Playing with Fire (Inspector Alan Banks Series #14)

( 12 )

Overview

"In the early hours of a cold January morning, two narrow boats catch fire on the dead-end stretch of the Eastvale Canal." "When signs of accelerant are found at the scene, DCI Banks and DI Annie Cabbot are summoned. But by the time they arrive only the smouldering wreckage is left, and human remains have been found on both boats." "The evidence points towards a deliberate attack. But who was the intended victim? Was it Tina, the sixteen-year-old who had been living a drug-fueled existence with her boyfriend? Or was it Tom, the mysterious, lonely ...
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Playing with Fire (Inspector Alan Banks Series #14)

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Overview

"In the early hours of a cold January morning, two narrow boats catch fire on the dead-end stretch of the Eastvale Canal." "When signs of accelerant are found at the scene, DCI Banks and DI Annie Cabbot are summoned. But by the time they arrive only the smouldering wreckage is left, and human remains have been found on both boats." "The evidence points towards a deliberate attack. But who was the intended victim? Was it Tina, the sixteen-year-old who had been living a drug-fueled existence with her boyfriend? Or was it Tom, the mysterious, lonely artist?" "As Banks makes his enquiries, it appears that a number of people are acting suspiciously: the interfering 'lock keeper', Tina's cold-hearted stepfather, the wily local art dealer, even Tina's boyfriend..." Then the arsonist strikes again and Bank's powers of investigation are tested to the limit.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Although Banks has adapted well to the advanced methods of forensic science (he's a quick study on gas chromatography), his patient and insightful style of detection lends itself more to the art of the personal interview. ''He had a knack for the thrust and parry, or the subtle persuasiveness of a good interrogation,'' writes Robinson, whose own talents in this department account for both the quickness of mind that makes Banks such a keen protagonist and the diversity of tongue that gives the secondary characters -- from inarticulate teenagers to bloviating art experts -- their lively individuality. — Marilyn Stasio
The Washington Post
The Banks novels are a model of dependable professionalism. Given time and a sufficient level of addiction, you could do worse than to seek out four or five and read them straight through. Like Laphroaig and Cassandra Wilson, they satisfy. — Patrick Anderson
Publishers Weekly
Edgar winner Robinson's 14th police procedural to feature Yorkshire DCI Alan Banks isn't quite up to the level of last year's superlative Close to Home, but it's nonetheless an engaging pleasure. Three victims have died in two suspicious fires: Tom McMahon, an eccentric, mostly unsuccessful local artist; Tina Aspern, a young heroin addict estranged from an abusive stepfather; and Roland Gardiner, another down-and-out chap but one who just happens to have a fireproof safe containing a substantial amount of cash and what appears to be a Turner watercolor. To solve the crimes, Banks and his team-DI Annie Cabbot and the refreshingly direct DC Winsome Jackman-pursue good old-fashioned police work, interviewing witnesses, neighbors, relatives and lovers and sifting through the evidence gathered by their specialist colleagues. They also make ample use of contemporary forensic technology. In keeping with the moody and introspective Alan Banks, the narrative style is tempered and deliberate, perhaps too much so for those who prefer, say, the riveting urgency of a Michael Connelly thriller. Characterization is Robinson's real strength. Virtually every character is etched with care, precision and emotional insight. With each book, the quietly competent Alan Banks gets more and more human; like red wine, he gets better and more interesting with age. (Jan. 20) Forecast: A nine-city author tour and a rave from Stephen King, who rarely blurbs these days, can only help solidify the Toronto-based Robinson's niche in the U.S. market. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Among the best British police procedurals published today are entries in Robinson's Inspector Banks series. Not only does each novel feature a complex and intriguing plot set against the harshly beautiful Yorkshire landscape, but each also details the emotional and psychological development of the author's melancholic hero. In this 14th outing, Banks and Annie Cabot, his associate and former lover, investigate an arson fire that destroyed two canal barges and left two charred corpses. Banks and Annie must determine who was the intended victim: Thomas McMahon, a failed artist, or Tina Aspern, a teenaged heroin addict who had fled an abusive stepfather. A second firey death a few days later leads the duo to uncover an art forgery scheme involving the great British painter J.M.W. Turner. Meanwhile, Banks finally confronts his ex-wife, who has given birth to another man's baby, and also grapples with his jealousy over Annie's involvement with an art expert hired to consult on the case. Robinson has once again penned an enthralling read. Strongly recommended for most mystery collections.[Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/03.]-Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Everyone in Eastvale, it seems, has something to hide when DCI Alan Banks tackles a nasty case that combines arson and art fraud. The burning of two boats, along with low-flying painter Tom McMahon and druggie Tina Aspern, raises questions right from the start. Which of the rickety barges they were squatting on was the firebug's primary target? And why did Andrew Hurst, the fussy local collector who reported the blaze, bicycle out from his shack to watch it before phoning the firefighters? But Hurst is only the first of a parade of suspicious characters. There's Leslie Whitaker, the used bookseller who piously insists he doesn't know a thing about the Turneresque watercolors Tom was turning out on antique paper he bought from Whitaker. There's Danny Boy Corcoran, Tina's drug connection. There's troubled Mark Siddons, the remorseful day laborer who'd quarreled with Tina and left her alone on the boat, and there's Dr. Patrick Aspern, the chilly stepfather she'd accused of driving her from home by abusing her repeatedly. Even Phil Keane, the London art authenticator who's been dating Banks's colleague and ex-lover DI Annie Cabbot, starts to look suspicious to the jealous Banks. Whom can he trust to tell the truth about this hydra-headed case? As in Close to Home (2003), Robinson's customary insight into the wavering line between normalcy and unblinking evil is intensified by a sins-of-the-fathers fatalism. P.D. James, meet Ross Macdonald. Author tour
(Critic's Choice) - People Magazine
"So vivid that even those who aren’t usually fans of procedural thrillers will fill their fingers burning."
Dennis Lehane
The novels of Peter Robinson are: “Deeply nuanced works of art.”
Stephen King
“The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are, simply put, the best series now on the market.”
Nevada Barr
“Stunningly complex and intricately plotted....Peter Robinson fools and entertains me with every twist.”
The Independent(London)
"Cunning…authentic and atmospheric."
Lady - Antonia Fraser
"A happy discovery."
Otto Penzler
“Robinson actually seems to grow in front of our eyes, delivering books of greater complexity each time.”
From the Publisher
"The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are, simply put, the best series now on the market. In fact, this may be the best series of British novels since the novels of Patrick O'Brian. Try one and tell me I'm wrong."
— Stephen King

