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Two murders . . . two towns . . .

A woman sits in a wheelchair perched on a cliff high above the sea, her throat slit from ear to ear . . .

In a maze of narrow alleys behind a market square, a teenaged girl has been murdered after a night of drunken revelries with her friends.

A pair of horrific crimes, the first—a seemingly senseless murder of a helpless paraplegic—falls to Inspector Annie Cabbot, on loan to a local police department. The terrible death of young Hayley Daniels becomes Chief Inspector Alan Banks's investigation.

But shattering revelations threaten to awaken the slumbering demons of earlier, darker times, and more blood is in the offing when the two cases brutally and unexpectedly collide.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061803055
List price: $6.99
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In this book, DI Annie Cabbot has been seconded to another division. Banks misses her as a professional colleague, and she him, and they are also perhaps rethinking their personal relationship. Banks has to investigate the rape and murder of a young woman in a downtown alley, and Cabbot the inexplicable murder of a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic. The explanation lies in one of their past cases -- therefore I'd not recommend this as your first Inspector Banks mystery, as there will be spoilers of the earlier book. But those who have been following the series will not be disappointed in this latest outing.more
You know, you just can't go wrong with Banks and Cabot. Though this one was just a bit heavy on Annie's personal demons, as always Robinson delivered a well written story - truly a non-formulaic mystery.

I may be kinda simple, but I was mildly surprised at whodunit.

Especially after a recent string of unsatisfying, shortcut-taking so-called mysteries, the 11 hours listening to this book was time very well spent.more
Another book in the Inspector Banks series and I enjoyed this. For most of the novel there are two stories that weave in and out of each other until they come to a climatic conclusion.

The background to the later books in this series is the relationship between Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot continues in this book. It is the story of the characters that makes the books so enjoyable.more
I liked it, but I guessed the major twists.more
quite improbable but carried me alongmore
I was looking forward to reading this book. I have loved the others in the series. I only go half way through this book. There were two story lines and by the middle of the book I couldn't care who the murderers were.more
This series maintains its quality. It is as satisfying as putting on a warm sweater on a winter's day. Regular readers have grown fond of Detective Chief Inspector Allan Banks and his colleagues, including Annie Cabbot. Where other who dunnit series grow tiresome and repetitive, this one is as current as the music on Banks' I-Pod shuttle. It's clear that the author loves music, and music ranging from Pentangle to rap percolates through the works. Robinson's description of the first time Banks heard Dylan as a teenager resonates. His son, in fact, has grown into a rock star. The point is that these characters evolve, as do their cases. So although you turn pages to find out who did it, you enjoy how the cases impact upon both the criminals and Banks and his crew. In addition, the writing itself is tight and propulsive.more
An enjoyable book. Two different murders turn into a single one and tie in to two mysteries in the past. I read those other mysteries a long time ago, so I was not really appreciate it. But be sure to read those before you start on this one. I like the two mysteries, but am get enjoyed by the love lives of the main characters. It can do without.more
Not one of Peter Robinson's best in my opinion. A sort of follow-on from Aftermath with the widow of the serial murderer in that book involved. I felt the book dragged and could have been 100 pages shorter. Nevertheless Robinson remains one of my favourites and there is a new love interest with Sophia, definitely a formidable rival for the omnipresent Annie.more
I borrowed this on a recommendation from a friend. The mystery itself was interesting but the writing is weighted down with far too many pop culture and self-absorbed references to types of wine, play lists on the character's MP3 players, etc., etc. It was almost to the point of feeling like written product placements throughout. Compare to Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse, whose character is fleshed out with likes and dislikes but the reader isn't beaten over the head with them.Acceptable for beach or single reading but not worth keeping on the shelf.more
In the English countryside, a young woman named Hayley Daniels is found raped and strangled in the path behind a town pub.In a neighboring town another body is found. This was a quadriplegic woman, found in her wheelchair with her throat cut.D.I. Annie Cabbott has just spent the night with a stranger she met in a bar. The amount of alcohol she drank and the man's youth are indications of the termoil Annie is feeling.Annie is placed in charge of the case of the quadriplegic and Det. Chief Inspector Alan Banks heads the investigation into Hayley's death.Peter Robinson has written a powerful, character driven novel. The two investigations parallel each other and we learn much of the history of the two officers. Theif methodical, step by step investigations are stalled until Annie finds that her victim is Luch Payne, the wife of a mass murderer. Her husband was killed as the police were closing in on him and Lucy jumped from a windown and was paralized.Annie feels that her killer might be a revenge killing from the family of one of her husband's victims.The reader learns much more thant the steps leading to the capture of the killers. We see how dealing with victims of brutal crimes can effect the lives of experienced police officers. Do they need alcohol to numb the horrors that they've seen? Can someone have a personal relationship after dealing with man's inhumanity?A well told story by Robinson who has won many literary awards including the Edgar and the Anthony.Highly Recommended.more
