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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Banks returns to the smoke
First of all I should like to warn prospective readers of this fine book that you should read some of his earlier books first because this novel will spoil the plots...
I really like the Banks books but this is rather naughty of Mr Robinson to be so indulgent with his other books. Not all of us read these books in the order they were published.
So I warn you...
Published on 29 April 2005 by Wingnutrustee

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice development of a familiar character
I've read a number of Peter Robinson books, and enjoy them as relaxation if finding them a little bit lightweight. In Strange Affair however, a story about Inspector Banks and his family - with the plot revolving around the disappearance of his brother - leads to deeper development of his character and I found it much more satisfying as a result.

If you have...
Published on 18 Aug. 2006 by lmhh

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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Banks returns to the smoke, 29 April 2005
First of all I should like to warn prospective readers of this fine book that you should read some of his earlier books first because this novel will spoil the plots...
I really like the Banks books but this is rather naughty of Mr Robinson to be so indulgent with his other books. Not all of us read these books in the order they were published.
So I warn you read these two first:
Dead Right
and
A Dedicated Man
A couple of other points... it is getting a little tiresome having detectives whose family and friends are the subject of the crime.
This book deals with some pretty horrendous subjects so it is not for the squeamish. OK Banks has had some real baddies to deal with but this one is especially nasty.
Finally, why oh why have they not made Banks novels into TV dramas?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice development of a familiar character, 18 Aug. 2006
By 
lmhh (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Strange Affair (Paperback)
I've read a number of Peter Robinson books, and enjoy them as relaxation if finding them a little bit lightweight. In Strange Affair however, a story about Inspector Banks and his family - with the plot revolving around the disappearance of his brother - leads to deeper development of his character and I found it much more satisfying as a result.

If you have read other "Banks" novels you won't be disappointed, and if this is the first you pick up and you like a good crime story you should enjoy it - although you may be slighly irritated by the references to events from earlier in the series.

All in all, I would consider this one of the best that Robinson has produced.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banks - now a great series, 22 Nov. 2005
By A Customer
I think the Banks books have now got past the stage where you can say such and such a book is "better" or not. They deserve to be taken as a whole - in my opinion, as one of the great series of all detective fiction. Banks has grown, aged and become more serious and more complicated - and so have the puzzles he is faced with. I would recommend new readers not to start with this book - if you have the time, go back to the beginning with Gallows View and proceed from there. The plotting and characterisation in these books seem to me to outrank Ian Rankin and P.D.James - often claimed as reference points - and are well in advance of any other British writer within my experience. The only similarly compelling series I can think of is being produced by Michael Connelly with the Bosch canon, also highly recommended.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Banks is back again!, 21 Jun. 2005
By 
Jan Stromsem "Detective" (Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have read all Inspector Banks books and I was truly afraid Peter Robinson had lost the "touch" with his last book, "Playing With Fire", witch I consider not to be one of his best. However, with "Strange Affair" he is back again better than ever and I will rate it among his best three along with "Past Reason Hated" and "Aftermath". The story is gripping and the theme is up to date. Once started I could not put the book down and finished it the same day - A real page turner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Affair, 3 Jan. 2015
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Strange Affair (An Inspector Banks Mystery Book 15) (Kindle Edition)
And a very strange affair it is too. DCI Alan Banks gets home to find a message from his brother, Roy, saying that he must speak to him on a matter of life or death. The fact that Roy has phoned is strange enough because the brothers haven't ever seen eye to eye about anything but even stranger is the fact that he sounds frightened out of his wits. As Banks is on holiday he decides to travel down to London when he can't get through to Roy on the phone and find out what's going on. Then a young woman's body is found shot dead in her car on a country road with Banks' name and address in her pocket.

What follows is a frightening and complex trail of evil which covers many of the usual crimes together with a few you might not have thought of. I found it compelling and disturbing reading with some very plausible villains who will stop at nothing to get what they want. The book also raises some interesting and thought provoking questions about family loyalty and how far you can and should extend it. It presents some difficult problems for Banks himself when he is not really in a fit state to deal with them as he is still struggling with the aftermath of losing his home and all his possessions and almost his life when his home was burned down at the end of the previous book in the series.

