Reviewed by Jim McCarthy
Admitting to an addiction always generates some anxiety even if the habit is fixed to fictional police procedurals. Peter Robinson has created Inspector Alan Banks and woven two dozen intricate and intriguing crime tales to challenge the sleuth and his associates. Wear and tear often plagues franchise writers, causing their marquis characters to become wooden or involved in increasingly bizarre plots. Think James Patterson or the Jack Reacher series or TV’s SVU..
Careless Love is a delicate and nuanced narrative with loneliness among older men as a backdrop, financial pressures on youth, and how innocence can be corrupted. Banks, too, ponders his solitary existence, engaging that emotion maturely while contemplating, absorbing, and comparing the gruesome events of three deaths, including homicides.
Robinson displays a clear familiarity with modern police investigations, especially the application of scientific methodologies in evaluating evidence to explain and connect the inevitable dots that criminal behavior portrays. All the while, in his quiet moments at home or driving his cherished Porsche, Banks tunes in to favorite musical classics. from the opera to rock. It is a charm to accompany him along the pathways of his investigations and the corridors of his mind.
For fans who may not be aware, BBC produced a faithful, if short lived, series of episodes following several of Robinson’s novels. They make a fine complement to reading about the Inspector. All in all, addiction to Robinson/Banks is not dangerous and presents no threatening symptoms except anticipation for a subsequent installment. In that vein, Careless Love promises a sequel, sweetly and nicely backgrounded via several of the players close to Banks. Much to look forward to.
Categories: Book Review