- Series: Inspector Banks Novels (Book 14)
- Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (January 25, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061031100
- ISBN-13: 978-0061031106
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 146 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Playing with Fire (Inspector Banks Novels) Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2005
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“So vivid that even those who aren’t usually fans of procedural thrillers will fill their fingers burning.” (People (Critic's Choice))
“[Robinson’s] talents...account for both the quickness of mind that makes Banks such a keen protagonist.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Kept us up past our bedtime.” (Boston Globe)
“Robinson is not just a master storyteller, he’s a literary magician.” (Montreal Gazette)
“Crime fiction at its best.” (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)
“Smooth as single malt.” (Washington Post)
“A taut pleasure.” (Daily News)
“A tale that’s both satisfyingly traditional in one regard, and thoroughly up-to-date in its setting and psychological insight.” (Orlando Sentinel)
“Robinson is on a winning streak.” (Tampa Tribune)
“[PLAYING WITH FIRE] has a loud ring of truth and a good deal of suspense.” (Chicago Tribune)
From the Back Cover
Fire—It consumes futures and pasts in aterrified heartbeat, devouring damning secrets while leaving even greater mysteries in the ashes.
The night sky is ablaze as flames engulf two barges moored side by side on an otherwise empty canal. On board are the blackened remains of two human beings. To the seasoned eye, this horror was no accident, the method so cruel and calculated that only the worst sort of fiend could have committed it. There are shocking secrets to be uncovered in the charred wreckage, grim evidence of lethal greed and twisted hunger, and of nightmare occurrences within the private confines of family. A terrible feeling is driving police inspector Alan Banks in his desperate hunt for answers—an unshakable fear that this killer's work will not be done until Banks's own world is burned to the ground.
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A well-thought-out, intricate police procedural of the highest order. Good stuff
My only negative about the book was trying to figure out how the short preface and the epilogue fit in with the story.
(The book was much more coherent than the movie version [that I saw AFTER reading the book].)
And yet, there’s something intriguing about weaving the pieces and parts of Alan Banks’ and Annie Cabbot’s lives together in my head that keeps me going about this disorganized path of reading.
Playing With Fire answers a number of questions about their history and how certain events in subsequent novels unfold. It’s a serious, twisted story about deceit, art, murder, and complex relationships.
This was definitely a page-turner, holding my interest tightly through until the well-pulled together conclusion.
We have a glimpse of Alan and Annie’s previous relationship, his failed marriage, and what’s new in Annie’s world. One thing that continues to draw me into the Banks books is that the characters are well developed. They are as screwed up as real people, making mistakes and hitting the nail on the head at others. Their actions, even those of the bad guys, are believable, not pushed through in order to make the plot unfold.
Add this to another Peter Robinson book I truly liked.
As a Christian, I do hate “Christ” being said as an exclamation and cringe when the f-word appears. We have many words in our English language and I’m not sure why great writers don’t use them.
There is collateral damage as the plot develops. If you are looking for a novel where the main villain is punished you will be disappointed. Some characters get more than they deserve as punishment for misdeeds, and some go unpunished.
This is a complex plot, dealing with topics ranging from pedophilia to stolen identities. It makes you wonder if you really know the people around you. It also explains why many police officers drink, some heavily, considering what they must deal with in the course of investigations, and why they may be inclined to get a bit rough on the assumption that the suspect must be guilty of something.
The plot is a little unfinished as some people seem to just drop out of sight. In the words of Shakespeare, some people vanish into thin air. One can wonder what happened to Mark.