Well written and complex with believable and likeable characters and some interesting motivations. The books in the series can be read in any order but it is interesting to see how Banks himself develops over the course of the books.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stilll gripping but getting slack, 10 April 2006
By 
Mr. Stephen Edwards "se1955" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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In the world of the crime novel, it's always worrying when the detective hero becomes the subject of the crime. It's usually a sign that the author is running out of ideas.
This latest Alan Banks novel moves along well, but the number of coincidences necessary to bring his brother into the plot is just not believable.
There is further evidence of slack writing and/or editing in the detail. For instance Banks could not have left his car in Earls Court all day, it is a resident parking zone with a maximum of 3 hours meter parking. Nor could he get the District line from Liverpool Street station - it doesn't go there. It may seem picky, but a two minute glance at a Tube map would have shown up the latter mistake -to the reader of crime novels, the detail is a critical element.
Overall, it's probably a bit better than "Playing with Fire", its predecessor, but "Strange Affair" cannot compare with the really top class mid-era Banks series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strange affair, 8 Sept. 2013
By 
Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Strange Affair (An Inspector Banks Mystery Book 15) (Kindle Edition)
While the Inspector Banks series has been very good, Banks at this point is lonely, depressed, not speaking to his divorced wife and getting older. There's also a lot of scenes set in London, a nice contrast to Yorkshire but many of us read the series for the Yorkshire setting. So this isn't my favourite of the books.

Banks is on a break and his brother phones from London briefly; when he doesn't get back, Banks suspects something is wrong and he heads to London to see. The pair haven't been close and Roy, the younger, got into some dodgy business dealings including arms deals in the past. But he's not a criminal. He just knows some.

Meanwhile a young woman is found dead in a car on a lonely road in Yorkshire, on the way to Banks's cottage it turns out from an address she was carrying. She's been shot. A creep was eyeing her at a service station that night, but he's not likely to have just shot her. Annie Cabot and her team are on top of this case and when Annie can't get hold of Banks, she takes off down to London to find him.

The trouble with a story like this is that we just follow the main characters around and see Banks learning more about his missing brother, for instance, rather than the more intricate tales set in a smaller location. There is still forensics, interviews, hunches going on from the Yorkshire side, and big city policing includes international intelligence about organised gangs. While it's right to show that to the public, and the kind of appalling trades the gangs run, it turns out even more depressing for everyone. Overall this is a decent read but I'm hoping Banks will return to form when he meets us again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime Writing at its Very Best, 22 Mar. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and is the author of thirteen previous novels featuring Inspector Banks. He is the winner of numerous awards in the United States, Britain and Canada, and in 2002 he won the CWA Dagger in the Library. As I also come from Leeds the background to his stories is something that I have experienced first hand and because of this I have a special affection for his books. However they would be first class crime fiction wherever they were based.

Inspector Banks receives a phone call from his brother Roy in London, something of a novelty in itself. But the phone call is quite disturbing and has an air of mystery to it. Banks immediately leaves his patch in Yorkshire and heads off down to the big city to seek out Roy. Meanwhile DI Annie Cabbot is called to the scene of a murder on a quiet stretch of road just outside Eastvale. A young woman has been found dead in her car. The strange thing is that the victim has Banks's name and address written on a piece of paper in the pocket of her jeans.

Meanwhile Banks is staying in his brothers luxurious, but empty house, uncovering more and more details about a brother, that he never really knew and didn't particularly like. Up north Annie tracks down the female victim's friends and colleagues. It seems that both trails are looking likely to intersect at some point and the consequences could be terrifying for both Banks and Annie . . .
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner in the Inspector Banks Series!, 1 Feb. 2005
This installment of the series opens with Inspector banks receving a mysterious phone call from his brother in London. Fearing something dreadfully wrong the inspector leaves for London to search out his brother. At the same time DI Annie Cook investigates the murder of a young woman found dead in a car on a quite country road on the outskirts of Eastvale. in the woman's pocket is a slip of paper with inspector Banks name written on it! Much of the story is two parrelle plots, Banks in London trying to figure out what became of his brother as he also discovers surprising revelations about his brother he never understood. At the same time Annie is investigating the death of the young woman. In the end the parralle plots meet in a cleverly terrifing way! Banks fans will not be dissapointed by this novel!
I also must recomend "A Tourist in the Yucatan" interesting thriller/mystery.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent story from one of Britian's top crime writers, 13 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Strange Affair (An Inspector Banks Mystery Book 15) (Kindle Edition)
This is one of my favourites in the long running series of police procedurals set in Yorkshire by one of Britain's top crime writers. This time, Inspector Alan Banks receives a mysterious and disturbing phone call from his brother Roy. Fearing the worse, Banks travels to London only to discover that his bother has disappeared. Alan digs into his sibling's life only to discover disturbing surprises about a man he never really knew. On a personal level, I resonated with all these developments as, unfortunately, this has been my own experience of family life. This is a thought provoking and satisfying crime thriller, recommended.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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