Books by Jo Bannister

Jo Bannister lives in Northern Ireland and is a former journalist. She has won several awards for her writing. Her interests are riding and archaeology. Ms. Bannister also writes short stories which are published by Ellery Queen Magazine/USA.


DEADLY VIRTUES by Jo Bannister
Released: March 19, 2013

"Even so, Bannister (Death in High Places, 2011, etc.) keeps the focus on her memorable, if not entirely original, characters rather than the town they share or the plot—its opening moves piquantly surprising, its later surprises more predictable—that brings them together."
After 10 years of enviably low criminal activity, things are about to heat up for the town of Norbold. Read full book review >
DEATH IN HIGH PLACES by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 2, 2011

"No Exit with a hit man standing in for Satan."
Three ill-assorted souls swap home truths, hurl recriminations and review the particulars of a fatal climbing accident while a hit man waits patiently outside their stronghold. Read full book review >
LIARS ALL by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 16, 2010

"Though Bannister's characters, especially Daniel, feel obliged to explain themselves at Ibsenesque length, the results are truly magical."
Brodie Farrell's valedictory ninth case begins with robbery and violence and ends with an orgy of self-sacrifice. Read full book review >
CLOSER STILL by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 5, 2008

"Each one of Brodie's cases (Flawed, 2007, etc.) is an original. Her eighth looks beyond her tormented regulars to the big picture—a calculated risk that doesn't quite pay off."
Brodie Farrell, owner of the Looking for Something? detective agency, and her choleric ex-lover, Det. Supt. Jack Deacon, compete once more to catch a killer whose crime has wildly unintended consequences. Read full book review >
FATHERS AND SINS by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 2008

"Bannister plots as dexterously and fleshes out her characters as carefully as if she were developing her long-running Brodie Farrell franchise (Flawed, 2007, etc.)."
Fourteen years after he nearly died in a fire, a troubled young man finds himself in even more trouble. Read full book review >
FLAWED by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 20, 2007

Dimmock's not a big place, so it's no surprise when three separate cases there collide with a smash. Read full book review >
THE TINDERBOX by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

"The rabbit-hole world Bannister evokes is so relentlessly and convincingly sordid that her quietly hopeful ending seems nothing short of miraculous."
Bannister takes a break from her Brodie Farrell/Daniel Hood series (Breaking Faith, 2005, etc.) for an authentic London nightmare: a father's desperate search for the daughter who vanished six years ago. Read full book review >
REQUIEM FOR A DEALER by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 19, 2006

"The horse-and-druggie plot is barely serviceable, and it's time to stop torturing poor Daniel (Breaking Faith, 2005, etc.). Still, Bannister excels at juggling her main characters' quirks, nuances and seething lapses of loyalty."
The sixth traumatic excursion for Bannister's agoraphobic math teacher, his unrequited love and her emotionally retro lover. Read full book review >
BREAKING FAITH by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 8, 2005

"A brilliant example of how to bring a genre cliché to life, as Bannister uses the case of the long-dead woman to tighten the screws mercilessly on the detectives along with the suspects."
An eight-year-old corpse that won't stay buried sparks shattering revelations for professional finder Brodie Farrell and her best friend, agoraphobic math tutor Daniel Hood (Reflections, 2003, etc.). Read full book review >
THE DEPTHS OF SOLITUDE by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 15, 2004

"An object lesson in how many different kinds of suspense, from whodunit puzzles to moral dilemmas to races against the clock, can be squeezed within a single binding."
Now that she's wrung every last drop of suffering from math teacher Daniel Hood, equal-opportunity Bannister turns her attention to Daniel's friend Brodie Farrell. Read full book review >
REFLECTIONS by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 8, 2003

"Creepy kids notwithstanding, the true horror here stalks Daniel, who must surmount past demons (True Witness, 2002, etc.) to face the moral condemnation of his best friend. "
Mummy's dead, daddy's on the run, and the kids are seething. Read full book review >
TRUE WITNESS by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"The fevered search Daniel shares with the copper who hates him is worth every minute it'll take to speed through this white-hot whodunit."
Ten years ago, DI George Ennis and his protégé Jack Deacon, of the Dimmock CID, were frustratingly unable to prove sheep farmer Neil Cochrane was the man who had raped and murdered three teenaged boys. Read full book review >
ECHOES OF LIES by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 2001

"Brodie launches her new series by finding not only the perps and their motive but Sophie herself, though veteran Bannister (Changelings, 2000, etc.) holds onto her climactic secret for so long that it'll be obvious even to readers who are no good at finding things."
Because she had so much practice looking for all sorts of things while she was working in a solicitor's office, Brodie Farrell has become so good at finding them that she hangs out a shingle ("Looking for Something?") and starts finding replacement china and locations for film work and missing people. Read full book review >
CHANGELINGS by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 2000

"But through their scars, the Castlemere triumvirate of Shapiro, Graham, and Donovan has acquired an emotional depth that pushes this series to the front ranks of British procedurals."
Sent off on a holiday to recuperate from a near-fatal attack (The Hireling's Tale, 1999), Castlemere CID sergeant Cal Donovan has barely maneuvered his narrow boat ten miles up the canal from home when delirium from pneumonia sets in. Read full book review >
THE PRIMROSE SWITCHBACK by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 2000

