Friend of the Devil

Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson.  Unlike Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta series, this long-running series featuring Chief Inspector Alan Banks continues to be fresh and shows no signs of losing its edge.  Sure, there have been weak entries among the seventeen books, but this latest “novel of suspense” set in contemporary Yorkshire is an interesting tale of two murders that eventually connect.  Banks’ Sunday morning is interrupted when he is sent to the scene of a rape and strangulation in the maze of alleys behind the main market square and just across from the Eastvale police station.  Meanwhile, recurring character Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot is called to a cliffside scene where a woman is found in a wheelchair with her throat slit.  Robinson does a nice job of slowly developing each case with new clues and evidence while throwing in some surprises along the way.  He also seamlessly blends in sections devoted to the ongoing evolution of the main characters, their personal problems and successes away from their sometimes grisly work.  Longtime readers of this series will enjoy this story and newcomers need not worry too much about not knowing all the history of Banks and Cabbot as this novel can live as a stand-alone.

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