Banks is on holiday, headed for Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. His daughter, Tracy, home in Leeds and angry with her father, is headed for some very deep trouble. Robinson's nineteenth Inspector Banks novel is a stunner.
Handguns are illegal in the U.K., and whenever one is reported, the police swing into high gear. But things go very wrong when the police swoop down on a home in Eastvale to seize a reported handgun. In the confusion, Patrick Doyle, a former neighbour of Banks, is shot. Doyle's daughter, Erin, is to blame for the gun being in the house, and while she's in police custody, her housemate in Leeds, Tracy Banks, decides to let Erin's boyfriend know that the police have been around their place. Bad decision. When Banks returns home from holiday, Tracy is missing. And that's not the worst of it.
Robinson's latest Inspector Banks novel is a powerful story of how the volatile emotions of love and resentment can turn deadly when fear comes creeping in.
Robinson tries something different in his excellent 19th novel to feature Det. Chief Insp. Alan Banks (after All the Colors of Darkness) by keeping the Yorkshire policeman offstage for the first half of the book. Banks's daughter, Tracy, knows that her friend, Erin Doyle, is dating a bad boy. But she doesn't know how bad Jaff McCready is until the recovery of a gun at Erin's parents' home results in a fatal accident. Before Tracy knows what's happening, Jaff whisks her on an adventure, eventually hiding out at Banks's house while her father is on holiday in America. As Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot searches for Jaff, Tracy's infatuation turns sour when she finds Jaff's suitcase of drugs, money, and a gun, and becomes his hostage. When Banks returns to Yorkshire, he has to balance his roles as a cop and a father. Robinson deftly integrates Banks's personal life with an acute look at British attitudes about police, guns, and violence in this strong entry in a superb series.