“As astute a writer as P.D. James.”
Library Journal

“From the first paragraph you are hooked.”
Glasgow Evening Times

“Robinson’s seamless melding of crime and character shows [him] at the top of his game.”
Globe and Mail

“A complex, satisfying read. . . . Banks is the quintessential English hero.”
The Observer

“Robinson has won just about every mystery award there is. His latest shows why.”
Booklist (starred review)

“The Banks books just get better and better.”
Calgary Herald

“Robinson is incapable of writing a dull sentence.”
People

Lady Antonia Fraser
“A happy discovery.”
Lady Antonia Fraser in the London Sunday Times
“A happy discovery.”
Time Out London
“Taut, carefully thought out…with plots that are refreshingly cliché-free.”
The Independent (London)
“Cunning…authentic and atmospheric.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Exquisitely complex and atmospheric.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The equal of legends in the genre such as P.D. James and Ruth Rendell.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Robinson has won just about every mystery award there is….His latest shows why.”
Washington Post
“Smooth as single malt.”
Boston Globe
Peter Robinson is:“A gifted creator of fully fleshed and vividly present characters.”
New York Times Book Review
“[Robinson’s] talents...account for both the quickness of mind that makes Banks such a keen protagonist.”
People (Critic's Choice)
“So vivid that even those who aren’t usually fans of procedural thrillers will fill their fingers burning.”
Daily News
“A taut pleasure.”
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Crime fiction at its best.”
Houston Chronicle
“A skillful writer…”
London Sunday Times
“Complex and intelligent.”
Tampa Tribune
“Robinson is on a winning streak.”
Montreal Gazette
“Robinson is not just a master storyteller, he’s a literary magician.”
Orlando Sentinel
“Absorbing…Robinson continues to stretch the boundaries of the standard procedural.”
Sunday Telegraph
“Different and intriguing.”
Chicago Tribune
“[PLAYING WITH FIRE] has a loud ring of truth and a good deal of suspense.”
San Diego Union-Tribune
“Splendid.”
People
“So vivid that even those who aren’t usually fans of procedural thrillers will fill their fingers burning.”
Booklist
"Robinson has won just about every mystery award there is….His latest shows why."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060824648
  • Publisher: HarperTorch
  • Publication date: 3/1/2005
  • Series: Inspector Alan Banks Series , #14
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 352,782
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Robinson's award-winning Inspector Banks novels have been named a "Best Book of the Year" by Publishers Weekly, a "Notable Book" by the New York Times, and a "Page Turner of the Week" by People. Robinson was born and brought up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between North America and the U.K.

