A detective who is the main character of the story and the one who was tormented by a strange call of his brother. His role contributed much to the development of the story. With him, the story became interesting since he holds almost all the thrilling and exciting heights of the story.
The brother of Alan who was involved in illegal businesses but later realized to place himself out of such illegal deeds. He contributed much to the success of the story since he was the reason for all the happenings in the story from the start to the end. His disturbing call to his brother Alan is the start of this kind of stuff.
The fiancé of Roy and the one who was killed in her car while on her way to Alan’s old residence. Like Roy, her death leads to the thorough investigation of the investigators which contributed much to some most thrilling part of the story.
A beautiful woman who was abducted when she was 17 and forced to work as a prostitute. Her name marked the success of the story since she was a mysterious girl at first who has been linked to both Jenefer and Roy’s cases. Her mysterious name who has been bragged out in those cases made the investigators work hard in finding her to reveal the truth in which she’s the only one who knew.
The man who was last seen eyeing on Jenefer at the gasoline station on the night of the commission of the murder and the primary suspect of Jenefer’s murder but found out to be the murderer and rapist of Claire Potter but has no connection on Jenefer’s case. He doesn’t have many contributions to the story aside from being the primary suspect.
Dr. Alex Lukas
The doctor of the Berger Lennox Center and a workmate of Jenefer and the one who is helping the late girls. She does not have much role in the story but her revelation of information about the late girls and the illegal practices of Berger Lennox Centre.
The term used refers to the prostitutes who were freely serviced by the Berger Lennox Center. Like Carmen Petri, these late girls had been mysterious at first which crinkles the ego of the investigators in finding her and in revealing the truth.
Roy’s business associate betrayed him as he desperately looks for a heart-donor for her months-old child. He became the root of all suffering in the story.
The one who killed Jenefer Clewes and Roy Banks. Hadeon doesn’t have much role in the story; however, in the last part, he became the mastermind of the killings of Roy and Jenefer.
Roy’s house – where Banks stayed most of the time. This place has a great contribution to the development of the story since it is where the evidence in finding Roy; it is also where Alan had the leads to where he’s going to find Roy.
Berger Lennox Center – where JeneferClewes was working together with Dr. Lukas. It where she met Roy Banks and where the late girls had their medical consultation. This place has been the main ingredient in finding justice to the death of Jenefer. This place is very important in the story since it is where Dr. Lukas worked – the person who knew everything about Carmen Petri.
Gareth Lambert’s residence – where Alan found out the main motive of Gareth to the child whom Carmen is conceiving through Gareth’s wife. This place is considered as the missing puzzle in completing the whole picture. It is where Mrs. Lambert told Alan everything about their child with Gareth who needs a heart transplant.
Man vs. Himself
- When Roy Banks realizes to leave his illegal businesses and change for a better. The change he had done contributed much to the story because when his brother Alan knew that he had changed, he felt more love and pity for his brother.
- When Dr. Lukas got the courage to tell all she knew about the illegal activities of Hadeon Mazuryk and Gareth Lambert. This fight with her own self has a great impact on solving both cases since she has the courage, to tell the truth to Annie about what she knew about the illegal practices of the organization even though she knew it may harm her family.
Man vs. Man
When Alan beats Gareth Lambert at the abandoned factory. In this part, Alan was desperate in knowing the truth from Gareth’s mouth. This part adds the sympathy of the readers for Alan in vengeance for the death of his brother Roy.
Point of View
It was crystal-clear to the readers what Peter Robinson tries to convey the message in one of his Inspector Banks series which is the Strange Affair. His point of view is to inform the readers what is the real story behind another story. What it means is that, the story behind the story of the late girls as he termed in the novel. The information he gave on how these late girls were brought into such a fishy job is another drop of tea poured into the readers’ wit. Peter Robinson clearly elaborated every piece of information concerning the main motives of the characters in the story in committing such deeds. It has led to awareness to the readers of the sequence of the play in which these outraged money-generating individuals who would do everything for self-profit. Awareness, is what Peter Robinson conveyed. The possible consequence of unawareness of the society of such illegal deed was being conveyed clearly in the story; and through this novel, everyone (if not all) would be aware and be more careful in dealing with other people especially when they offer jobs overseas, and Peter Robinson nailed it.
The novel was written from the second-person point of view. Robinson uses the pronouns he, she, it and they to determine the characters’ significance and roles according to their part on the story. As Robinson uses the second person as a point of view, he clearly relates and implies the mechanism and actions according to their motions around the novel.
In this novel, the second-person point of view is intended to create an intense sense of intimacy between the narrator and the reader, causing the reader to feel implicit in and powerless against a plot that leads him, blindly, through his (the reader’s and the narrator’s) own destruction and redemption.