Sunday morning brings with it the discovery of two murders, both women, one in a seedier part of the town of Eastvale, and the other in a wheelchair on a headland near Whitby.DCI Alan Banks attends the Eastvale crime scene while his former colleague DI Annie Cabbot, on loan to Eastern Area, takes on the wheelchair murder.The body of nineteen year old Hayley Daniels is discovered in the storeroom of a leather good shop in the Maze. CCTV shows Hayley entering the Maze on her own, so was her murderer waiting for her?The body in the wheelchair, on the other hand, is that of a quadraplegic. Her murderer appears to have collected her from the care facility where she has been living, taken her to the headland, and slit her throat. Annie Cabbot's search for clues to the woman's background and identity unearths a connection to an old case that both she and Banks were involved in.Annie is not handling her current situation at all well. She misses working with Banks and her search for personal reward is leading her down paths fraught with disaster. From the moment it is revealed that Banks and Cabbot are working apart, it is inevitable that their paths will cross. This does give THE FRIEND OF THE DEVIL a certain sense of predictability, although the nature of their relationship when they meet is problematic for both Banks and Cabbot. I enjoyed the expansion of the other characters including Detective Superintendent Catherine Gervaise, DS Kevin Templeton, and DC Winsome Jackman. Jackman in particular acts as a bridge between the investigations of Banks and Cabbot.THE FRIEND OF THE DEVIL is the 17th Inspector Banks novel, and Robinson shows that he still has the capacity to surprise even while plumbing new depths in the Banks/Cabbot relationship. Annie Cabbot first appeared in 1999 IN A DRY SEASON, eight books before FRIEND OF THE DEVIL. Through her, Robinson has been exploring the parameters of successful detective partnerships. It is an issue which other authors like Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill, and Colin Dexter avoided with their male duos. The relationship between Banks and Cabbot is not that of two equals: he after all is the "boss", and he is also quite a bit older than her. Robinson asks questions about whether the relationship between male and female detective duos needs to be emotional and whether it can ever be sexual. The changing landscape of the Banks/Cabbot relationship is part of what keeps fans coming back to this series.more
Friend of the Devil is another excellent novel by Peter Robinson. It keeps you interested the whole way through, and makes you care about and understand the characters. Some shocking crimes are revisited, but the story is excellent as usual.more
Complicated murder mystery with the two detectives working separate cases that come together in the end of the book with a surprise, gruesome and violent death.more
I enjoyed Simon Prebble's interpretation, and I like the characters in the book. However, I do feel that the mysteries were solved by the protagonists without having given sufficient clues to the reader. It didn't leave me with an I-should-have-seen-that feeling which is the hallmark of truly great mysteries.more
i like this series-Alan Banks and Annie-enuf personal detail to be interesting and the mysteries are good toomore
Friend of the Devil has one of the best opening paragraphs I've ever read for this genre and immediately I was hopeful that, yes indeed, this was going to be a great book. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to those hopes, but I still found it entertaining nevertheless. Two murders; two different investigations and two different lead detectives. I would recommend it, but it is definitely the type of read you really must devote yourself to great chunks of time to make sure you ingrain the characters into your memory. I dabbled with this book in small doses as life kept interrupting, and in all fairness, that really did take away from the smooth flow of the story. I kept losing track of who was who and found myself backtracking. The writing itself was good, but a little bit wordier than what was needed. I did like the lead characters and I would read another Peter Robinson book featuring them. If a varied cast of characters is Mr. Robinson's M.O., I will definitely make sure I have plenty of time to lose myself in his stories and stay in the moment with him.more
An entertaining read which ties together loose ends from not just one, but two previous novels. It's very useful in understanding the story to have read both Aftermath and stand-alone Caedmon's Song before Freind of the Devil.more
Another excellent Banks story, as usual set in and around the fictional Eastvale, but with substantive mentions of real locations in Whitby and Leeds. Di Annie Cabbott is on secondment in Whitby and her and Banks' murder cases suddenly appear to be linked. A very ingenious plot and the usual strong characterisation make you want to read to the final pages as quickly as possible.more
This is the 17th in Peter Robinson's excellent Alan Banks series. Banks is a Chief Inspector in Eastvale, a small English town not far from Leeds. The series is rather dark in tone, but one rather expects that in a murder related series. While Banks is the main character, it is something of an ensemble piece, with a number of interesting characters that grow over the course of the series. Annie Cabot is the lead female character, and it is her emotional life that is a major plot point in this particular entry in the series. Excellent series, this book is a well-done part of it.more
Overall, an intriguing read.I was excited about getting this book, because I enjoy mystery novels, and this was set in Great Britain--the locale of many excellent mysteries. I had a little trouble getting into this book, however, because of all the acronyms and names. If you're not familiar with the British police system, it takes a while to figure out which officer does what job. Also, I think too many characters were introduced at the same time in the beginning. I spent a lot of time turning pages back and forth to refresh my memory.There were also a few typos (does no one edit anymore?), which drive me crazy, but I'm probably in the minority on that issue.I liked the way the narrative alternated between the two main characters, but it should have been more clear in the very beginning that there were two different threads (maybe by using chapter titles or subtitles?).There were a couple of throw-away characters (what happened to Sophia? what was her purpose in the plot?), although they were interesting side stories.But having said all that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read--I couldn't put it down!more
