Strange Affair (Inspector Alan Banks Series #15)

Strange Affair (Inspector Alan Banks Series #15)

by Peter Robinson


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Chief Inspector Alan Banks faces his most personal case from New York Times bestselling author Peter Robinson.

A bullet to the brain abruptly halted a terrified young woman's desperate flight. In her pocket is the name of a policeman whose own life was brutally invaded, mercilessly shaken, and very nearly erased—a policeman who has since gone missing.

The dead woman in the car had been running from something—but she didn't run far or fast enough. Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot would like to question the man the victim was apparently racing to meet: Annie's superior—and former lover—Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But Banks has vanished into the anonymous chaos of the city, drawn into a mad whirl of greed, inhumanity, and death, by a frantic phone call from the brother he no longer knows. Banks is unaware that the threads connecting a sinister kidnapping with a savage slaying are as thick as rope . . . and long enough for a haunted and broken rogue cop to hang himself.

One of his most, clever, twisting thrillers, Strange Affair attests once again why readers love and can’t get enough of Peter Robinson’s novels of suspense.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062431325
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/20/2016
Series: Inspector Alan Banks Series , #15
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 239,367
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 3.40(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Strange Affair
A Novel of Suspense

Chapter One

Was she being followed? It was hard to tell at that time of night on the motorway. There was plenty of traffic, lorries for the most part, and people driving home from the pub just a little too carefully, red BMWs coasting up the fast lane, doing a hundred or more, businessmen in a hurry to get home from late meetings. She was beyond Newport Pagnell now, and the muggy night air blurred the red tail lights of the cars ahead and the oncoming headlights across the road. She began to feel nervous as she checked her rear-view mirror and saw that the car was still behind her.

She pulled over to the outside lane and slowed down. The car, a dark Mondeo, overtook her. It was too dark to glimpse faces, but she thought there was just one person in the front and another in the back. It didn't have a taxi light on top, so she guessed it was probably a private hire car and stopped worrying. Some rich git being ferried to a nightclub in Leeds, most likely.

She overtook the Mondeo a little further up the motorway and didn't give it a second glance. The late night radio was playing Old Blue Eyes singing "Summer Wind". Her kind of music, no matter how old fashioned people told her it was. Talent and good music never went out of style as far as she was concerned.

When she got to Watford Gap services, she realized she felt tired and hungry, and she still had a long way to go, so she decided to stop for a short break. She didn't even notice the Mondeo pull in two cars behind her.

A few seedy looking people hung around the entrance; a couple of kids who didn't look old enough to drive stood smoking and playing the machines, giving her the eye as she walked past, staring at her breasts.

She went first to the ladies, then to the cafe, where she bought a ham and tomato sandwich and sat alone to eat, washing it down with a Diet Coke. At the table opposite, a man with a long face and dandruff on the collar of his dark suit jacket gave her the eye over the top of his glasses, pretending to read his newspaper and eat a sausage roll.

Was he just a common-or-garden variety perv, or was there something more sinister in his interest? she wondered. In the end, she decided he was just a perv. Sometimes it seemed as if the world was full of them, that she could hardly walk down the street or go for a drink on her own without some sad pillock who thought he was God's gift eyeing her up, like the kids hanging around the entrance, or coming over and laying a line of chat on her. Still, she told herself, what else could you expect at this time of the night in a motorway service station? A couple of other men came in and went to the counter for coffee-to-go, but they didn't give her a second glance.

She finished half the sandwich, dumped the rest and got her travel mug filled with coffee. When she walked back to her car she made sure that there were people around -- a family with two young kids up way up past their bedtime, noisy and hyperactive -- and that no-one was following her.

The tank was only a quarter full, so she filled it up at the petrol station, using her credit card right there, at the pump. The perv from the cafe pulled up at the pump opposite and stared at her as he put the nozzle in the tank. She ignored him. She could see the night manager in his office, watching through the window, and that made her feel more secure.

Tank full, she turned down the slip road and eased in between two articulated lorries. It was hot in the car, so she opened both windows and enjoyed the play of breeze they created. It helped keep her awake, along with the hot black coffee. The clock on the dashboard read 12:35 am. Only about two or three hours to go, then she would safe ...

Strange Affair
A Novel of Suspense
. Copyright © by Peter Robinson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Marilyn Stasio

“Smart and shapely ... immaculately constructed.”

Stephen King

“The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are, simply put, the best series now on the market.”

Otto Penzler

“Robinson actually seems to grow in front of our eyes, delivering books of greater complexity each time.”

Lady Antonia Fraser

“A happy discovery.”

Nevada Barr

“Stunningly complex and intricately plotted....Peter Robinson fools and entertains me with every twist.”

Dennis Lehane

“Deeply nuanced works of art.”

