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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Like other reviewers I'm a huge fan of Robinson's earlier work (I live in Leeds and was even able to go to a book signing a few years ago when he came on a promotional tour). But if I'm honest I've felt Banks has been on borrowed time since "Friend of the Devil" which was more or less a sequel to the recently televised story (and one of Robinson's best books) "Aftermath" - I won't express my disappointment with how that translated to screen here!

All the stuff Robinson has put out from FOTD onwards (not counting the short story compilation "The Price of Love" which I found moderately entertaining), has been long drawn out and tedious to read - in fact since "Playing with Fire" I've almost had the feeling someone has given Robinson a quota of pages he must fill before he's even started writing!

I'm afraid "Bad Boy" hasn't improved on things much -

I've long ago given up watching the Banks website, waiting hungrily for the next release date, so it was a total surprise to me when I wandered into the crime section of my local book shop to find a nice fresh Robinson hardback sitting there, I got a twinge of the old excitement then saw the title: "Bad Boy" I have to say it annoyed me before I'd even picked the book up, it just sounded so cheesy! Never the less I dutifully bought it and struggled through.

Without wanting to give spoilers (readers especially won't want that here as there is precious little to spoil!) all I can say is you spend three quarters of the book expecting something to happen and nothing ever does! The book actually starts quite promisingly with Banks' holiday (it was totally throw-away stuff and simply there to please Banks fans, but I took the bate) however once he comes home things start to go down the pan. The characters are borderline ridiculous and from everything we have read about Tracy Banks over the last 20 years or so, it is just hard for the reader to accept she could be so idiotic all of a sudden.

The one good thing about it is Robinson seems to have finally listened to the almost unanimous opinion of his fans and toned down on the pages and pages which were getting dedicated to what Banks was playing on his ipod!

I'm giving Robinson one more chance with his next book, but if it disappoints, I think that will be the end of Banks for me.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2010
Have read and enjoyed all the previous Inspector Banks novels but this one is a long disappointment. The plot is very thin, the dialogue turgid -with long speeches instead of dialogue. Set pieces such as the torture scene sit uncomfortably within the framework of the story- out of context. Peter Robinson writes without confidence -he is relying heavily on a formula, rather than injecting life and sparkle.
His hero seems tired of life at the end when he says"But sometimes I think I've had enough. I'm getting a bit tired of it all."
Like Ian Rankin and Rebus, Peter Robinson also seems to have exhausted his hero and this reader.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2010
Murphy's Law seems to apply to the premise behind this novel. After a well-earned vacation touring the U.S. Southwest and the wonders of LA and San Francisco, DI Banks finds, upon his return to Eastvale, that an old friend has died after police tasered him, Banks' daughter is missing, and everything is in an uncontrolled mess.

It starts when a former neighbor of Banks discovers a gun which had been hidden by her daughter in her bedroom when visiting her parents. The mother visits the police station hoping to discuss the situation with Banks who, unfortunately, is still away. When the police raid the house, the woman's husband dies of a heart attack after the aforementioned taser incident; Banks' daughter, Tracy, infatuated with man who owned the gun (the "bad boy" of the title) warns him of the police inquiries and hides him in her father's cottage. And from that point on, as Banks returns, everything goes downhill.

The chase begins with Tracy's status changing from willing lover to hostage, and Banks and the rest of the police force struggling with the lack of clues as to where the fugitive and his captive are. As usual, Banks doesn't always play by the rules. But then, neither does the bad boy. Another well-written and off-beat story in the series, and highly recommended.
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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2010
Havng read all of Peter Robinson's Inspector Bank's books, in my opinion, this is the worst. His early books such as 'Cold is the Grave' and 'Wednesday's Child', to name but a few, were by far much better stories. I can remember reading them in one sitting, unable to put them down. But not so with this one. The story trundles along at a very slow pace. I use the term 'story' loosely as the whole book is quite simply about a girl who takes her boyfriends gun. When her mother finds it she reports her to the police. Cue DCI Alan Banks, who then tries to find the boyfriend. It really is as simple as that and I'm afraid it all gets very tedious.

