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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