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Read an Excerpt

1

The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne, burn’d on the water,” Banks whispered. As he spoke, his breath formed plumes of mist in the chill January air.

Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot, standing beside him, must have heard, because she said, “You what? Come again.”

“A quotation,” said Banks. “From Antony and Cleopatra.”

“You don’t usually go around quoting Shakespeare like a copper in a book,” Annie commented.

“Just something I remember from school. It seemed appropriate.”

They were standing on a canal bank close to dawn watching two barges smoulder.…

The canal ran through some beautiful countryside, and tonight the usually quiet rural area was floodlit and buzzing with activity, noisy with the shouts of firefighters and the crackle of personal radios. The smell of burned wood, plastic and rubber hung in the air and scratched at the back of Banks’s throat when he breathed in. All around the lit-up area, the darkness of a pre-dawn winter night pressed in, starless and cold. The media had already arrived, mostly TV crews, because fires made for good visuals, even after they had gone out, but the firefighters and police officers kept them well at bay, and the scene was secure….

“Christ, it’s cold,” moaned Annie, stamping from foot to foot. She was mostly obscured by an old army greatcoat she had thrown on over her jeans and polo-neck sweater. She was also wearing a matching maroon woolly hat, scarf and gloves, along with black knee-high leather boots. Her nose was red.

“You’d better go and talk to the firefighters,” Banks said. “Get their stories while events are still fresh in their minds. You never know, maybe one of them will warm you up a bit.”

“Cheeky bastard.” Annie sneezed, blew her nose and wandered off.…

The young constable, who had been talking to the leading firefighter, walked over to Banks and introduced himself: PC Smythe, from the nearest village, Molesby.

“So you’re the one responsible for waking me up at this ungodly hour in the morning,” said Banks.

PC Smythe paled. “Well, sir, it seemed . . . I . . .”

“It’s okay. You did the right thing. Can you fill me in?”

“There’s not much to add, really, sir.” Smythe looked tired and drawn, as well he might. He hardly seemed older than twelve, and this was probably his first major incident.

“Who called it in?” Banks asked.

“Bloke called Hurst. Andrew Hurst. Lives in the old lockkeeper’s house about a mile away. He says he was just going to bed shortly after one o’clock, and he saw the fire from his bedroom window. He knew roughly where it was coming from, so he rode over to check it out.”

“Rode?”

“Bicycle, sir.”

“Okay. Go on.”

“That’s about it. When he saw the fire, he phoned it in on his mobile, and the fire brigade arrived. They had a bit of trouble gaining access, as you can see. They had to run long hoses.”

Banks could see the fire engines parked about a hundred yards way, through the woods, where a narrow lane turned sharply right as it neared the canal. “Anyone get out alive?” he asked.

“We don’t know, sir. If they did, they didn’t hang around. We don’t even know how many people live there, or what their names are. All we know is there are two casualties.”

“Wonderful,” said Banks. It wasn’t anywhere near enough information. Arson was often used to cover up other crimes, to destroy evidence, or to hide the identity of a victim, and if that was the case here, Banks needed to know as much about the people who lived on the barges as possible. That would be difficult if they were all dead. “This lockkeeper, is he still around?”

“He’s not actually a lockkeeper, sir,” said PC Smythe. “We don’t use them anymore. The boat crews operate the locks themselves. He just lived in the old lockkeeper’s house. I took a brief statement and sent him home. Did I do wrong?”

“It’s all right,” Banks said. “We’ll talk to him later.…”

Annie Cabbot joined Banks and Smythe. “The station received the call at one thirty-one a.m.,” she said, “and the firefighters arrived here at one forty-four.”

“That sounds about right.”

“It’s actually a very good rural response time,” Annie said. “We’re lucky the station wasn’t staffed by retained men.”

Many rural stations, Banks knew, used “retained” men, or trained part-timers, and that would have meant a longer wait — at least five minutes for them to respond to their personal alerters and get to the station. “We’re lucky they weren’t on strike tonight, too,” he said, “or we’d probably still be waiting for the army to come and piss on the flames.”

