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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bad Boy by Peter Robinson

"My daughter has a gun." Banks is on holiday, but that's the concern a woman brings to Annie, Banks's DI, while Banks is on vacation. Even though unlicensed handgun possession carries a very steep penalty, the police completely over-react (Banks is on vacation) and the girl's father gets hit with a tazer and dies of a heart attack. Cut to a scene with the daughter's friends and we learn things are not quite so simple.

Soon, Banks' daughter is linked to Jaff, drugs, and attempted murder. Banks' former lover and DI Annie Cabbot investigates while Superintendent Chambers tries to paper over the fustercluck created by his armed response team.

The scene shifts to Geoff and Tracy who are soon on the run from the cops and Banks arrives home from his vacation in San Francisco to find a perfect mess.

I have to say that Tracy Banks has got to be one of the dumbest daughters to come down the pike.  There were numerous opportunities for her to make a bad situation better, but she seemed to lack the gumption to react positively to her dilemma. The few times when she made a feeble attempt, she mishandled it badly.

There are a couple of interesting new characters -- at least I believe they are new at this point in the series: Constable Nerys Powell, a member of the armed response team who has a crush on DI Cabott. Like Banks, she ignores regulations, in this case saving the day.  I also liked DS  Winsome Jackman, a statuesque, bright, and clever professional detective. The solution to the plot is intellectually unsatisfying. A decent story but not one of Robinson's better novels.

Simon Prebble's very competent narration has trouble salvaging a weak story.

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