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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Friend of the Devil

Robinson, Peter. Friend of the Devil. Rayna Gilman got me started on these novels, and I really enjoy the suspense as Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and Detective Inspector Annie Cabot pursue the bad guys. Amy at The Sleepy Reader received this one as an ARC and when she finished, was kind enough to offer to send it to me.

Two murders in different locations become entangled. DI Annie Cabot, on loan to another force, is covering the murder of a quadriplegic woman whose throat was slit. In Eastvale, DCI Alan Banks is faced with the murder of a young girl. Two different murderers and two different methods. Yet, there is a hidden link, although not through the murderers.

One thing I enjoy about these novels is that they allude to past novels. The title of this novel refers to a previous novel, Aftermath, and the Chameleon murders. It doesn't matter if you haven't read the novel, but it strikes a familiar note if you have. The plot has several twists and a couple of surprises, as Banks and Cabot working on two different murders discover the connecting thread.

Robinson's characters are complex and well-developed. Cabot and Banks, the major characters, have had layer after layer added to their characters through the series, but even minor characters have a sense of being well-rounded, with strengths and weaknesses, and they, too, have been developing gradually from novel to novel.

Robinson does not write cozy mysteries. His novels are definitely darker. Not quite as dark as Val Diarmid or Ian Rankin, perhaps, but certainly not "toast and tea" in Yorkshire.

Fiction. Mystery/Suspense. 2008. 372 pages.


  1. I haven't read this particular one, but I love the Robinson books too. If you read them chronologically you can see him developing his writing skills and I do love it when that's the case. I have a friend who saves the new Robinson for Christmas every year. It's her special present to herself.

  2. I'm definitely a fan of the Inspector Banks books. I think I'm only up to #7 or 8.
    Which reminds me that I need to catch up. I've only read one Inspector Banks book this year. At that rate I'll never catch up to the series! ha.ha.

  3. Ann -- Robinson is always a fast read because it is so hard to put the books down! Yes, the writing and the characters have both developed over the course of the series, and I really enjoy that as well. I think the idea of saving a special book for a Christmas present for yourself is a great idea!

    iliana -- There are a couple that I've missed for one reason or another that I need to go back and pick up. So many books out there calling your name; you can never keep up with them all!

  4. I definitely plan to read more by Peter Robinson after reading this one. :-) I had never heard of him before a couple of months ago.

  5. LF -- I'd read one of his novels several years ago, but for some reason didn't pursue it. When Rayna mentioned that she loved the series, I started reading and couldn't stop until I'd read every one our library had. You'll have fun catching up on the backgrounds of Alan and Annie!