intensely personal challenge of the maverick detective’s storied career. Superbly cinematic from the beginning to the explosive finale, this would be a thrilling movie.”
Jeffery Deaver
“Robinson once again achieves the high bar he’s set in all his previous Inspector Banks books: gut-wrenching plotting alongside heart-wrenching portraits of the characters who populate his world, not to mention the top-notch police procedure. This one will stay with you for a long time.”

Meet the Author

One of the world’s most popular and acclaimed writers, Peter Robinson is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Inspector Banks series; he has also written two short-story collections and three standalone novels, which combined have sold more than ten million copies around the world. Among his many honors and prizes are the Edgar Award, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award. He divides his time between Toronto and England.

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Bad Boy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
Peter Robinson writes a good mystery. Full stop. However, this novel in the series reminds us of the difficulties of crafting a believable story--keeping the characters true to their natures while adding complications and fixes without adding too many extraneous details. There were a couple times in this novel when I found myself watching Robinson struggle with a plot line. He managed admirably in the end, but the seams did show a bit. Not so much as to put us off him. It's all part of reading a long series. Our main man, Inspector Banks, was in California (!) for the beginning of the novel, and I must admit, my interest spiked to think we might get unvarnished insights into the American way of life from the sometimes impolitic police inspector. Alexis de Tocqueville he was not. But the story careened into mayhem in England without him on site, and then was brought to heel when he returned. I'll always look forward to more of Peter Robinson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is yet another tour de force for Peter Robinson's flawed modern hero-policeman. The writerly skill with which Robinson mixes descriptions of mundane modern police work and the colorful life in the local pubs, ("...a pint and a pie..."),exposes us to the day to day lives of his cast of players, while leading us down the twisting path of uncovering the work of the bad guys. Despite the obvious value to a reader of some previous knowledge of character and context, one can easily pick up any of Robinson's Inspector Banks stories, and become immediately enveloped by the angst of locale and story line. In particular, if you know any anglophiles these Robinson books are for them.
TimAitch More than 1 year ago
Bad Boy has a complex plot, many characters, and few flaws. A fairly straightforward murder expands into a web of baffling interconnected criminal activity, which Annie and Alan struggle to decipher. Buy this book, you won't be disappointed.
BookLoverCT More than 1 year ago
I'm going to go back and read the earlier Inspector Alan Banks books. I have read about seven of this series already and want to go back and read many more. I don't think the first six are available in Nook format, but I will start with book #7.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Juliet Doyle has come to the Eastvale Police Station to speak with Inspector Alan Banks. You see, they used to be neighbors many years ago and she trusts her old neighbor to help with a family "situation." When she arrives at the station, she's disappointed to learn that Inspector Banks has taken a holiday - all the way to the United States. Banks' partner, Annie Cabbot, steps in to help the woman who is reluctant to speak with a stranger. Eventually, Annie is able to extract from Juliet the fact that her daughter Erin has a gun in her bedroom. This is a criminal offense in England so the police send an armed team to retrieve the gun. Juliet had simply wanted Inspector Banks to slip over to their house and defuse the situation. What she gets is an explosive situation that leaves one person dead. Erin's gun is soon traced to her boyfriend, Jaffar McCready, a young man with a rather seedy past. By the time the police get to Jaff's apartment, he's long gone. The catch is that he made his escape with the help of Erin's roommate, Tracy Banks. Yes, Tracy is the daughter of Inspector Banks. Tracy originally thought Jaff was simply running to avoid arrest as the owner of the retrieved gun, and by the time she learns the truth, it's too late - she's the man's hostage. Enter Inspector Banks who must solve the mystery behind Jaff's criminal past if he's to find the pair's whereabouts. Robinson is at his best in Bad Boy as the story moves briskly and easily draws the reader into the mystery. This is much more than a story about a stolen gun - it involves gangsters, drugs and a criminal from Banks' past. While the big climax scene seemed a bit too easily resolved, the suspense throughout the rest of the book was quite satisfying. If you love Inspector Banks to the point of wanting to read books that deal solely with his exploits, this may not be your favorite book in the series. He apparently likes to take long vacations as he is away for about half the book. There are little snippets of his time in the States, but the primary focus for about 150 pages is Annie Cabbot and her evolving detective skills. I enjoyed learning more about Annie and felt the author did a good job of developing her character. I hope to see her play a more prominent role in future books. Quill says: A thoroughly enjoyable addition to the Inspector Banks series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Tracy Banks believes her friend Erin Doyle is dating a nasty person Jaff McCready. Erin's mom would agree with that assessment as she finds an illegal gun amongst Erin's possession. She reports this to the Eastvale police. A charmer, Jaff persuades Tracy to flee the country with him and though she should know better she agrees to go with him. Jaff and Tracy hide in the Yorkshire house of her father Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks while is in the States. Meanwhile Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot leads the investigation into Jaff's whereabouts. Tracy opens up Jaff's suitcase to find it filled drugs, money and a gun. His allure ends for her so he turns ugly holding her hostage even as her dad returns from overseas to find his daughter in danger. This is an excellent entry in the long running Banks police procedural series even with the lead playing at best a tertiary role (being overseas) in the first half of the novel. Even with the hero away, the story line is fast-paced throughout and when he returns the DCI conflicts between being the father of a hostage and the cop working a hostage situation arises. With an underlying theme of how the British feel about guns (and the gun laws) accentuated by the actions of Erin's mom, Peter Robinson affirms what his fans already know that you can bank on him for a powerful tale. Harriet Klausner
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Another in the continuing Inspector Banks series...good story, keeps you reading, the descriptions of Banks' musical interests and of the locales add personality and color.
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