Peter Robinson

Friend of the Devil

" a confident storyteller whose writing just gets better and better."


DCI Alan Banks is called to the Maze, a warren of streets off Eastvale's main drinking district, to investigate the murder of a young woman drinker. Having disappeared down one of the dark passageways after a night of drinking she is found later that morning, raped and murdered inside one of the street's workshops.

Meanwhile, DI Annie Cabot has been seconded to Whitby police and is called to a lonely cliff where a wheelchair bound young woman has had her throat slit. Annie is mystified by the woman's lack of family or past history, the reasons for which soon become clear.

As each detective pushes forward their separate investigations, disturbing similarities become apparent which seemingly revolve around a mysterious woman who was a victim of a violent assault eighteen years before...

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Peter Robinson is a confident storyteller whose writing just gets better and better. As with his last book, Piece of my Heart, there are two separate narratives charting the progress of each detective's case. Each narrative stands up by itself and both are equally engrossing. Banks and Cabot's relationship seems to have cooled but there is obviously still a spark between them, which is well drawn out in the narrative. In this book Banks has become a more calm and reflective detective, perhaps signalling a new direction for future novels. The method of the killings, involving rape and mutilation, could be distressing to read, but in Peter Robinson's assured hands the details of the murders are sensitively written. He tantalises the reader by focusing on a number of potential suspects without overdoing the suspense. The stories are firmly rooted in the northern countryside and, once again, this landscape comes vividly to life in this excellent writer's hands.

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