Customer Reviews

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Strange Affair (Inspector Alan Banks Series #15) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
AdmiralLHH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
British mysteries are my favorite read. Likable characters such as Inspector Banks. Good plot to keep the reader guessing
Risa15 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Inspector Banks is still recovering from the fire that almost killed him when he gets a strange call from his brother. He goes to London to find him but doesn't, just his cell phone. Also, there is a young woman found dead on a road with Bank's address in her pocket so that the police, Anne Cabbot want to contact him about her murder. As usual, I enjoyed this mystery by Robinson
pw0327 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one is awesome. I followed the series of Inspector Banks books from In A Dry Season onward and this one is probably the best so far. Part of the reason is that the protagonist, Alan Banks got fixed pretty good in the previous book -Playing With Fire. This story starts with him still recovering from all the psychological and physical wounds that he had incurred previously. You follow along with his struggles through his attempt at coming back to a place where he can be normal again, as well as the rebuilding of his home as well as his relationships with his co-workers, especially with Annie Cabbot. The story then forces him to re-establish or re-evaluate his relationsip with his younger brother, the evidence of the their relationship had been hinted at throughout the previous books, but this book places the relationship front and center. Robinson once again uses his signature plot device: the dual story and the intertwining of the twin narratives. Whereas previously Robinson used this device to tell two stories which are related in a philosophical sense, this time the two murders are intimately related and inextricably become the same investigation. Robinson builds the plot line and the tempo of the narrative brilliantly. This time, he is a little more guarded with his storyline so that he doesn't telegraph the ending as much as he did with Playing With Fire, which makes for a much more satisfying ending. This particular will be my personal favorite out of the series so far just because it involves so many emotional changes with the characters and the story line is so personal for Banks. Robinson has also started to flesh out the other detectives at Eastvale, giving them points of views, foiles, strengths and weaknesses. It makes me care a lot more about the story and it also makes the story much more complicated and real.
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Inspector Banks investigates Russian mafia while searching for his brother's killer. Interesting beginning but ending was anti-climatic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mediocre. some of the course of events were predictable. the prose is simple and easily understood. overall an average mystery read, probably good for junior high school levels to high school.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks of Eastvale, North Yorkshire is recuperating after he almost lost his life in a home fire set by Detective Annie Cabbot¿s psychopathic boyfriend. He lost everything in the fire and while on medical leave falls in a deep depression. When his brother Roy calls, leaving a message on the answering machine, he asks him for his help, saying his life might be in danger. When Banks can¿t get him on the phone, he travels to London but Roy is nowhere to be found.--- In Eastvale, a woman is found dead in her car, a bullet in her head. In her pocket is the address of Alan¿s former home that is being rebuilt. Annie tries to find Banks but he didn¿t report to anyone where he was going. After fruitless searching, Roy¿s body is found in the river with a bullet in his head. Alan and Annie discover the murdered woman was Roy¿s girlfriend, a clear link between the two cases. Now they have to find out what Roy was afraid of and what he sent his girlfriend to tell Alan.--- The Alan Banks Police procedurals are some of the best mystery novels on the market today. STRANGE AFFAIR has so many twists and turns and false leads that readers find themselves so totally absorbed in the novel that they will finish it in one sitting just to find out who killed Roy and his girlfriend and why. Peter Robinson is the master of the English police procedural with tantalizing, exciting and totally believable works.--- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Set in Yorkshire and London, England. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is still recuperating from the fire in the last novel. He is dealing with some deep depression issues as well. His brother, Roy, calls from London asking for Alan's help. Even though the brothers are not close, blood is thicker than water. So Alan returns Roy's call. After several attempts, in vain, to reach Roy, Alan travels to London and begins to search for his elusive brother. ............................................ DI Annie Cabbott is investigating the murder of Jennifer Clewes. The lady was found sitting in her car with a bullet in her head. On the body is a piece of paper with DCI Alan Banks's contact information. A link is found between Alan, Roy, and Jennifer. Chaos reins supreme. .................................................................... ...................... **** Unlike most of this series, not nearly enough investigating was done for my taste. The author DID give the readers information to whet their appetites, but he deals more with each character's backgrounds, personalities, and putting in some much needed bits of romance. Fans of Patricia Cornwell should take notice of this author's series. ****
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seems to me that a voice performer would stand in line to read a novel by award-winning author Peter Robinson. On the other hand, it also seems to me that authors would stand in line to have their work performed by Simon Prebble. Both experienced and thoroughly professional, Prebble has read books by everyone from Danielle Steele to Stephen Hawking. Whatever work he's delivering, he does so with perfect enunciation and thorough understanding. His voice performance of 'Strange Affair' ranks with the very best. English born and bred, Mr. Robinson has created an unforgettable character in Inspector Alan Banks. Many will remember that during our last meeting Banks almost lost his life in a fire that leveled his home. Now, we find him in the process of recovering from his loss. Not much time for that as he receives a call for help from his younger brother, Roy. The black sheep of the family, Roy has nonetheless been a financial success and lives in London. Perhaps we should say lived as when Banks tries to recontact Roy, there's no answer. It takes no time at all for Banks to go to his brother's house only to find it unlocked and empty. What he does find are a few hints to the life his brother has been leading. In a parallel plot a young woman is murdered in her car. When Detective Annie Cabbot arrives at the scene she finds a piece of paper in the dead woman's pocket - on it is the name of Alan Banks. Leave it to the ever resourceful Robinson to seamlessly blend this murder and the disappearance of Roy in a story that will leave listeners first intrigued and then totally surprised. A premier listen!