They watched the firefighters pack up their gear in silence as the darkness brightened to grey, and a morning mist appeared seemingly from nowhere, swirling on the murky water and shrouding the spindly trees. In spite of the smoke stinging his lungs, Banks felt an intense craving for a cigarette rush through his system. He thrust his hands deeper into his pockets. It had been nearly six months since he had smoked a cigarette, and he was damned if he was going to give in now.

As he fought off the desire, he caught a movement in the trees out of the corner of his eye. Someone was standing there, watching them. Banks whispered to Annie and Smythe, who walked along the bank in opposite directions to circle around and cut the interloper off. Banks edged back toward the trees. When he thought he was within decent range, he turned and ran toward the intruder. As he felt the cold, bare twigs whipping and scratching his face, he saw someone running about twenty yards ahead of him. Smythe and Annie were flanking the figure, crashing through the dark undergrowth, catching up quickly.

Smythe and Annie were by far the fittest of the three pursuers, and even though he’d stopped smoking, Banks soon felt out of breath. When he saw Smythe closing the gap and Annie nearing from the north, he slowed down and arrived panting in time to see the two wrestle a young man to the ground. In seconds he was handcuffed and pulled struggling to his feet.

They all stood still for a few moments to catch their breath, and Banks looked at the youth. He was in his early twenties, about Banks’s height, five foot nine, wiry as a pipe-cleaner, with a shaved head and hollow cheeks. He was wearing jeans and a scuffed leather jacket over a black T-shirt. He struggled with PC Smythe but was no match for the burly constable.

“Right,” said Banks. “Who the hell are you, and what are you doing here?”

The boy struggled. “Nothing. Let me go! I haven’t done anything. Let me go!”

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Playing with Fire

Chapter One

The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, burn'd on the water," Banks whispered. As he spoke, his breath formed plumes of mist in the chill January air.

Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot, standing beside him, must have heard, because she said, "You what? Come again."

"A quotation," said Banks. "From Anthony and Cleopatra."

"You don't usually go around quoting Shakespeare like a copper in a book," Annie commented.

"Just something I remember from school. It seemed appropriate."

They were standing on a canal bank close to dawn watching two barges smolder. Not usually the sort of job for a detective chief inspector like Banks, especially so early on a Friday morning, but as soon as it had been safe enough for the firefighters to board the barges, they had done so and found one body on each. One of the firefighters had recently completed a course on fire investigation, and he had noticed possible evidence of accelerant use when he boarded the barge. He had called the local constable, who in turn had called Western Area Police Headquarters, Major Crimes, so here was Banks, quoting Shakespeare and waiting for the fire investigation officer to arrive.

"Were you in it, then?" Annie asked.

"In what?"

"Anthony and Cleopatra."

"Good Lord, no. Third spear-carrier in Julius Caesar was the triumph of my school acting career. We did it for O-Level English, and I had to memorize the speech."

Banks held the lapels of his overcoat over his throat. Even with the Leeds United scarf his son Brian had bought him for his birthday, he still felt the chill. Annie sneezed, and Banks felt guilty for dragging her out in the early hours. The poor lass had been battling with a cold for the last few days. But his sergeant, Jim Hatchley, was even worse; he had been off sick with flu most of the week.

They had just arrived at the dead-end branch of the canal, which lay three miles south of Eastvale, linking the River Swain to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, and hence to the whole network of waterways that crisscrossed the country. The canal ran through some beautiful countryside, and tonight the usually quiet rural area was floodlit and buzzing with activity, noisy with the shouts of firefighters and the crackle of personal radios. The smell of burned wood, plastic and rubber hung in the air and scratched at the back of Banks's throat when he breathed in. All around the lit-up area, the darkness of a pre-dawn winter night pressed in, starless and cold. The media had already arrived, mostly TV crews, because fires made for good visuals, even after they had gone out, but the firefighters and police officers kept them well at bay, and the scene was secure.

As far as Banks had been able to ascertain, the branch ran straight north for about a hundred yards before it ended in a tangle of shrubbery that eventually became dry land. Nobody at the scene remembered whether it had ever led anywhere or had simply been used as a mooring, or for easier access to the local limestone for which the region was famous. It was possible, someone suggested, that the branch had been started as a link to the center of Eastvale itself, then abandoned due to lack of funds or the steepness of the gradient.