In Peter Robinson's 17th mystery starring DCI Alan Banks, Banks is investigating the murder of a young woman found strangled in a storage shed in Eastvale. Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabot is investigating the murder of a woman who was found on sitting in her wheelchair with her throat cut. For readers new to the series, Friend of the Devil isn't a great place to start because it picks up on the events of one of Robinson's previous mysteries, Aftermath. This connection works against Friend of the Devil, because while this is a good, solid mystery, it suffers in comparison to the outstanding Aftermath. The mystery is engaging, and it was interesting to catch up with several characters from a previous mystery. I was less happy with some of the development in the detectives' personal lives - Annie's treatment of a guy she's gotten involved with is appalling, and seemed out of character to me. But overall, I enjoyed the book and I will certainly stick with this consistently good series.more
Spoilers ahoy –This was my first Peter Robinson and while good, I don’t think I’ll be adding this series to my reading list. Just too many other books to read and series I’m committed to and this one didn’t grab me. It wasn’t bad though, just felt familiar. While reading it, impressions of other books and even a TV series came to me; Dalgliesh from the P.D. James novels, Jane Tennyson from the Prime Suspect TV series, Lucas Davenport from the John Sanford series. All those are police procedurals and Friend of the Devil is just as good, albeit a bit ‘scene driven’. The two cases came together in a way that was predictable, but plausible. A couple of things bothered me about how the cases were run though. Annie didn’t strike me as aggressive enough in her dealings with the lawyers who knew Karen Drew’s true identity. That kind of thing is usually like meat in front of a starving dog. A similar failing of Banks’s drew my attention as well. Much was made of The Maze and its intricacy and impossibility to police. When it was evident someone entered without being captured on CCTV, I immediately thought that there must be a connection between an entrance that is filmed and an entrance that isn’t. The buildings were ganged together and must connect somewhere. Lo and behold, that’s just what solves the case. If they had thought of it when I did, the book would have been a lot shorter.This definitely read like part of a series and a lot of detail was omitted or alluded to. It wasn’t too hard to fill in the blanks, but it was definitely noticeable. Not a bad thing if you’re into a series. I find it quite irritating to be told the same information over and over again. Characterization seemed to be thorough, if a bit clichéd. Annie kept the furthest away from outright cliché and it surprised me. Banks however, was a fair amalgam of a lot of detectives I’ve read.The constant brand name dropping of items, terms, songs etc. drove me crazy. I understand using specificity to create atmosphere and time and place, but this was just laying it on too thick. iTunes this and Google that – enough! Ten years hence it will make this book very dated. It also feels like the author is simultaneously showing off with his esoteric musical knowledge and setting up a private joke most of his readers won’t understand. I find it much more effective for my imagination to read the words laptop computer rather than MacBook. But that’s just me.Overall I liked Friend of the Devil. It just isn’t unique enough to add to my series addiction.more
This was my first Peter Robinson book, and I was very happy with what I read. The crimes within were very intriguing and kept me reading well into the night. The characters and their relationships were interesting and even though this was my first book in the series, I quickly felt as if I was with old friends. The end of the book left me a little disappointed, it works well with the entire story, but seemed as if there was more story totell. Having read this book, I will be finding and reading the previous books in the series.more
I had never read anything by Peter Robinson and quickly realized we have continuing characters here. However, that did not ruin the book for me. I found it to be well nuanced, with well-developed characters and an intricate and detailed plot. It is the story of what appears to be two separate murders. As each is investigated facts come to light that show they are actually related. As the book moves to a conclusion, I did get somewhat lost - there were a lot of names and motives that seemed to confuse me. And when we finally got to the end, the book stopped. I was a little dissatisfied at the conclusion - it needed a bit more resolution for me. I will, however, based upon this book, go back and read more Peter Robinson. I liked the police procedures and the murder mystery very much.more
This book tells the story of two very different mysteries investigatedby two detectives with a shared history. Right from the start the storyreally draws the reader in, as all good mysteries do, presenting twocrimes committed on the same night in very different locations - oneurban and one rural - and in very different circumstances.I really liked the way the author balances the police procedural partsand details about the crimes committed with the more personalinformation about the two detectives and the people around them. Veryquickly into the story I had a good sense of who these people were andI was interested in them. I thought the ending was really good as well - unexpected but not completely out of the blue if you looked back at the hints available.One complaint however is that since I haven'tread any of the author's other works there were occasionally referencesto things that I didn't understand but I assumed were explained inearlier books. The book reminded me somewhat of the British mysteryseries starring Helen Mirren that I really like, so I appreciated theBritishness of it, but that might be a drawback for some people whoaren't as familiar with the various job titles and terms used forthings.more
