- Hardcover: 360 pages
- Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1st Edition edition (Jan. 27 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0771076061
- ISBN-13: 978-0771076060
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.8 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 662 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,759,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Playing With Fire Hardcover – Jan 27 2004
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The calm of the English countryside is rudely shattered when two run-down barges on a remote canal explode into flame. When the smoke settles, two charred corpses remain, those of young junkie Tina Aspern and failed artist Tom McMahon. Enter Inspector Alan Banks, on a quest to determine who the intended target was and why. Not an easy challenge, as he encounters a pedophile, art forgers, and an anti-social delinquent (Tina's unfaithful boyfriend Mark), potential suspects all. Peter Robinson gradually unravels this tangled web with typical skill in Playing with Fire, a tightly plotted and suspenseful police procedural that justifies the growing reputation of this English-born, Toronto-based writer. Such peers as Stephen King and Dennis Lehane are admirers, and it is easy to see why.
The crime fiction aficionado can be excused for occasionally getting anxious that the recurring lead character of a long-running series might be about to overstay his welcome. Recent bestsellers in this series like The Summer That Never Was and Cold Is the Grave certainly gave no sign of that. Happily, neither does Playing with Fire, even though it marks Banks's 14th appearance. Robinson continues to dig deep into his protagonist's psyche, and Banks remains a fascinatingly flawed yet likeable character. His neuroses and sometimes petty jealousies, especially in relation to former lover DI Annie Cabbot, are ones we can relate and admit to. And like Ian Rankin, Robinson uses popular music as a signpost for the feelings and personality of his characters. Banks deeply immerses himself in the music of such wonderful singers as Mariza and Cassandra Wilson, while this book's Mark and Tina loved Beth Orton. Some enterprising record label should release an "approved by Robinson/Banks" CD collection. In the meantime, let's hope for many more future titles in this superb series. --Kerry Doole
"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.”
Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
We learn that D.I. Banks really enjoys good jazz & classical music and has a love of scotch-particularily Laphroaig.
The story centers around a suspected arsonist, and the fires that claimed peoples lives. Following that the story unfolds into the concentrated detective leg-work it takes to solve a case once you start delving into a victims past life.
There are no shortage of suspects, and the reader does not find out until pages from the end of the book who's responsible.
The story was good and interesting enough, but I would have liked it to be more suspenseful.
However, I always enjoy Peter Robinson's writing style, and the next one I will be reading will be Friend of The Devil.
The other boat held a reclusive artist, and as the police dig into his life they find that he may have been involved in some shady dealings. When another fire occurs a few days later, resulting in the death of another man, Banks is sure that the fires and deaths are connected. As he and his fellow officers sift through the clues, they find ties to the art community and the possibility of forgery. Can they find the identity of the arsonist before he kills again?
This is the first Inspector Banks book I have read by Peter Robinson, but now I am anxious to read the other books in this series. Obviously, it would be better to read the others first to get a background on the characters, but I did not feel reading this one first detracted from Playing With Fire at all. The reader gets a sense of the characters, especially Inspector Banks and detective Annie Cabot. Both are dedicated to their jobs and work diligently to find the perpetrator of the crimes before the killer harms others. There is an undercurrent of tension from a failed relationship between the two which makes their conversations intriguing.
I have long been a fan of British police procedurals, and Mr. Robinson compares very favorably to my favorite author Elizabeth George. The characters have long standing relationships, developed from novel to novel, and readers can form their own connection with the characters. The plot moves at a meandering pace, slowly doling out clues at the right intervals so that the reader can discover the identity of the culprit at the same time as the police. It is a definite page-turner, and the reader will be surprised at who the murderer turns out to be.
Mystery lovers will be delighted in this newest offering from Peter Robinson. Playing With Fire has all of the intense and suspenseful elements necessary for a grand scale thriller.
Playing with fire has Peter Robinson once again giving his hero Inspector Banks a interesting case which he works on with his usual determination mixed with a bit of humour. Set in wonderful Yorkshire in the depths of winter it is good to see the old Banks and Robinson back again.
Want to see more reviews on this item?