tregatt1, June 19, 2008 (view all comments by tregatt1)
I'm a huge fan of the series and Peter Robinson's Alan Banks series is pretty much an auto-buy for me. That said, I have to say that I am getting a little tired of certain regular plot features/devices -- like the detailed references to the music Banks listens to -- sometimes it almost feels as if they were stage directions to the filmed version of the novels. More often than not however they read like indications that we're to take Banks as something more than a plodding policeman. The thing is that I rather thought that we'd moved away from such thinking! And then there was the little segue into Banks' and Cabot's private, screwed up love lives. My impatience with this plot gambit however may have more to do with the fact that I have never really warmed up to Annie Cabot as a character. I'm definitely in the minority here, I know and really think that the author should worry more about his characters' alarming drinking habits. My real problem with FRIEND OF THE DEVIL though was that I felt as if the entire subplot dealing with Banks' investigation into the murder-rape of Hayley Daniels was wasted, and that it made the pacing of the book uneven and seemingly plodding at times. I much preferred the subplot dealing with the murder of Lucy Payne and rather wished that Banks had been the investigating officer on that!
In spite of all my niggles, however, this still was a fantastically riveting read, with the last half of the book proving to be absolutely unputdownable. Which just goes to show how brilliant an author Peter Robinson truly is, and how in spite of all my nitpicking grumbles, I still found FRIEND OF THE DEVIL to be an utterly compelling and absorbing read.
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joie de vivre, June 15, 2008 (view all comments by joie de vivre)
While generally up to the standards of other books in this series, Friend of the Devil cribs from a much earlier Peter Robinson non-Banks book, First Cut. The story of the slasher and his one surviving victim is told in that book in a slightly different form and is given more detail. Having that background, I found the new book a bit of a cop-out (no pun intended). By using plots from two of his previous books for this new book, Robinson shows some lack of imagination here. I hope he develops new crimes for any future books.
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William Morrow & Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Library Journal,
"The plot isn't as original as what readers encounter in Robinson's other mysteries, but his talent for twists and turns makes it enjoyable nonetheless."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"As usual with Robinson, the characters are beautifully drawn, the frequent conflicts sharply etched and the soundtrack of pop tunes ubiquitous. The resolution to both cases seems almost beside the point."
"The Banks series remains on the A-list for all readers of British procedurals."
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