A quadriplegic is found with her throat slit on the beach and at the same time a young girl is found raped and murdered behind a local pub. As the police follow the individual cases, the author skillfully spins a web that brings these two unrelated crimes together. This the first book by Peter Robinson that I have read but it most certainly will not be the last. This is a smart, intelligent British detective novel. Even though I am a stranger to Inspector Banks, I felt as though I was meeting with an old friend. I found Banks to be a deep, multi-layered character and reminiscent of Inspector Morse. I actually found myself putting this book down as I was reading it, simply because I didn't want it to end. I wanted to stay within it's pages as long as possible. It has been a very long time since a book has affected me that way. Highly recommended! Now I must go back and start this series from the beginning.more
This is the 3rd or 4th PR book I've read, and I think his most assured so far. (I do prefer the haunting IN A DRY SEASON for its unique atmostphere which is like a fable turned cautionary tale.) I'm not a huge fan of pure police procedural, but PR does it as well as anyone. (I don't think it much matters if it's british or us; after a while, you get the lingo down and it's all essentially the same at the core.) What I look for is the way relationships are developed over the course of the book and the series. They must be made to work in both senses, and this is a difficult thing to do. PR succeeds largely because Banks is a very likeable character who nonetheless posesses sufficient melancholy, introspection and depth to keep him interesting - and because he gives Banks truly interesting women to mess around with. This is hugely important to me! Nothing turns me off like a poorly-developed love interest.Annie's arc in this book was my favorite element. How PR gets straight to the core of her pain is beyond me - she's complex: on the cusp of middle age (and that pains me to say because I'm 4 years older than her), lonely, and unsure of herself, she embarks on a series of self-destructive behaviors, but at the same time she shows a peculiar defiant strength when provoked. I really love this character.I believe it's Ian Rankin (?) who also peppers his work with references to music I've never heard of. I marked a bunch of pages to check out later; will have to hit itunes to see what it's all about. It gives Banks a sort of uber-hipness that's appealing.more
Take this review with a grain of salt. Why do I say that? Because I did something I never do—I jumped into the middle of a long-established series without reading any of the prior books. And it was really obvious that I’d missed a lot. It was almost as if the novel’s strengths had become weaknesses for me. The characters were so complex that I couldn’t catch up on their history through a few paragraphs of exposition. Likewise, the British setting was so realistic that I found myself struggling to figure out the police officers' jobs and hierarchy, as well as to decipher the meaning of slang and pop culture references. I feel so American, LOL.The novel has two protagonists. Annie Cabbott is a homicide detective in crisis. Her current state does not make her especially likeable, and I find myself wondering how she became the mess she is. Currently she’s on temporary loan to another city, taking her away from familiar surroundings. Personally, she’s drinking like a fish and having ill-advised sexual liaisons. Professionally, she’s investigating the murder of a presumably harmless, helpless quadriplegic. Although, as my phrasing suggests, there’s more to the case than first meets the eye. The other major character is Alan Banks. Where Annie is in crisis, Alan is at a turning point. He is also investigating a homicide, a violent sex crime with a 19-year-old victim. The narrative jogs back and forth between the investigations of these two cases, which was a little challenging at times. It’s a lot of names and details to keep track of. And being a somewhat more realistic procedural, you really get a feel for the frustration and drudgery of looking at the same clues, statements, and details over and over, trying to see something new. Trying to find a new trail to follow. Trying to see what you’ve previously missed. Eventually, it begins to seem that these two disparate cases may be linked somehow. I was gratified that the author didn’t rely on too improbable a coincidence to explain this. The resolutions to the crimes were both sad and satisfying. The novel ended quite abruptly after the murders had been solved, leaving me wanting a little more dénouement. And as challenging as it had been to figure out the characters' past based on clues in the text, I was left very much wanting to know what would happen to them next. While I doubt I’ll invest the effort into reading a lengthy backlist, I have a feeling I may be reading the next book in this series. What more can an author ask; I appear to be hooked.more
The best of his I've read (Dead Right, In A Dry Season). Good characters and plot, and not so wordy as the other two. There's still an awful lot of description that doesn't advance the plot, and an overfondness for musical referesces which end up seeming more list a list than anything else. Nevertheless, this one moves along fairly well, whereas the earlier two mentioned were hard reads for me. I still expect to go back to the how the characters developed to here, and expect the next one to be even better. Unfortunately, I also expect the backlist to be more of a slog, so I'll save them for when I'm running low on titles.more
Read all 36 reviews

Reviews

In this book, DI Annie Cabbot has been seconded to another division. Banks misses her as a professional colleague, and she him, and they are also perhaps rethinking their personal relationship. Banks has to investigate the rape and murder of a young woman in a downtown alley, and Cabbot the inexplicable murder of a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic. The explanation lies in one of their past cases -- therefore I'd not recommend this as your first Inspector Banks mystery, as there will be spoilers of the earlier book. But those who have been following the series will not be disappointed in this latest outing.more
You know, you just can't go wrong with Banks and Cabot. Though this one was just a bit heavy on Annie's personal demons, as always Robinson delivered a well written story - truly a non-formulaic mystery.

