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Bad Boy: An Inspector Banks Novel    by Peter Robinson order for
Bad Boy
by Peter Robinson
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2017 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This nineteenth in Peter Robinson's deservedly popular Inspector Banks series, opens with DCI Alan Banks taking a badly needed holiday in the United States, culminating with an unexpected romantic liaison in San Francisco. He's still reeling from his casual dismissal by his previous lover Sophia, and from his run-in with the intelligence services in All the Colours of Darkness.

While Banks is away, his daughter Tracy, her self esteem suffering from her disappointing academic performance and resenting her father's recent lack of time for her, gets involved in Leeds with the bad boy, Jaff, her old friend and flatmate Erin was seeing. Angry with her boyfriend over his obvious interest in Tracy (who now calls herself Francesca), Erin takes his handgun home with her. When her mother finds it and reports it to the police, all hell breaks loose.

After Tracy warns Jaff that the police have been to Erin's flat, he flees - and she offers to accompany him. Tracy suggests her dad's empty cottage in the Dales as a place to lie low. Unfortunately, after Tracy goes missing, DI Annie Cabbot drops by to water Alan's plants, and walks into danger. When Banks returns from vacation, he's met at the airport with plenty of bad news, and of course is desperately anxious about his daughter's situation.

When Jaff's true nature becomes clear, Tracy's role changes from willing partner to hostage. And Farmer George Fanthorpe (Banks' old enemy) sends heavies to eliminate Jaff. As the tension escalates, Banks does what he does best - he acts on his own, hoping to save his daughter. When it's all over, he muses about his career - 'they'll either sack me, put me in the nuthouse or promote me to Area Commander.' We'll have to wait for the twentieth in the series to find out which it will be!

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