"Christ, it's cold," moaned Annie, stamping from foot to foot. She was mostly obscured by an old army greatcoat she had thrown on over her jeans and polo-neck sweater. She was also wearing a matching maroon woolly hat, scarf and gloves, along with black knee-high leather boots. Her nose was red.

"You'd better go and talk to the firefighters," Banks said. "Get their stories while events are still fresh in their minds. You never know, maybe one of them will warm you up a bit."

"Cheeky bastard." Annie sneezed, blew her nose and wandered off, reaching in her deep pocket for her notebook. Banks watched her go and wondered again whether his suspicions were correct. It was nothing concrete, just a slight change in her manner and appearance, but he couldn't help feeling that she was seeing someone, and had been for the past while. Not that it was any of his business. Annie had broken off their relationship ages ago, but -- he didn't like to admit this -- he was feeling pangs of jealousy. Stupid, really, as he had been seeing DI Michelle Hart on and off since the previous summer. But he couldn't deny the feeling.

The young constable, who had been talking to the leading firefighter, walked over to Banks and introduced himself: PC Smythe, from the nearest village, Molesby.

"So you're the one responsible for waking me up at this ungodly hour in the morning," said Banks.

PC Smythe paled. "Well, sir, it seemed ... I ..."

"It's okay. You did the right thing. Can you fill me in?"

"There's not much to add, really, sir." Smythe looked tired and drawn, as well he might. He hardly seemed older than twelve, and this was probably his first major incident.

"Who called it in?" Banks asked.

"Bloke called Hurst. Andrew Hurst. Lives in the old lockkeeper's house about a mile away. He says he was just going to bed shortly after one o'clock, and he saw the fire from his bedroom window. He knew roughly where it was coming from, so he rode over to check it out."

"Rode?"

"Bicycle, sir."

"Okay. Go on."

"That's about it. When he saw the fire, he phoned it in on his mobile, and the fire brigade arrived. They had a bit of trouble gaining access, as you can see. They had to run long hoses."

Banks could see the fire engines parked about a hundred yards away ...

Playing with Fire. Copyright © by Peter Robinson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

1. Fire, in all its forms, is a constant presence in this book: the smell of a peat fire, the warmth of the logs crackling in the hearth in a pub, the damp chill of a house with the electric bar turned off. There are references to smoke detectors, matches, and candles. How does the author use these to foreshadow events?

2. Inspector Alan Banks is the heart of this novel, as he is at the heart of the series, over which he has changed, both in circumstance and temperament. To what extent do you think that series crime fiction is really an ongoing fictional biography?

3. Why is Banks a policeman? He seems to hold contradictory views within this book. On the one hand, he muses on his love of the actual work of policing, of “getting out there and sniffing out the lie” and on the other, he refers to it as “a heart-breaking job in a demoralizing time.” What drives him professionally? Is there anything else he would be suited to do?

4. Why is Banks so angry in this book? If you have read the other books in the series, you are familiar with the complexities of mood that define him, but in Playing With Fire, he seems angrier. Why do you think this is?

5. Music plays a big part in Banks’s life, providing him with apparent solace in times of depression or agitation. He also has extremely eclectic tastes. In this book he listens to a Beethoven string quartet, Bob Dylan, Cassandra Wilson, Tom Waits, Cesaria Evora, Bud Powell, and The Clash, to name just a few. Do you find that this imaginary soundtrack adds to your enjoyment of the book? What does it add to your understanding of Banks’s character?

6. Banks is a bit of a bust at relationships, if his experiences with his ex-wife, Sandra, and ex-lover Annie are anything to judge by. On the other hand, he seems incapable of letting either one of them go emotionally. (Goodness knows what he’s got left over for Michelle.) Yet, he’s a decent, thoughtful fellow who obviously appreciates strong and interesting women. Why can’t he make it work?

7. There are two families in Banks’s life: his ex-wife and children, and the cast of colleagues at work. The former seems to draw deeper feeling of guilt from him than the latter, but his concern and commitment to his fellow police officers is apparently of prime concern to him. He is most comfortable, it seems, with old colleagues like Dr. Glendenning or Geoff Hamilton and even former adversaries like “Dirty Dick” Burgess. Is there something in him that can only relate to others who have been through the intense experiences that are part of the job?

8. To what extent do you think his guilt about his relationship with his own son, Brian, colours Banks’s relationship to Mark Siddons? If not his son, where does this strong empathy come from?

9. Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot is another complex and interesting character with her own issues of trust, and plenty of emotional and sexual baggage from her past. How do you think she will react to the betrayal at the heart of this book? Do you think that Robinson creates a credible female character?

10. The landscape of the Dales, and of the Yorkshire towns and villages are as much a character in Robinson’s books as the rest of the characters that inhabit this particular landscape. How do you think this influences the books? If you went there, do you think you would know it better because of Robinson’s books?

11. There are traditional styles of mystery fiction, with the stereotypical British “cozy” at one end of the continuum, and the violent hard-boiled American classics on the other end. (Canadian crime writing has been called “soft-boiled,” lying somewhere between the two). Robinson has lived in Canada for close to thirty years, yet he writes about his home country. Where do you think his books fall on that continuum? Are they traditional British mysteries, or has his Canadian experience tempered his viewpoint.

12. There are different ways of reading a crime novel. For some readers, the puzzle is the most important part. Whodunit? is the question of the day: guessing the villain is of prime importance. Others are more interested in the Whydunit?, the insight into the roots of criminal behaviour. Others, still, read crime novels for the setting, the characters involved and the life journey they take us on. What type of reader are you? Do you think that Robinson’s books are more suited to one type of reader than another?

13. In Playing With Fire, the police investigation procedures are very detailed, from the autopsies, through the routines of the most basic research and interrogation on the beat level, through the specifics of arson investigation. What are other examples of the author using these details of realistic procedures, and how do these add to the overall texture of the book?

14. There are many crimes in this book, at all levels, from banal to heinous, and many forms of “justice.” The characters in the book commit or have committed, arson, murder, sexual abuse, theft, art forgery. Some were “punished,” some not. Discuss how in the end justice was done for each of these characters, or was it not done at all?

15. What do you think lies ahead for Banks? How will the events of this book change him, and the other characters you have come to know?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2003

    Excellent as always

    Near the village Molesby, a firefighter noticed that an accelerant may have caused the inferno that destroyed two barges and killed two people in the dead end canal. The Western Area Police Headquarters Major Crimes took over the investigation into what caused the deaths of the two charred corpses that if not for the firefighter¿s recent class and observation would have been written off as accidental deaths of apparent squatters. Inspector Alan Banks and Detective Inspector Anne Cabbot lead the inquiries. Before they leave the scene the police catch a young man Mark who says he lived on one of the burned out barge and asks if Tina escaped. He mentions a Tom lived on the other barge........................................ Banks and Detective Inspector Anne Cabbot follow up on Mark¿s alibi and soon make other inquiries trying to determine if an accident, arson, or a deliberate murder cover-up occurred. Surprisingly the investigation turns into a complex inferno as several individuals have motives and opportunities to kill either of the deceased...................................... The latest Banks investigation is an exciting tale that hooks the audience from the moment the hero quotes Shakespeare¿s Anthony and Cleopatra. The story line never slows down even when it shines on the personal lives of the lead duo as the inspectors dig deep seeking motive and opportunity on what turns out to be several prime suspects. When it comes to British police procedurals, fans know that they can always bank on Peter Robinson to provide the best.................................. Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Great suspense thriller!

    This is my first book by Peter R, he kept the story moving in ways that made me think about the ending--very surprising!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    excellent read

    This book had a lot of tension - could not put it down, like to read more from the same authore

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Good

    Love Inspector Banks

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    This was my first book by Robinson. It was well-written, had a g

    This was my first book by Robinson. It was well-written, had a good plot, and a nice selection of characters and suspects.

    However, it could have used more "page turner" suspense. I'll try another soon to compare.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Great read

    I will read more from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Not so great

    Like one other reader said a fine use of descriptives..but used them too much. I had to skip over alot of things that just didn't need to be in there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Couldn't finish it

    Such obnoxious jerks both protagonists are! I don't enjoy reading acout self-righteous, bullying cops (unless they get their comeuppance, and, alas, these don't). This author is so ignorant and smugly certain that cops deserve special privileges just because they are cops. This is not exactly an innovative novelistic approach. As a result, the book is boring, as well as offensive. Unless you are yourself that kind of bad cop, don't waste your money.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Boring

    Mr. Robinson displays fine use of his descriptive abilities...over and over and over again. As a result, I found myself skipping over most sections trying to find the 'meat' of the story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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