Sunday, November 26, 2017

Not Safe After Dark

Not Safe After Dark: And Other Stories by Peter Robinson
HarperCollins Publishers: 12/5/17
eBook review copy: 496 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062673893

Not Safe After Dark by Peter Robinson is a highly recommended collection of twenty short stories. All the stories in the collection are finely crafted, featuring well-written dialogue and surprising plot twists. Included are three Inspector Alan Banks police procedurals. I enjoyed the majority of these short stories immensely and was legitimately surprised and shocked by a few of the endings.

Summer Rain: A young man who believes in reincarnation is sure he was murdered in his last previous life.
Fan Mail: A fan of a writer sends fan mail asking for help in planning the murder of his wife.
Innocence: Reed travels two hundred miles away from home to meet with his friend Francis, who never shows up. This sets into motion a series of coincidences in his life.
Murder in Utopia:  Utopia was a model mill workers' village built in 1873. "As there was no crime in Utopia, no police force was required, and we relied on constables from nearby townships in the unlikely event that any real unpleasantness or unrest should arise."
Not Safe after Dark: City parks are not safe places to walk after dark. All the guide books state this. But what would be the harm in taking a short walk among the trees by the lake to cool off on a hot summer night?
Just My Luck: Walter Dimchuk, a confirmed Torontonian, attends a convention in Los Angeles, a place he has never taken seriously.
Anna Said: In this Inspector Banks tale, a woman dies, likely from food poisoning.
Missing in Action: An Edgar Award-winning story about the disappearance of a nine-year-old boy in the early days of WWII that sparks a mob mentality.
Memory Lane: The band Memory Lane plays oldies at a nursing home.
Carrion: Two strangers in a pub strike up a casual acquaintance that completely alters the life of one of them.
April in Paris: A girl in a cafe in Paris reminds someone of a girl he knew named April
The Good Partner: An Inspector Banks tale. A woman is murdered, presumably by her husband.
Some Land in Florida: Santa Claus is found face down in a pool and it might not have been an accident.
The Wrong Hands: Mitch draws up a will for Mr. Garibaldi and is given an additional task. He is asked to hand over to the police an unregistered gun that has been kept hidden for years.
The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage: Set in 1939, two elderly women, Miss Eunice and Miss Teresa, have the police pull up outside their cottage and rumors begin to fly about murder and human bones dug up in the garden.
Lawn Sale: A man's home has been broken in to and they have taken his wife's jewelry.
Gone to the Dawgs:  Calvin Bly is tired of Charlie Firth winning the NFL football pool. "Nothing could stop the smug bastard from winning again now. Nothing short of murder."
In Flanders Fields: Even though bombs were falling around them, someone bludgeoned Mad Maggie to death and she wasn't discovered until several days later when the milkman found her.
The Duke’s Wife: The Duke announces that he is going to marry Isabella, a young woman who was going to join a convent.
Going Back: Inspector Banks takes a trip back home to celebrate his parents' Golden Anniversary and sees "how evil can wear many disguises."

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.

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