'All the Colours of Darkness', Peter Robinson's previous novel was a turning point for me. It was unbelieveable, silly at times and the story was disjointed and uninteresting. Until then, I enjoyed all his Alan Bank's series and Robinson was one of my favourite authors. I wish he would return to form as I used to enjoy getting his latest book, knowing it would be an excellent read. I will probably purchase his next book in the hope that he will return to writing intense, complex and interesting DCI Alan Banks mysteries, but after 2 very disappointing books, this seems wishful thinking.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2010
Iam a big fan of peter Robinson and inspector Banks but I felt this novel was rather disappointing. The story was slow to start and never really got going. I was expecting twists that never transpired. However this will not prevent me from looking forward to the next book
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 August 2010
I've read all of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks novels, except All the Colours of Darkness which I decided not to buy after reading reviews on Amazon which alerted me to the excess of musical references, an aspect of the author's writings that I've always found irritating, plus the less than plausible story-line. I see that other reviewers of Bad Boy were disappointed by the novel, whereas I enjoyed it. It's certainly not the same class of some of his earlier novels, such as In a Dry Season or The Summer That Never Was: An Inspector Banks Novel. I thought the story hung together well and was pacy enough to have me turning the pages wanting to find out what happened next. There weren't too many diversion into Banks extraneous personal problems, except of course those concerning his daughter, which are central to this story.

By skipping the previous novel in the series I've obviously missed out on Banks failed relationship with Sophia and the transformation of his daughter Tracy from nice girl to aimless and rebellious drifter hanging out with drug dealers, which was a real surprise. I like the characters, DI Annie Cabbot and the laconic DS Winsome Jackman and am glad that Banks may be about to get back into a relationship with Annie

As seems par for the course in most detective fiction, Banks has to be a bit of a maverick, bending police protocol, with over-bearing superiors out to get him; and have failed personal relationships. A welcome change in this book, from those in the past, is that there aren't repeated references to smoking that used to make me think that product placement was on the cards. As other reviewers have noted the author has reduced the number of musical references, which is very welcome.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2010
This is a potboiler from Peter Robinson.

To be sure, many of the skills of the gifted storyteller are still in evidence, but the magic of the earlier books in the "Inspector Banks" series is missing. There is none of the atmosphere of the dales - this book could be set anywhere and in fact more of the author's gift for evoking location is lavished on San Francisco where Banks is somewhat irrelevantly found vacationing early in the book. The plot lacks intellectual challenge, there is no mystery to be solved and there are too many lapses in plausibility. Robinson relies too much on stock characters such as "Farmer" Fanthorpe, the would-be gentleman gangster, Superintendent Chambers, the overly enthusiastic investigator of Professional Standards, and the over-worked Dirty Dick of Special Branch (or whatever more shadowy organization he now inhabits). The psychological development of the main characters is purely recycling of themes from earlier books.

Towards the conclusion of "Bad Boy." Banks wearily wonders whether he should pack it all in. Perhaps it is time for Robinson to apply his formidable talent to something different, perhaps a novel set in his adopted home of Toronto? Maybe Winsome should ask for an exchange transfer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2010
I was looking forward to the new Insp Banks novel, but sad to say, this is turning out to be a hugely disappointing read. So much so, I doubt I shall continue with it and I very rarely leave a book unread once half way through. It is simply one cliche after another, so much so that at times it was painful to read. It's a shame that the author seems to be playing for the "popular" vote with little attempt to develop his characters any further. And the depiction of the current gun scene in Britain was farcical. Quite sad really.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2010
I agree totally with the other "2 star" reviewers. I have read all of the books in this series and this is the worse by far. there is a very very thin plot and the fact that an ordinary "well brought up" 24 year old girl would go off with the eponymous "bad boy" is just one of many unbelievable parts of the book. The fact that she has ample opportunity to escape once taken hostage, is overlooked in order to keep the "suspense" up i presume. Suspense? there is none. the ending is ridiculous, all of the characters are stereotypes and the writing is poor. I have read other books with a thin plot but, due to the narrative, characterisation and qualilty of the writing, I still enjoy them - this book fails to deliver on any of counts. A real flop!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2010
After the last book, which was unbelievable and a real mess, I had hoped this new one would be better: it wasn't. It seems this author is another who has 'gone off the boil' which is a shame but there's no point wasting any more time reading another.
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