I won't lie - I missed Banks. It's so comfortable having him at the centre of Robinson's mysteries that you almost resent the effort of figuring out the stranger (especially since this is a first-person novel, so there are the added complexities of whether the narrator is reliable or not). Nonetheless I enjoyed following along with this tale, and found it pleasantly unpredictable. At first it almost looked like a "cozy", with a self-contained mystery buried in the past of a house with a nasty secret. The landscape broadened out considerably though, as the narrator (recovering from grief) also found his way back to a broader life. Amidst the horrors of past, irremediable intolerances, then, the apparently irrelevant romance for the central character signifies hope for the future. On to the "keeper" shelf it goes.