I may be kinda simple, but I was mildly surprised at whodunit.

Especially after a recent string of unsatisfying, shortcut-taking so-called mysteries, the 11 hours listening to this book was time very well spent.more
Another book in the Inspector Banks series and I enjoyed this. For most of the novel there are two stories that weave in and out of each other until they come to a climatic conclusion.

The background to the later books in this series is the relationship between Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot continues in this book. It is the story of the characters that makes the books so enjoyable.more
I liked it, but I guessed the major twists.more
quite improbable but carried me alongmore
I was looking forward to reading this book. I have loved the others in the series. I only go half way through this book. There were two story lines and by the middle of the book I couldn't care who the murderers were.more
This series maintains its quality. It is as satisfying as putting on a warm sweater on a winter's day. Regular readers have grown fond of Detective Chief Inspector Allan Banks and his colleagues, including Annie Cabbot. Where other who dunnit series grow tiresome and repetitive, this one is as current as the music on Banks' I-Pod shuttle. It's clear that the author loves music, and music ranging from Pentangle to rap percolates through the works. Robinson's description of the first time Banks heard Dylan as a teenager resonates. His son, in fact, has grown into a rock star. The point is that these characters evolve, as do their cases. So although you turn pages to find out who did it, you enjoy how the cases impact upon both the criminals and Banks and his crew. In addition, the writing itself is tight and propulsive.more
An enjoyable book. Two different murders turn into a single one and tie in to two mysteries in the past. I read those other mysteries a long time ago, so I was not really appreciate it. But be sure to read those before you start on this one. I like the two mysteries, but am get enjoyed by the love lives of the main characters. It can do without.more
Not one of Peter Robinson's best in my opinion. A sort of follow-on from Aftermath with the widow of the serial murderer in that book involved. I felt the book dragged and could have been 100 pages shorter. Nevertheless Robinson remains one of my favourites and there is a new love interest with Sophia, definitely a formidable rival for the omnipresent Annie.more
I borrowed this on a recommendation from a friend. The mystery itself was interesting but the writing is weighted down with far too many pop culture and self-absorbed references to types of wine, play lists on the character's MP3 players, etc., etc. It was almost to the point of feeling like written product placements throughout. Compare to Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse, whose character is fleshed out with likes and dislikes but the reader isn't beaten over the head with them.Acceptable for beach or single reading but not worth keeping on the shelf.more
In the English countryside, a young woman named Hayley Daniels is found raped and strangled in the path behind a town pub.In a neighboring town another body is found. This was a quadriplegic woman, found in her wheelchair with her throat cut.D.I. Annie Cabbott has just spent the night with a stranger she met in a bar. The amount of alcohol she drank and the man's youth are indications of the termoil Annie is feeling.Annie is placed in charge of the case of the quadriplegic and Det. Chief Inspector Alan Banks heads the investigation into Hayley's death.Peter Robinson has written a powerful, character driven novel. The two investigations parallel each other and we learn much of the history of the two officers. Theif methodical, step by step investigations are stalled until Annie finds that her victim is Luch Payne, the wife of a mass murderer. Her husband was killed as the police were closing in on him and Lucy jumped from a windown and was paralized.Annie feels that her killer might be a revenge killing from the family of one of her husband's victims.The reader learns much more thant the steps leading to the capture of the killers. We see how dealing with victims of brutal crimes can effect the lives of experienced police officers. Do they need alcohol to numb the horrors that they've seen? Can someone have a personal relationship after dealing with man's inhumanity?A well told story by Robinson who has won many literary awards including the Edgar and the Anthony.Highly Recommended.more
Sunday morning brings with it the discovery of two murders, both women, one in a seedier part of the town of Eastvale, and the other in a wheelchair on a headland near Whitby.DCI Alan Banks attends the Eastvale crime scene while his former colleague DI Annie Cabbot, on loan to Eastern Area, takes on the wheelchair murder.The body of nineteen year old Hayley Daniels is discovered in the storeroom of a leather good shop in the Maze. CCTV shows Hayley entering the Maze on her own, so was her murderer waiting for her?The body in the wheelchair, on the other hand, is that of a quadraplegic. Her murderer appears to have collected her from the care facility where she has been living, taken her to the headland, and slit her throat. Annie Cabbot's search for clues to the woman's background and identity unearths a connection to an old case that both she and Banks were involved in.Annie is not handling her current situation at all well. She misses working with Banks and her search for personal reward is leading her down paths fraught with disaster. From the moment it is revealed that Banks and Cabbot are working apart, it is inevitable that their paths will cross. This does give THE FRIEND OF THE DEVIL a certain