Cover image for Close to home
Title:
Close to home
Author:
Robinson, Peter, 1950-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, 2003.
Physical Description:
389 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060198787
Format :
Book

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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

The past returns to haunt Chief Inspector Alan Banks in this harrowing novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Peter Robinson.

There are human bones, buried in an open field, the remains of a lost teenaged boy whose disappearance devastated a community more than thirty-five-years ago...and scarred a guilt-ridden friend forever...

A long-hidden horror has been unearthed, dragging a tormented policeman into a past he could never truly forget no matter how desperately he tried. A heinous crime that occurred too close to home still has its grip on Chief Inspector Alan Banks--and it's leading him into a dark place where evil still dwells. Because the secrets that doomed young Graham Marshall back in 1965 remain alive and lethal, and disturbing them could cost Banks much more than he ever imagined.

Master of suspense Peter Robinson once again delves into the human psyche to reveal what leads some to commit murder in this compelling, unforgettable thriller.


Author Notes

Peter Robinson was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, in 1950. He received a B.A. Honours Degree in English literature from the University of Leeds, moved to Canada, and went on to earn a M.A. in English and creative writing from the University of Windsor and a Ph.D. in English from York University.

His first novel, Gallows View, was published in 1987 and became the first book in the Inspector Banks Mystery series. His other works include Caedmon's Song, No Cure for Love, Not Safe after Dark and Other Stories, Before the Poison, and When the Music's Over. He has received several awards including the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 1992 for Past Reason Hated and the Author's Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters in 1994 for Final Account.

He has also published many short stories in anthologies and in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, including Innocence, which won the CWC Best Short Story Award, and The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage, which won a Macavity Award. He has taught at a number of Toronto colleges and served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Windsor, Ontario, 1992-93.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Inspector Alan Banks is sloughing off the stress of the job on a Greek island when he learns that a friend who disappeared when they were both 14 has been found--buried near their childhood home in Cambridgeshire. Burdened by a clue he never revealed, Banks returns to offer his assistance and finds himself working the case unofficially with--and falling for--Inspector Michelle Hart. Meanwhile, in Banks' adult home of Yorkshire, a 15-year-old has gone missing under mysterious circumstances, and Banks commutes to work that as well, with colleague and former lover Annie Cabbot. Searching for clues, Banks explores the teenage mind and travels into his own past. Robinson is as adept at illuminating interior life (especially the wounded psyches of his crime fighters) as he is in constructing believably odd crime scenarios. But though we're anxious to learn how the two cases are connected--or if they even are--this suspense novel builds slowly and the climax is somewhat mild. Banks fans, however, will enjoy watching the grizzled veteran get to know his younger self. --Keir Graff


