Friend of the Devil
Review: Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates one murder while his colleague Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot is assigned to a second in Friend of the Devil, the 17th mystery in this long running series by Peter Robinson.
Alan's case is the rape and murder of a young woman in a building located in The Maze, a labyrinth of alleys dating back to the 18th century. Found by the building's owner, she had been out drinking with friends the previous night before wandering off alone. Annie's case is the gruesome murder of a quadriplegic, a woman confined to a wheelchair, who is found on the top of a cliff overlooking the sea, her throat slit. The cases have nothing in common, but when a policeman is killed in The Maze, his throat slit in a manner eerily similar to the murder Annie is investigating, they begin to wonder if there might be a connection. And if so, what could possibly link these crimes together.
Friend of the Devil alternates point of view between Alan and Annie, with each getting about equal time. This allows the reader to appreciate the different approaches these detectives take in their respective investigations as well as get a sense of how they act in both their personal and professional lives. The depth of character development here is quite remarkable, and their infrequent scenes together have a subtle intensity.
Of the two murder investigations, Annie has by far the more interesting of the two possibly because, from a plot perspective, it is more complex and involved. While Alan is pounding the payment as it were, Annie is piecing together a puzzle that ultimately spans many years and involves an unsolved murder that took place in the vicinity of where her victim was found. It's all very intriguing and absorbing up until the very end when Alan comes riding like a knight on a white horse to Annie's rescue as she confronts the killer. This concluding cliché aside, Friend of the Devil is an exceptional mystery.
Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of Friend of the Devil for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Children of the Revolution
William Morrow (Hardcover), March 2014
ISBN-13: 9780062240507; ISBN-10: 0062240501
Location(s) referenced in Friend of the Devil: England
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Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson — An Alan Banks Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 2008
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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