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Not Dark Yet: Inspector Banks #27    by Peter Robinson order for
Not Dark Yet
by Peter Robinson
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Not Dark Yet follows Careless Love as the twenty-seventh(!) in Peter Robinson's masterfully written and consistently excellent police procedural series starring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks in Yorkshire, England.

Series regulars who assist his investigations include DI Annie Cabbot, DS Winsome Jackman, and DC Geraldine Masterson, all strong and competent women. Careless Love featured young and beautiful super recognizer Zelda, an old soul with a tragic past, in a relationship with Annie's father Ray. Alan Banks was - and is - strongly attracted to Zelda.

As Not Dark Yet opens, Zelda continues to seek retribution for the men who abused her (she was a sex trafficking victim). Indeed, as this episode opens, she's returned to Chisinau, Ukraine where she was sold from an orphanage into sex slavery. Unsure of her intentions - 'Revenge? Atonement? Reconciliation?' - research leads her to the orphanage director. When she finds him and learns of his role in the horrors that happened to her and other orphans, her intentions quickly clarify.

Back in England, DS Alan Banks attends his daughter Tracy's wedding. Soon afterwards a London colleague shares information on Zelda and on the man who previously tried to kill Banks, Phil Keane. Was Zelda involved in something dodgy? Apparently Danvers and Debs of the National Crime Agency want to bring her in for questioning, and Immigration Enforcement is looking into her status. Burgess advises Banks to urgently find out what Zelda knows. Banks talks to her but then she disappears.

At the same time, Banks' team investigates the deaths of crooked property developer Connor Clive Blaydon and his factotum. The major suspect is Leka Gashi, a member of the Albanian Mafia. Now, spy-cams found at the scene reveal a vicious rape - they dig into the background of the victim. As always in a Banks novel, Robinson weaves seemingly unrelated plot threads together into a fascinating and seamless solution.

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