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Friend of the Devil (Inspector Banks Novels) Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2008
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Amazon Significant Seven, February 2008: Fans of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels, and anyone who enjoyed In the Woods as much as we did, will love Peter Robinson's smart and absorbing Friend of the Devil. Be sure to set aside some time to dig in--you'll be tempted to devour it in one sitting, but this gripping and finely plotted mystery deserves to be savored. If this is your first introduction to the intrepid Inspector Alan Banks, count yourself lucky--Robinson has been crafting these award-winning police procedurals for more than two decades now, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy what Stephen King has called "the best series of British novels since the novels of Patrick O'Brian." --Daphne Durham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Robinson's stunning 17th suspense novel to feature DCI Alan Banks (after 2006's Piece of My Heart), Banks and his on-again-off-again partner and lover, Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot, race to piece together a string of brutal murders. While on loan to a sister precinct, Cabbot investigates the gruesome death of a paraplegic woman found on a desolate cliff with her throat slit. Back in Eastvale, North Yorkshire, Banks and his team discover the body of a young woman who has been raped and strangled in a shady area of town known as the Maze. At first, there are no obvious connections between the two attacks, but when Cabbot uncovers the chilling identity of the woman on the cliff, she and Banks must once again confront sadistic serial killers Terry and Lucy Payne, last seen in Aftermath (2001). Banks and Cabbot are flawed but empathetic heroes, and readers will be on the edge of their seats as the two explore not only the depths of human depravity but also their own murky relationship. 7-city author tour.(Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The novel commences with DI Annie Cabbot being called to the vicious death of a wheelchair bound woman by the sea. When she discovers the identity of the woman who is linked to an old and horrific case that first introduced Annie into Bank’s life, the stakes change. This is a high profile case where, it’s felt, justice has at last been served. But that doesn’t change the fact that a murderer has struck and must be brought to justice. At the same time, Banks is called to investigate the murder of a beautiful, clever and popular young woman who is found in an area known as The Maze in Eastvale.
At first, there seems to be nothing in common with the two cases but, as the investigations proceed and both Banks and Annie are forced to think outside the square, commonalities begin to emerge – commonalities that lead them to discover the lies that have kept dark secrets hidden, and that the killer or killers are closer than they thought.
What I love about Robinson’s books, apart from the cases themselves, is that he also delves into and as a consequence develops, the personal lives and friendships between the central characters. Banks and Cabbot have had a rather tumultuous personal relationship and, in this book, it’s no exception with Annie making mistakes, feeling judged (something which she is perfectly capable of doing to herself and far more harshly than those close to her, despite what she thinks) and failing to trust those who only have her best interests at heart. Likewise, Banks doesn’t know how to recapture the friendship he’s enjoyed with Annie nor reconcile the loss he feels now that their intimate relationship has ended.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t directly affect their ability to work together as a team nor acknowledge each other’s strengths just as they accept each other’s weaknesses. Something all the officers do to a greater and lesser degree.
Another fine addition to such a consistently strong and utterly readable series.
This book, a sequel to his book "Aftermath," has a brilliant beginning with two murders taking place in different places. One murder is an after-the-pubs-closing rape-murder in an alley maze, and the other is a cliffside killing of a woman in a wheelchair.
Banks investigates the rape killing, and Detective Inspector Annie Cabot follows up with the other. The Annie investigation gets needlessly complicated with too many female suspects, and the solution is unsatisfactory and not too plausible or credible.
Three-quarters of the book is great, and then it peters out to some extent.
Robinson always writes good stories: interesting, involving, neatly presented. Often Banks has to re-interview his suspects which can add to the suspense. Switching back and forth between the two investigations keeps you interested, although Annie's case does become too confusing.
As readers we go in a lot of grotty old pubs, learn a great deal about British character, and have fun sorting out all the many suspects. A second murder in the alley maze ties the two cases together but not in a believable way. The team of cops is an interesting part of the story with good individualization of the various officers. Annie gets involved with an immature young stud. Sergeant Templeton is a crude and nasty piece of work. It's a lot of fun to read; it must have been fun to write.
A good quote from the book: "Killers who wanted to make statements were like bores at a party, a bugger to shut up until they'd finished what they had to say."
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