"Acerbic Rosie, who never met a crisis she didn't want to collide with, and Shad and his "freaky" second-sight are thoroughly engaging, although the story itself stumbles, particularly with the appearance of the bad guy and his all-too-transparent skullduggery."
A second outing for feisty Primrose (Rosie) Holland, the ex-pathologist who's now serving as the Agony Auntie columnist for the Skipley Chronicle (The Primrose Connection, 1998). Read full book review >
THE HIRELING'S TALE by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1999

"If the villain does turn unexpectedly mawkish at the end, Bannister still provides plenty to send new readers back to Broken Lines (1999) and the other Castlemere yarns."
The naked Jane Doe was found first, looking as if she—d gone seventy rounds with a heavyweight champ before being dropped, dead, into a canal boat. Read full book review >
CRITICAL ANGLE by Jo Bannister
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1999

Critical Angle ($25.00; Jul.; 224 pp.; 0-7278-2288-8): Severn House's reprint program (Unlawful Entry, 1998, etc.) continues with this non-series novel, originally published in the US as Shards (1990), in which the author of the Castlemere procedurals (Broken Lines, p. 105) takes wounded photojournalist Mickey Flynn to Israel to photograph a PLO training camp—and, it could be, to get used in a deeper game than he understands. Read full book review >
BROKEN LINES by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 1999

"Solidly readable, divertingly different."
There's a surge of excitement in the quiet town of Castlemere, where Superintendent Frank Shapiro runs the police department with the help of Inspector Liz Graham and motorcycle-riding Detective Sergeant Cal Donovan (No Birds Sing, etc.). Read full book review >
UNLAWFUL ENTRY by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 30, 1998

"Taut, accomplished lesser work from one of the field's most underrated practitioners."
First published in the UK as The Mason Codex (1988), this neat suspenser tells the story of Annie Meredith, a proper Welsh schoolmistress of a certain age, and the Mexican half-brother whose existence she never learns of till after he's dead in a crowded truck ferrying illegal immigrants across the border to Texas. Read full book review >
THE PRIMROSE CONVENTION by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 11, 1998

"A beautifully judged start for a most welcome new series."
Most people wouldn't think of consulting an advice columnist for help when their brothers go walkabout, but then most advice columnists are nothing like Primrose Holland, who edits the women's page for the Skipley Chronicle and contributes her own column, filled with such inimitably tactful recommendations as a bagpipe reveille for an elderly bird-watcher troubled by nocturnally noisy neighbors. Read full book review >
THE LAZARUS HOTEL by Jo Bannister
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 16, 1997

"A superior pastiche—And Then There Were Nuts for the '90s- -more clever and nuanced than its famous original; the sort of tour de force that gives melodrama a good name."
 Bannister takes a break from her admirable Castlemere CID series (No Birds Sing, 1996, etc.) with a weekend in London's posh Lazaire's Hotel, where seven jittery guests have gathered for a Personal Discovery Course with a few glitches. Read full book review >
NO BIRDS SING by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 19, 1996

"A notch below A Taste for Burning (1995)—which places it just below the highest ranks of the British procedural."
 When a crime wave hits Castlemere, Superintendent Frank Shapiro's Queen's Street cops rush headlong to put themselves in the line of fire. Read full book review >
A TASTE FOR BURNING by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 20, 1995

"Under a satisfyingly action-filled whodunit, she's buried a piercing tale of conflicting loyalties that makes her coppers flare into bold reliefas if they'd finally got the case that would show what they were made of."
 A rash of suspicious fires in Castlemere has Chief Inspector Frank Shapiro and his team scrabbling for the common denominator (virulent racism? a past acquaintance among the property owners?) that will explain the three targets so far and help prevent the next. Read full book review >
CHARISMA by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 14, 1994

"Donovan and Graham aren't any more interesting than in their debut (A Bleeding of Innocents, 1993), but they make interesting things happen throughout this tangy, gritty tale, whose most banal supporting character can flare into unexpected life in a single impassioned moment."
 Famous Welsh revivalist Michael Davey brings his wheelchair and carnival tent to Castlemere just in time for a pair of throat- slittings—of a teenaged streetwalker and an even younger girl riding her pony in Belvedere Park at daybreak. Read full book review >
A BLEEDING OF INNOCENTS by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 10, 1993

"The Donovan-Graham duo behave predictably (railing against machismo on her part, and against Brits and career lowlifes on his), but need more individuality and spark to find a loyal readership."
 A first appearance for Castlemere police sergeant Cal Donovan, who's convinced (1) that the hit-and-run that killed his partner was masterminded by underworld biggie Jack Carney, and (2) that there's a link between the murder of nurse Kerry Page and Carney. Read full book review >
DEATH AND OTHER LOVERS by Jo Bannister
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 1991

"The most interesting character, Todd, has the least to do."
 A reuniting of Shards partners Todd and Flynn, with American photojournalist Flynn again trusting the wrong woman, endangering Todd, and almost losing his own life. Read full book review >