Peter Robinson has another fine chapter in his series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot, "Bad Boy." (Harper Books/HarperCollins Publisher, 387 pages)
The British police station in Eastvale is visited by an extremely upset mother who has found a gun in her daughter's possession. The woman, a former neighbor of Alan Banks, is seeking his assistance in this most delicate matter.
But Banks is on vacation, traveling about the southwestern United States. In an attempt to seize the illegal weapon, the special task force in charge of the operation mistakenly taser the girl's father, who has a heart condition.
Things become even more complicated when the gun's owner is revealed to be the boyfriend of the roommate of Tracy Banks, the inspector's daughter. Tracy flees their flat in the company of this very "bad" young man, Jaff McCready. The drama reaches a critical stage when the trigger-happy McCready shoots a police officer and takes Tracy hostage.
American readers will enjoy this well-written British police drama and will be intrigued by the stark contrast in attitudes towards guns and the use of deadly force by police.
Peter Robinson has achieved a marvelous balance in developing characters and spinning a suspenseful plot.
Fans of the PBS "Masterpiece Mystery" series will enjoy Robinson's DCI Alan Banks' novels.