CLOSER STILL - Jo Bannister

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

Jo Bannister has an impressive back catalogue to her name with over 20 novels now, standalones and in a number of series groupings.  CLOSER STILL is the 8th Brodie Farrell book, released in 2008 with LIARS ALL the next in the series, released in 2009.

It's probably worth getting this out in the open up front.  I'm not a fan of Brodie Farrell, and that's not just because she's one of those "gifted" amateurs who seem to climb over the backs of the cops.  In particular, her "partner" Jack Deacon who seems to do most of the graft and take most of the professional hits, whilst Brodie does the "solve the crime" using deduction alone stunt right at the end.  Whilst it is possible for that sort of scenario to work - it may require less of the smugness that seems to go along with Brodie.  To say nothing of the complicated private lives that seem to overshadow everything - even a possible terrorist plot.  

In CLOSER STILL there's actually quite an interesting plot development going on.  The death of a local gangster (who has recently threatened Brodie and their baby son) gets Jack into all sorts of warm water.  Who killed Joe Loomis, is the death connected with drugs or is there a more sinister terrorist plot?  Unfortunately the investigation ploughs on under the increasing melodrama of the vision problems of Jack and Brodie's baby son, the ongoing angst of their not really partnership, the unrequited love of Brodie's business associate Daniel, the self-imposed angst of Brodie as the lure of work over motherhood rears its head and, well you're probably getting the picture by now.

Unfortunately the plot just disappears, and whilst events leading up to the resolution are undoubtedly slightly outlandish, in these days of terrorist activities there was something compelling and strangely plausible about the whole thing.  Mind you, Jack Deacon is not a man to be messed with and his confrontation with extreme danger towards the end of the book is an absolute highlight.  Having said that, this leaping in and solving the puzzle when poor Jack's trying to keep mind, limb and the town in one piece is probably just another example of what is so annoying about Brodie.  One day I must read one of Bannister's non-Brodie books as I really do like the police aspects of these books - the main character just puts me right off unfortunately.

Books by Jo Bannister:


  • The Matrix
  • The Winter Plain
  • A Cactus Garden
  • Mosaic
  • The Mason Codex (Unlawful Entry)
  • The Lazarus Hotel
  • The Tinderbox
  • From Fire and Flood
  • Fathers and Sins

Brodie Farrell series:

  • Echoes of Lies
  • True Witness
  • Reflections
  • Depths of Solitude
  • Breaking Faith
  • Requiem for a Dealer
  • Flawed
  • Closer Still
  • Liars All (2009)

Clio Rees / Harry Marsh series:

  • Striving with Gods (An Uncertain Death)
  • Gilgamesh
  • The Going Down of the Sun
  • The Fifth Cataract

Mickey Flynn series:

  • Shards (Critical Angle)
  • Death and Other Lovers

Castlemere series:

  • A Bleeding of Innocents
  • Charisma (Sins of the Heart)
  • A Taste for Burning (Burning Desires)
  • No Birds Sing
  • Broken Lines
  • The Hireling's Tale
  • Changelings

Rosie Holland series:

  • The Primrose Convention
  • The Primrose Switchback
Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Detective Superintendent Jack Deacon doesn't take kindly to personal threats.  So when a local gangster starts taking an interest in his partner Brodie Farrell and their infant son.  Deacon is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect them.

Review CLOSER STILL - Jo Bannister
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Blog Currently Reading - Closer Still, Jo Bannister
Karen Chisholm
Monday, July 27, 2009

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