Symbolisms or Motifs
Strange Affair is composed of numerous symbolisms. These symbolisms represent the character, memorable events, and reality. One of the symbolism in the novel is the childhood box of Roy which represents the memories of him and his character which is being tidy and security-conscious. Another noticeable symbolism in the novel is Roy’s house, car, and gadgets which symbolize Roy’s luxury living. The third symbolism is the music which symbolizes relaxation and temporary problem forgetfulness; it also symbolizes hope. The fourth symbolism in the story is the river; although most of the time it symbolizes life, in this novel, it symbolizes death. The old factory at the same time also symbolizes suffering and death. On the other hand, the burned cottage of Alan symbolizes anger and hate. He was angry with Annie since he considered her as responsible for the ruining because of his jealous boyfriend Phil Keane and he hated her for that. One last major symbolism in the story is Carmen’s conceived baby, it symbolizes hope, new life, and a new beginning.
Peter Robinsons’ style of writing will be loved by the readers. It is not the usual style in which you can actually predict what will happen next; in Strange Affair, it is very different. Peter Robinson always has a hanging end to a very interesting part where the height of the action took place. Taking for instance, in the line; Allan entered the gate and turned to look it. When he got inside, he looks for a bottle of Amarone. To his surprise, a man sitting near the table pointed a gun on him.
Annie had a hard time going to the place where she planned to meet Dr. Lukas. The traffic was heavy and the weather was not good.
It was cut and had inserted by another scene. In short, it is alternate in manner. You really have to read the scene next to the blue-penciled scene in order for you to read its continuation. His choice of words is very simple but it would really make you feel as if you were there. You would feel the intensity and excitement of what will be next to happen. He had employed the sensory details that would make you feel such demeanor. The scenes are so unpredictable.
Annie showed her warrant card and explained that she was investigating Jenefer Clewes’ murder. Carol’s public smile dropped and was replaced by an expression of sadness. Her eyes moistened slightly.
Looking at the sentences, the length is almost the same. He did not use much of the sound devices. His description of things was very detailed the type in which you can project it. Overall, his style of writing is such an exemplary one.
Strange Affair brags out so many themes. These are life, brutality, death, heroism, false heroism, journey, escape love, hope, and hopelessness. The theme life revolves around the baby whom Carmen Petri is conceiving. As to death, Jenefer and Roy’s death is being bragged out. It also involves the death of Gareth Lamberth’s child if failed to have a heart transplant. The theme of brutality occurs when HadeonMazuryk tortured Roy Banks and when Alan Banks tortured Gareth Lamberth in order for him to tell the whole story.
Heroism, this theme took place at the time when Annie saved Alan from the fire. False heroism took place when Alan failed to save his brother from torture and death. Journey, this theme occurs from the start of the story to the end. Alan started to leave home to find out what really happened to Roy and returned home after he had found out already. Escape, this theme occurs when Carmen Petri had escaped the brutality of Hadeon Mazuryk and his men since she was pregnant. Love occurs most of the time. It started with the love of Alan for his brother Roy, love of Alan to Penny, the love of Gareth to his child and the love and compassion of Dr. Lukas and Jenefer for the late girls. The theme hope occurs in the story of Alan when he knew that he could give justice to his brother and when Carmen had the courage in telling the truth to Dr. Lukas. The last theme which is hopelessness occurs when the late girls realize that they will never be rescued from the mud that holds them.
Peter Robinson made a name in the field of literature specifically in the field of suspense novel-writing. His Inspector Banks series had been bestsellers internationally because of its content and his style in presenting the content. Peter Robinson is one of the most in-demand authors of the present era, his thinking revolves around informing the society of the most practical and realistic stories based on facts and presented in an artistic way of writing. The series Strange Affair is the philosophy between man and justice which was well-expressed through the story of a concerned elder to his younger brother who had been stained by illegal activities and had changed to a good and better one. This series also expressed that justice could only be grasped when everything is too late. Peter Robinson’s thinking implies awareness to the readers of the most recent, unnoticeable and practical crimes that may victimize me, you, her, him, and anyone of us.
When it is all about a matter of life and death, would you still hesitate to grasp the burning iron in order to save your brother’s life? This question seems to be simple to answer but difficult to do. In seeking justice, are you going to risk your job? Same thing, simple to answer but difficult to do.
Life could be tougher than the way we expected it to be. In the case of Alan who received a disturbing call from his brother who had never been closed to him, life is the toughest thing he could ever imagine. He found out that his brother was dead and he can’t help it; the only thing he can do to appease the soul of his brother is to find justice for him. If I were in the case of Alan, I would do the same. It’s not the closeness between you and your brother that matters but it’s all about the life of your only brother that counts. Like Alan, if I would find my brother dead and not by natural circumstances but in a brutal way, my angst would really be a shot in the arm out in seek for justice. People die and no one could live eternally except God, but when an individual dies intentionally even if he/she’s doing the right thing, it’s a different story. Gunshots would fire, bullets would hit, daggers would stab and even hands would hit and slap in order for us to find justice desperately. I idolized Alan for not killing Gareth Lamberth the time he confessed to Alan the whole story, if I would him, I’m going to kill him because for me, it’s not vengeance, it’s justice.
Robinson, P. 2005. Strange affair.New York: Eastvale Enterprises Inc.
Strange affair. 2005. Retrieved on December 12, 2014, from http://www.inspectorbanks.com/books/strange-affair/