sense of predictability, although the nature of their relationship when they meet is problematic for both Banks and Cabbot. I enjoyed the expansion of the other characters including Detective Superintendent Catherine Gervaise, DS Kevin Templeton, and DC Winsome Jackman. Jackman in particular acts as a bridge between the investigations of Banks and Cabbot.THE FRIEND OF THE DEVIL is the 17th Inspector Banks novel, and Robinson shows that he still has the capacity to surprise even while plumbing new depths in the Banks/Cabbot relationship. Annie Cabbot first appeared in 1999 IN A DRY SEASON, eight books before FRIEND OF THE DEVIL. Through her, Robinson has been exploring the parameters of successful detective partnerships. It is an issue which other authors like Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill, and Colin Dexter avoided with their male duos. The relationship between Banks and Cabbot is not that of two equals: he after all is the "boss", and he is also quite a bit older than her. Robinson asks questions about whether the relationship between male and female detective duos needs to be emotional and whether it can ever be sexual. The changing landscape of the Banks/Cabbot relationship is part of what keeps fans coming back to this series.more
Friend of the Devil is another excellent novel by Peter Robinson. It keeps you interested the whole way through, and makes you care about and understand the characters. Some shocking crimes are revisited, but the story is excellent as usual.more
Complicated murder mystery with the two detectives working separate cases that come together in the end of the book with a surprise, gruesome and violent death.more
I enjoyed Simon Prebble's interpretation, and I like the characters in the book. However, I do feel that the mysteries were solved by the protagonists without having given sufficient clues to the reader. It didn't leave me with an I-should-have-seen-that feeling which is the hallmark of truly great mysteries.more
i like this series-Alan Banks and Annie-enuf personal detail to be interesting and the mysteries are good toomore
Friend of the Devil has one of the best opening paragraphs I've ever read for this genre and immediately I was hopeful that, yes indeed, this was going to be a great book. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to those hopes, but I still found it entertaining nevertheless. Two murders; two different investigations and two different lead detectives. I would recommend it, but it is definitely the type of read you really must devote yourself to great chunks of time to make sure you ingrain the characters into your memory. I dabbled with this book in small doses as life kept interrupting, and in all fairness, that really did take away from the smooth flow of the story. I kept losing track of who was who and found myself backtracking. The writing itself was good, but a little bit wordier than what was needed. I did like the lead characters and I would read another Peter Robinson book featuring them. If a varied cast of characters is Mr. Robinson's M.O., I will definitely make sure I have plenty of time to lose myself in his stories and stay in the moment with him.more
An entertaining read which ties together loose ends from not just one, but two previous novels. It's very useful in understanding the story to have read both Aftermath and stand-alone Caedmon's Song before Freind of the Devil.more
Another excellent Banks story, as usual set in and around the fictional Eastvale, but with substantive mentions of real locations in Whitby and Leeds. Di Annie Cabbott is on secondment in Whitby and her and Banks' murder cases suddenly appear to be linked. A very ingenious plot and the usual strong characterisation make you want to read to the final pages as quickly as possible.more
This is the 17th in Peter Robinson's excellent Alan Banks series. Banks is a Chief Inspector in Eastvale, a small English town not far from Leeds. The series is rather dark in tone, but one rather expects that in a murder related series. While Banks is the main character, it is something of an ensemble piece, with a number of interesting characters that grow over the course of the series. Annie Cabot is the lead female character, and it is her emotional life that is a major plot point in this particular entry in the series. Excellent series, this book is a well-done part of it.more
Overall, an intriguing read.I was excited about getting this book, because I enjoy mystery novels, and this was set in Great Britain--the locale of many excellent mysteries. I had a little trouble getting into this book, however, because of all the acronyms and names. If you're not familiar with the British police system, it takes a while to figure out which officer does what job. Also, I think too many characters were introduced at the same time in the beginning. I spent a lot of time turning pages back and forth to refresh my memory.There were also a few typos (does no one edit anymore?), which drive me crazy, but I'm probably in the minority on that issue.I liked the way the narrative alternated between the two main characters, but it should have been more clear in the very beginning that there were two different threads (maybe by using chapter titles or subtitles?).There were a couple of throw-away characters (what happened to Sophia? what was her purpose in the plot?), although they were interesting side stories.But having said all that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read--I couldn't put it down!more
