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Close To Home (2004)

Close To Home (2004)

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3.97 of 5 Votes: 4
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0061031097 (ISBN13: 9780061031090)

About book Close To Home (2004)

RATING: 4.25Inspector Alan Banks has been through a grueling time both personally and professionally and has decided to recuperate by taking his holidays in Greece for a month. He's run away from his messy life and has found paradise of a kind, but not for long. For things are happening back home that demand his attention.During Alan's teenaged years, he had a group of guys that he hung out with, including a boy by the name of Graham Marshall. Graham disappeared and was never heard of again. It's over 30 years later, and his bones are unearthed during a construction excavation. When Banks learns of the discovery, he feels an obligation to be involved in the investigation and returns to the UK. The case is being handled by Detective Inspector Michelle Hart, and Banks offers up his assistance. Alan has been carrying around a load of guilt for years about an incident that happened to him right before Graham disappeared. He feels that if he had reported it, perhaps Graham would not have been killed.At the same time, back in Banks' home precinct, there is an eerily similar case. A teenager by the name of Luke Armitage has gone missing. He has some small bit of fame, as his birth father was a talented rock musician who committed suicide. His mother was a model, and his stepfather is a well-known athlete. The case is assigned to Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot, with whom Banks had been personally involved. Annie makes a somewhat dubious decision while following a possible kidnapping aspect to the case and seeks advice from Alan.Robinson skillfully alternates between the 2 investigations. Interestingly, Banks is not the lead inspector on either of the cases but is highly involved on both. The reader is treated to two complex plots, two sets of well-developed characters, two settings, as well as much revelatory information about Banks himself and his somewhat strained relationship with his parents. Banks as a man reminiscing about Banks as a boy was certainly an interesting twist.I have a few minor criticisms of the book. The first is that I felt Robinson overindulged in nostalgic references to music and television shows when discussing the 1960s background for the Graham Marshall case. The allusions became excessive. The second is that I wasn't entirely satisfied with the resolution. It was well done but somewhat convenient in some respects. However, I have to admit that I didn't have all the plot threads unraveled until they were explained in the conclusion, and the various explanations were completely plausible.Robinson has a secure place in my top 5 list of favorite authors. You know when you read any of his books that you are placing yourself in the hands of a master. Close to Home is the 13th book in the series and continues a long tradition of excellent writing. The book is very engrossing and has an exceptionally detailed plot featuring superbly well-drawn characters. The Inspector Alan Banks books make up a great series, one which every mystery reader should experience.

This 13th Alan Banks mystery was very good - 4.5 stars. Alan has taken a vacation in Greece when he reads in the English paper that the skeleton of his old friend, Graham Marshall(who had disappeared when they were both fifteen) is dug up in a field in Peterborough. Alan returns to England and travels to his old home town to give evidence to the officer in charge of the investigation, Michelle Hart. Banks always felt guilty about his friend's disappearance in August 1965, since he himself had been grabbed on the riverbank by a threatening man that June. Since he was not supposed to be on the riverbank, and was skipping school, Alan had never reported the man's attack on him to anyone. Maybe that man had also killed Graham? Banks feels that Graham's disappearance was a factor in his desire to became a cop. After looking through books of known criminals from 1965, Banks learns that the man who attacked him had drowned in the river only a few days later, and did not kill Graham - his murder was more sinister.At the same time, Annie Cabbot, who's transferred to the Eastvale police station, is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a fifteen year old school boy, Luke Armstrong. His mother was a famous model in her youth, and her husband was a world-class footballer. The boy's real father was a genius musician and poet, but was tortured by his talent and had committed suicide when Luke was three. The next day, the step-father leaves 10,000 pounds in a shack on the moor - Annie watches from a distance and suspects the boy was kidnapped and ransomed. When the boy's body is found floating in a nearby reservoir, Annie fears she may have blown the ransom pickup by watching the shack from the hillside above. But the coroner clears her when it's confirmed the boy was dead before the ransom call was received.Alan assists Annie with her investigation, and also travels to Peterborough for Graham's funeral and assists Michelle as well. He ends up in a relationship with Michelle. By the end of the book he's given up smoking - it'll be interesting to see if he can succeed in this. Lots of references to 60's music in this book.

Do You like book Close To Home (2004)?

Alan Banks has been guilt ridden for years about the disappearance of a 15 year school old friend of his in Peterborough in 1965. He is vacationing in Greece when he gets word the remains unearthed on a construction site are those of his friend. He returns home to see if anything her remembers can assist in the investigation.At the same time, in Banks' Yorkshire territory, another 15 year old has gone missing, apparently kidnapped. He is the son of an ex-model and a famous musician who committed suicide when the boy was 4. The mother is remarried to a footballer who cares about the boy but does not really understand him.The two stories alternate in interesting ways. The Cambridgeshire case unearths 30 year old political corruption and police cover ups that are still a threat to the current investigators. Robinson is always so good with the background details - the mid 60's pop culture, the Krays, the current hoof and mouth and mad cow issues help to make the picture more complete. We get to learn more of Banks' early life, and see his sometimes uncomfortable relationship with his parents at first hand.And Banks has a new woman - Cambridgeshire detective Michelle Hart. It's too soon to tell too soon if it's going to be a one off, or something more. Annie Cabbot is still in the picture, but as a work mate rather than a love interest.

The Inspector Alan Banks series is incredible! It just keeps getting better and better, and Alan Banks is a wonderful character. A good policeman, but a man with many flaws and uncertainties which he always seems to work his way through when he's working on a case. I have read a lot of mysteries about past and present homicides, but this one is a step above. The book is about the disappearance and murder of two teenage boys. One from 1965 and one from the present day. The boy lost in 1965 was a school pal of Alan's. He was 14 yeas old when he disappeared from Peterborough where Alan and his friends grew up. His remains were not found until the present day (30 years later). In Eastvale Annie is working on the disappearance of a teenage local boy. Alan is on holiday in Greece when he is drawn into the present-day case of the missing teenage boy in his home patch. He then finds out that his old friend's remains have been discovered in an open field that is being excavated. He hurries home in order to help gain some insight into what happened to his friend thirty years ago. The story slips seamlessly from 1965 to present-day as Alan sets out on a mission to find out what could have happened in both cases. As always there is music and lyrics woven throughout the book. And these lyrics help to weave the two disparate plots together. Peter Robinson is a remarkable author, and this series is such a delight. Can't wait to read the next one.
—Shirley Schwartz

This was the first Peter Robinson novel I've read and I'll be reading more. I loved all the Britishness - someone's always eating fish n chips or meeting a mate for a beer at the local pub. It seemed pretty clean, also but that may be because the British cuss words are foreign to me. Telling someone to "bugger off" just doesn't sound that bad! Ha. Much of the story covers British culture and music of the mid-60s, which I found interesting. It was enjoyable looking at it thru British eyes, rather than just an American perspective. Inspector Banks dredges up old memories when the bones of one of his old school friends is found. The boy's murder investigation parallels a modern investigation of a missing 15 yr old. The book has a lovely melancholy tone as the author delves into the ghosts of the major characters - Banks has recently divorced and his ex is expecting a baby with her new hubby; Annie remembers being raped; Michelle's emotions are raw over the death of her daughter. I liked how the main characters had a strong moral center in the midst of police and civil corruption. I love finding a new author that I like, especially one who's written a series of books! New things to read!
—Susan Hulstine

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