Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: William Morrow / HarperCollins
Release Date: January 20, 2004
ISBN: 006019877X
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
Genre: Mystery / British / Police procedural
Reviewed: 2004
Brenda Weeaks

Playing with Fire
DCI Alan Banks Mystery #14
By Peter Robinson

    "Just when he thought he'd seen and heard it all, dug about as deep as anyone can into the darkness of the human soul and remained sane, something else came along and knocked all his assumptions out of the window." -- Playing With Fire

    DI Annie Cabbot isn't feeling well, but arrives at the crime scene like a trooper. There she finds two burnt barges and Inspector Alan Banks. Annie and Banks have a history, but are now involved with other people. Despite their past, their respect for each other keeps their present relationship civilized.

    The detectives have a double homicide. The woman was a drug addict and the man, an artist. At the scene Banks spies someone in the woods, watching. They catch Mark and learn that he lived with the drug addict, Tina. Mark's love for Tina seems real, and Banks takes pity on him. Throughout the storyline, Mark chases his own demons, and readers learn of his and Tina's sad stories.

     Banks is determined to solve this one. Suspects and clues move into place, only to be shifted in the wind and smoke of a burnt caravan and a new victim. Cabbot heads in one direction and Banks in another. Hopefully their paths will meet up and solve this before another homeless person succumbs to the arson's match.

     Playing with Fire is number fourteen in the Banks series. It doesn't have the calculated, coldness of Aftermath, but the storyline is complex, nonetheless. Readers will be just as surprised at the shocking conclusion as Banks, Cabbot and the Yorkshire Police.

     Robinson pushes the envelope in his series. His characters go from one extreme to the other, and there isn't a subject too sacred to be drawn on. Robinson's Inspector Banks series rivals Dexter's Inspector Morse, and that is one reason I recommend it.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Cold is the Grave #11
Aftermath #12
Close to Home #13
Playing Fire #14
Strange Affair #15 [audio] [book]
Piece of My Heart #16
Friend of the Devil #17
All the Colors of Darkness
In The Dark Places #22 [review 1] [review 2]
When The Music's Over #23 [review 1] [review 2]

© 2004