In Peter Robinson's 17th mystery starring DCI Alan Banks, Banks is investigating the murder of a young woman found strangled in a storage shed in Eastvale. Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabot is investigating the murder of a woman who was found on sitting in her wheelchair with her throat cut. For readers new to the series, Friend of the Devil isn't a great place to start because it picks up on the events of one of Robinson's previous mysteries, Aftermath. This connection works against Friend of the Devil, because while this is a good, solid mystery, it suffers in comparison to the outstanding Aftermath. The mystery is engaging, and it was interesting to catch up with several characters from a previous mystery. I was less happy with some of the development in the detectives' personal lives - Annie's treatment of a guy she's gotten involved with is appalling, and seemed out of character to me. But overall, I enjoyed the book and I will certainly stick with this consistently good series.more
Spoilers ahoy –This was my first Peter Robinson and while good, I don’t think I’ll be adding this series to my reading list. Just too many other books to read and series I’m committed to and this one didn’t grab me. It wasn’t bad though, just felt familiar. While reading it, impressions of other books and even a TV series came to me; Dalgliesh from the P.D. James novels, Jane Tennyson from the Prime Suspect TV series, Lucas Davenport from the John Sanford series. All those are police procedurals and Friend of the Devil is just as good, albeit a bit ‘scene driven’. The two cases came together in a way that was predictable, but plausible. A couple of things bothered me about how the cases were run though. Annie didn’t strike me as aggressive enough in her dealings with the lawyers who knew Karen Drew’s true identity. That kind of thing is usually like meat in front of a starving dog. A similar failing of Banks’s drew my attention as well. Much was made of The Maze and its intricacy and impossibility to police. When it was evident someone entered without being captured on CCTV, I immediately thought that there must be a connection between an entrance that is filmed and an entrance that isn’t. The buildings were ganged together and must connect somewhere. Lo and behold, that’s just what solves the case. If they had thought of it when I did, the book would have been a lot shorter.This definitely read like part of a series and a lot of detail was omitted or alluded to. It wasn’t too hard to fill in the blanks, but it was definitely noticeable. Not a bad thing if you’re into a series. I find it quite irritating to be told the same information over and over again. Characterization seemed to be thorough, if a bit clichéd. Annie kept the furthest away from outright cliché and it surprised me. Banks however, was a fair amalgam of a lot of detectives I’ve read.The constant brand name dropping of items, terms, songs etc. drove me crazy. I understand using specificity to create atmosphere and time and place, but this was just laying it on too thick. iTunes this and Google that – enough! Ten years hence it will make this book very dated. It also feels like the author is simultaneously showing off with his esoteric musical knowledge and setting up a private joke most of his readers won’t understand. I find it much more effective for my imagination to read the words laptop computer rather than MacBook. But that’s just me.Overall I liked Friend of the Devil. It just isn’t unique enough to add to my series addiction.more
This was my first Peter Robinson book, and I was very happy with what I read. The crimes within were very intriguing and kept me reading well into the night. The characters and their relationships were interesting and even though this was my first book in the series, I quickly felt as if I was with old friends. The end of the book left me a little disappointed, it works well with the entire story, but seemed as if there was more story totell. Having read this book, I will be finding and reading the previous books in the series.more
I had never read anything by Peter Robinson and quickly realized we have continuing characters here. However, that did not ruin the book for me. I found it to be well nuanced, with well-developed characters and an intricate and detailed plot. It is the story of what appears to be two separate murders. As each is investigated facts come to light that show they are actually related. As the book moves to a conclusion, I did get somewhat lost - there were a lot of names and motives that seemed to confuse me. And when we finally got to the end, the book stopped. I was a little dissatisfied at the conclusion - it needed a bit more resolution for me. I will, however, based upon this book, go back and read more Peter Robinson. I liked the police procedures and the murder mystery very much.more
This book tells the story of two very different mysteries investigatedby two detectives with a shared history. Right from the start the storyreally draws the reader in, as all good mysteries do, presenting twocrimes committed on the same night in very different locations - oneurban and one rural - and in very different circumstances.I really liked the way the author balances the police procedural partsand details about the crimes committed with the more personalinformation about the two detectives and the people around them. Veryquickly into the story I had a good sense of who these people were andI was interested in them. I thought the ending was really good as well - unexpected but not completely out of the blue if you looked back at the hints available.One complaint however is that since I haven'tread any of the author's other works there were occasionally referencesto things that I didn't understand but I assumed were explained inearlier books. The book reminded me somewhat of the British mysteryseries starring Helen Mirren that I really like, so I appreciated theBritishness of it, but that might be a drawback for some people whoaren't as familiar with the various job titles and terms used forthings.more
