NOT SAFE AFTER DARK and Other Short Stories
By Peter Robinson
William Morrow Paperbacks;
Reissue edition (December, 2017)
Kindle edition: $10.99
*This is the revised edition of the collection of the same name published in 1998. The 1998 edition contained 13 stories and a brief introduction to each story. For a review of the 1998 edition go to http://www.overmydeadbody.com/probin.htm).
by Larry Jung
NOT SAFE AFTER DARK is a collection of short crime fiction by Peter Robinson, best known for his popular and award winning Inspector Alan Banks novels.
As he writes in his introduction to NOT SAFE AFTER DARK, he is more comfortable with the longer novel format. But the attraction of short stories is the quick reward for finishing, the chance to explore different settings, characters, and themes outside of his Inspector Banks novels.
Here are 20 of his short crime fiction with themes involving greed, madness, perverted love, lust, unrequited love, justice, and revenge.
For fans of Inspector Alan Banks, there are included 3 short stories and a novella featuring Inspector Banks. The novella “Going Back” fills in some of Banks’s early home life and his troubled relationship with his father and mother. (“Going Back” fits in the chronology of the Inspector Banks’s books between books CLOSE TO HOME and PLAYING WITH FIRE.)
In these stories, Robinson shows that all of us are capable of crime if put in the right (or wrong) situation. And in these stories, he entertains us with plot twists, clever diversions, and surprising revelations as only a master storyteller can. Here’s a sample:
“In Flanders Field” (The right man at the gallows for the wrong woman.)
“Just My Luck” (Paranoia doesn’t mix well with the Santa Ana winds.)
“Lawn Sale” (A wedding ring symbolizes love, until it is stolen.)
“The Duke’s Wife” (Religion. Revenge. Obsession.)
“Memory Lane” (Contempt for the residents of an old folks home by a young musician who is playing a gig there.)
“Murder in Utopia” (Set in Victorian England, one man’s Utopia is a nightmare for others.)
“Missing in Action” (In a small English village just before World War 2, life and death can hang on a word or a look. In this case, on both.)
“Innocence” (Fantasies about teenage school girls and being at the wrong place with a weak alibi makes Terry Reed a person of interest for the police.)
“Fan Mail” (Being famous sometimes means covering your tracks.)
“Carrion” (What do you do with an inconvenient spouse? Don’t reinvent the wheel.)
“Not Safe After Dark” (The hunter and the prey is all how you look at it.)
“The Good Partner” (The eyes never lie.)
“Anna Said” (You can love someone to death. In this case, literally.)
Introduction by Peter Robinson
“Summer Rain” (an Inspector Banks story), “Fan Mail,” “Innocence” (Winner Canada Crime Writer’s Award), “Memory Lane,” “Murder in Utopia,” “Not Safe After Dark,” “Just My Luck,” “Anna Said” (an Inspector Banks story), “Missing in Action,” “Carrion,” “April in Paris,” “The Good Partner” (an Inspector Banks story), “Some Land in Florida,” “The Wrong Hands,” “The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage” (set in 1939), “Lawn Sale,” “Gone to the Dawgs,” “In Flanders Field,” “The Duke’s Wife,” and “Going Back” (an Inspector Banks novella).
Peter Robinson has won the Anthony, Edgar, and Le Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere awards. The Inspector Alan Banks novels have been on both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists.
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