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this 12th novel to feature Det. Chief Insp. Alan Banks, the brooding Yorkshire policeman is called back to England from holiday when someone discovers the remains of his old childhood friend Graham Marshall, who disappeared from their hometown in 1965. It's a journey back to Banks's own past and the provincial town of Peterborough, where he assists Michelle Hart, a local detective, on the case. He's also advising his colleague (and former lover) Annie Cabbot as she investigates the more recent disappearance of another teenager: Luke Armitage, the introverted, intellectual son of a British rock star who committed suicide when Luke was a baby. Like P.D. James, Robinson works on a large, intricately detailed canvas (sometimes too detailed-even the minor figures get at least a thumbnail sketch). The plot is richly complex, with lots of forensic science, a fair bit of English criminal history (the Kray brothers, legendary '60s-era London East End gangsters, make an appearance) and some internecine police department feuds. There's a fair amount of action and lots of suspense; someone doesn't want Hart or Banks to pursue the decades-old case, and Cabbot has her hands full with a plethora of unsavory suspects in the Armitage case. Along the way, Robinson probes more abstract ideas: the illusory nature of nostalgia; the dark, secret lives of small towns; middle age; and the oft-lamented challenges of going home again. This satisfying and subtle police procedural has a little bit of everything. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Feb.) Forecast: Robinson's long-running series is gathering readers and recognition. This latest addition will be helped by an 11-city tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Robinson's 13th novel is a story of parallel crimes-the disappearance of two 15-year-old boys-that are separated by some 35 years. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is drawn into both investigations, one because the missing boy, Graham Marshall, whose body turns up at a building site, was a childhood friend; the other because Inspector Annie Cabbot, a friend and former lover, needs his help. As Robinson shifts imperceptibly from one crime to the other, Banks, too, moves back and forth in time. Tormented by guilt after all these years over Graham's disappearance, he searches through childhood diaries for clues and returns to his parents' home, where he confronts his father, still hostile about his becoming a policeman. As he and Cabbot delve into the second crime, he embarks on an affair with the inspector investigating Graham's death. Though Robinson is his usual brilliant self, one wonders why the women Banks is attracted to all seem to have been wounded in some awful way. This quibble aside, Robinson again shows himself to be as astute a writer as P.D. James as he examines the myriad faces of guilt.-Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Close to Home A Novel of Suspense Chapter One Trevor Dickinson was hungover and bad-tempered when he turned up for work on Monday morning. His mouth tasted like the bottom of a birdcage, his head was throbbing like the speakers at a heavy metal concert, and his stomach was lurching like a car with a dirty carburetor. He had already drunk half a bottle of Milk of Magnesia and swallowed four extra-strength paracetamol, with no noticeable effect. When he arrived at the site, Trevor found he had to wait until the police had cleared away the last of the demonstrators before he could start work. There were five left, all sitting cross-legged in the field. Environmentalists . One was a little gray-haired old lady. Ought to be ashamed of herself, Trevor thought, a woman of her age squatting down on the grass with a bunch of bloody Marxist homosexual tree-huggers. He looked around for some clue as to why anyone would want to save those particular few acres. The fields belonged to a farmer who had recently been put out of business by a combination of mad-cow disease and foot-and-mouth. As far as Trevor knew, there weren't any rare pink-nippled fart warblers that couldn't nest anywhere else in the entire country; nor were there any ivy-leafed lark's-turds lurking in the hedgerows. There weren't even any trees, unless you counted the shabby row of poplars that grew between the fields and the A1, stunted and choked from years of exhaust fumes. The police cleared away the demonstrators -- including the old lady -- by picking them up bodily and carting them off to a nearby van, then they gave the go-ahead to Trevor and his fellow workers. The weekend's rain had muddied the ground, which made maneuvering more difficult than usual, but Trevor was a skilled operator, and he soon got his dipper shovel well below the topsoil, hoisting his loads high and dumping them into the waiting lorry. He handled the levers with an innate dexterity, directing the complex system of clutches, gears, shafts and winch drums like a conductor, scooping as much as the power shovel could hold, then straightening it so as not to spill any when he lifted it up and over to the lorry. Trevor had been at work for well over two hours when he thought he saw something sticking out of the dirt. Leaning forward from his seat and rubbing condensation from the inside window of the cab, he squinted to see what it was, and when he saw, it took his breath away. He was looking at a human skull, and what was worse was that it seemed to be looking right back at him. Alan Banks didn't feel in the least bit hungover, but he knew he'd drunk too much ouzo the night before when he saw that he had left the television on. The only channels it received were Greek, and he never watched it when he was sober. Banks groaned, stretched and made some of the strong Greek coffee he had become so attached to during his first week on the island. While the coffee was brewing, he put on a CD of Mozart arias, picked up one of last week's newspapers he hadn't read yet, and walked out on the balcony. Though he had brought his Discman, he felt fortunate that the small time-share flat had a mini stereo system with a CD player. He had brought a stack of his favorite CDs with him, including Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Schubert, Walton, The Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin. He stood by the iron railings listening to " Parto, ma tu, ben mio " and looking down at the sea beyond the jumbled terraces of rooftops and walls, a cubist composition of intersecting blue and white planes. The sun was shining in a perfect blue sky, the way it had done every day since he had arrived. He could smell wild lavender and rosemary in the air. A cruise ship had just dropped anchor, and the first launches of the day were carrying their loads of excited camera-bearing tourists to the harbor, gulls squawking in their wake. Banks went to pour himself some coffee, then came out again and sat down. His white wooden chair scraped against the terra cotta tiles, scaring the small lizardlike creature that had been basking in the morning sun. After looking at the old newspaper and perhaps reading a little more of Homer's Odyssey , Banks thought he would walk down to the village for a long lunch, maybe have a glass or two of wine, pick up some fresh bread, olives and goat cheese, then come back for a nap and a little music before spending his evening at the taverna on the quayside playing chess with Alexandros, as had been his habit since his second day. There was nothing much that interested him in the newspapers except the sports and arts pages. Rain had stopped play in the third test match at Old Trafford, which was hardly news; England had won an important World Cup qualifying match; and it wasn't the right day of the week for the book or record reviews. He did, however, notice a brief report on a skeleton uncovered by a construction worker at the site of a new shopping center by the A1, not far from Peterborough. He only noticed it because he had spent a good part of his early life in Peterborough, and his parents still lived there. He put the newspaper aside and watched the gulls swoop and circle. They looked as if they were drifting on waves of Mozart's music. Drifting, just like him. He thought back to his second conversation with Alexandros. During their game of chess, Alex had paused, looked seriously at Banks and said, "You seem like a man with many secrets, Alan, a very sad man. What is it you are running from?" Close to Home A Novel of Suspense . Copyright © by Peter Robinson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Close to Home: A Novel of Suspense by Peter Robinson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.