A quadriplegic is found with her throat slit on the beach and at the same time a young girl is found raped and murdered behind a local pub. As the police follow the individual cases, the author skillfully spins a web that brings these two unrelated crimes together. This the first book by Peter Robinson that I have read but it most certainly will not be the last. This is a smart, intelligent British detective novel. Even though I am a stranger to Inspector Banks, I felt as though I was meeting with an old friend. I found Banks to be a deep, multi-layered character and reminiscent of Inspector Morse. I actually found myself putting this book down as I was reading it, simply because I didn't want it to end. I wanted to stay within it's pages as long as possible. It has been a very long time since a book has affected me that way. Highly recommended! Now I must go back and start this series from the beginning.more
This is the 3rd or 4th PR book I've read, and I think his most assured so far. (I do prefer the haunting IN A DRY SEASON for its unique atmostphere which is like a fable turned cautionary tale.) I'm not a huge fan of pure police procedural, but PR does it as well as anyone. (I don't think it much matters if it's british or us; after a while, you get the lingo down and it's all essentially the same at the core.) What I look for is the way relationships are developed over the course of the book and the series. They must be made to work in both senses, and this is a difficult thing to do. PR succeeds largely because Banks is a very likeable character who nonetheless posesses sufficient melancholy, introspection and depth to keep him interesting - and because he gives Banks truly interesting women to mess around with. This is hugely important to me! Nothing turns me off like a poorly-developed love interest.Annie's arc in this book was my favorite element. How PR gets straight to the core of her pain is beyond me - she's complex: on the cusp of middle age (and that pains me to say because I'm 4 years older than her), lonely, and unsure of herself, she embarks on a series of self-destructive behaviors, but at the same time she shows a peculiar defiant strength when provoked. I really love this character.I believe it's Ian Rankin (?) who also peppers his work with references to music I've never heard of. I marked a bunch of pages to check out later; will have to hit itunes to see what it's all about. It gives Banks a sort of uber-hipness that's appealing.more
Take this review with a grain of salt. Why do I say that? Because I did something I never do—I jumped into the middle of a long-established series without reading any of the prior books. And it was really obvious that I’d missed a lot. It was almost as if the novel’s strengths had become weaknesses for me. The characters were so complex that I couldn’t catch up on their history through a few paragraphs of exposition. Likewise, the British setting was so realistic that I found myself struggling to figure out the police officers' jobs and hierarchy, as well as to decipher the meaning of slang and pop culture references. I feel so American, LOL.The novel has two protagonists. Annie Cabbott is a homicide detective in crisis. Her current state does not make her especially likeable, and I find myself wondering how she became the mess she is. Currently she’s on temporary loan to another city, taking her away from familiar surroundings. Personally, she’s drinking like a fish and having ill-advised sexual liaisons. Professionally, she’s investigating the murder of a presumably harmless, helpless quadriplegic. Although, as my phrasing suggests, there’s more to the case than first meets the eye. The other major character is Alan Banks. Where Annie is in crisis, Alan is at a turning point. He is also investigating a homicide, a violent sex crime with a 19-year-old victim. The narrative jogs back and forth between the investigations of these two cases, which was a little challenging at times. It’s a lot of names and details to keep track of. And being a somewhat more realistic procedural, you really get a feel for the frustration and drudgery of looking at the same clues, statements, and details over and over, trying to see something new. Trying to find a new trail to follow. Trying to see what you’ve previously missed. Eventually, it begins to seem that these two disparate cases may be linked somehow. I was gratified that the author didn’t rely on too improbable a coincidence to explain this. The resolutions to the crimes were both sad and satisfying. The novel ended quite abruptly after the murders had been solved, leaving me wanting a little more dénouement. And as challenging as it had been to figure out the characters' past based on clues in the text, I was left very much wanting to know what would happen to them next. While I doubt I’ll invest the effort into reading a lengthy backlist, I have a feeling I may be reading the next book in this series. What more can an author ask; I appear to be hooked.more
The best of his I've read (Dead Right, In A Dry Season). Good characters and plot, and not so wordy as the other two. There's still an awful lot of description that doesn't advance the plot, and an overfondness for musical referesces which end up seeming more list a list than anything else. Nevertheless, this one moves along fairly well, whereas the earlier two mentioned were hard reads for me. I still expect to go back to the how the characters developed to here, and expect the next one to be even better. Unfortunately, I also expect the backlist to be more of a slog, so I'll save them for when I'm running low on titles.more
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