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Friend of the Devil [Format Kindle]

Peter Robinson
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Amazon Significant Seven, February 2008: Fans of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels, and anyone who enjoyed In the Woods as much as we did, will love Peter Robinson's smart and absorbing Friend of the Devil. Be sure to set aside some time to dig in--you'll be tempted to devour it in one sitting, but this gripping and finely plotted mystery deserves to be savored. If this is your first introduction to the intrepid Inspector Alan Banks, count yourself lucky--Robinson has been crafting these award-winning police procedurals for more than two decades now, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy what Stephen King has called "the best series of British novels since the novels of Patrick O'Brian." --Daphne Durham


Sunday mornings were hardly sacrosanct to Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. After all, he ­didn’t go to church, and he rarely awoke with such a bad hangover that it was painful to move or speak. In fact, the previous evening he had watched The Black Dahlia on DVD and had drunk two glasses of Tesco’s finest Chilean Cabernet with his reheated pizza funghi. But he did appreciate a lie-­in and an hour or two’s peace with the newspapers as much as the next man. For the afternoon, he planned to phone his mother and wish her a happy Mother’s Day, then listen to some of the Shostakovich string quartets he had recently purchased from iTunes and carry on reading Tony Judt’s Postwar. He found that he read far less fiction these days; he felt a new hunger to understand, from a different perspective, the world in which he had grown up. Novels were all well and good for giving you a flavour of the times, but he needed facts and interpretations, the big picture.

That Sunday, the third in March, such luxury was not to be. It started innocently enough, as such momentous sequences of events often do, at about half past eight, with a phone call from Detective Sergeant Kevin Templeton, who was on duty in the Western Area Major Crimes squad room that weekend.

“Guv, it’s me. DS Templeton.”

Banks felt a twinge of distaste. He ­didn’t like Templeton, would be happy when his transfer finally came through. There were times when he tried to tell himself it was because Templeton was too much like him, but that ­wasn’t the case. Templeton ­didn’t only cut corners, he trampled on far too many people’s feelings and, worse, he seemed to enjoy it. “What is it?” Banks grunted. “It had better be good.”

“It’s good, sir. You’ll like it.”

Banks could hear traces of obsequious excitement in Templeton’s voice. Since their last run-­in, the young DS had tried to ingratiate himself in various ways, but this kind of phony breathless deference was too Uriah Heep for Banks’s liking.

“Why ­don’t you just tell me?” said Banks. “Do I need to get dressed?” He held the phone away from his ear as Templeton laughed.

“I think you should get dressed, sir, and make your way down to Taylor’s Yard as soon as you can.”

Taylor’s Yard, Banks knew, was one of the narrow passages that led into the Maze, which riddled the south side of the town centre behind Eastvale’s market square. It was called a yard not because it resembled a square or a garden in any way, but because some bright spark had once remarked that it ­wasn’t much more than a yard wide. “And what will I find there?” he asked.

“Body of a young woman,” said Templeton. “I’ve checked it out myself. In fact, I’m there now.”

“You ­didn’t —”

“I ­didn’t touch anything, sir. And between us, Police Constable Forsythe and me have got the area taped off and sent for the doctor.”

“Good,” said Banks, pushing aside the Sunday Times crossword he had hardly started and looking longingly at his still-­steaming cup of black coffee. “Have you called the super?”

“Not yet, sir. I thought I’d wait till you’d had a butcher’s. No sense in jumping the gun.”

“All right,” said Banks. Detective Superintendent Catherine Gervaise was probably enjoying a lie-­in after a late night out to see Orfeo at Opera North in Leeds. Banks had seen it on Thursday with his daughter, Tracy, and enjoyed it very much. He ­wasn’t sure whether Tracy had. She seemed to have turned in on herself these days. “I’ll be there in half an hour,” he said. “Three-­quarters at the most. Ring DI Cabbot and DS Hatchley. And get DC Jackman there, too.”

“DI Cabbot’s still on loan to Eastern, sir.”

“Of course. Damn.” If this was a murder, Banks would have liked Annie’s help. They might have problems on a personal level, but they still worked well as a team.

Banks went upstairs and showered and dressed quickly, then back in the kitchen he filled his travel mug with coffee to drink on the way, making sure the top was pressed down tight. More than once he’d had a nasty accident with a coffee mug. He turned everything off, locked up and headed for the car.

He was driving his brother’s Porsche. Though he still ­didn’t feel especially comfortable in such a luxury vehicle, he was finding that he liked it better each day. Not so long ago, he had thought of giving it to his son, Brian, or to Tracy, and that idea still held some appeal. The problem was that he ­didn’t want to make one of them feel left out, or less loved, so the choice was proving to be a dilemma. Brian’s band had gone through a slight change of personnel recently, and he was rehearsing with some new musicians. Tracy’s exam results had been a dis­appointment to her, though not to Banks, and she was passing her time rather miserably working in a bookshop in Leeds and sharing a house in Headingley with some old student friends. So who deserved a Porsche? He could hardly cut it in half.

It had turned windy and cool, so Banks went back to switch his sports jacket for his zip-­up leather jacket. If he was going to be standing around in the back alleys of Eastvale while the SOCOs, the photographer and the police surgeon did their stuff, he might as well stay as warm as possible. Once snug in the car, he started the engine and set off through Gratly, down the hill to Helmthorpe and on to the Eastvale Road. He plugged his iPod into the adapter, on shuffle, and Ray Davies’s “All She Wrote” came on, a song he particularly liked, especially the line about the big Australian barmaid. That would do for a Sunday-­morning drive to a crime scene, he thought; it would do just fine.

From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1357 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 431 pages
  • Editeur : William Morrow; Édition : Reprint (13 octobre 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000WJS9FW
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°9.255 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Inquiétant 31 juillet 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
L'histoire est très inquiétante et elle coupe des fois le souffle devant tant de détresse autant des victimes que des auteurs au passé lourd.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent roman 9 janvier 2013
Par chidlow
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Comme d'habitude excellent roman et auteur car je suis fan de cet ecrivain. Inspecteur Banks serie toujours passionnant et intéressant.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Bien ecrit et toujours passionantAg 25 mai 2009
agreable moment dans la region de Leeds, style aise et fleuri, affaire interessante. Robinson est une valeur sure.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  98 commentaires
35 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Aftermath of Robinson's 2001 Alan Banks Novel AFTERMATH 27 avril 2008
Par Susan K. Schoonover - Publié sur Amazon.com
I've read all of Peter Robinson's excellently written series of novels featuring Yorkshire detective Alan Banks and highly anticipated this latest installment. For whatever reason I didn't find this volume as interesting as most of the others. The plotting is good and Robinson has provided Banks and his fellow detective (and ex lover) Annie two intriguing cases. Annie handles the death of a paraplegic woman in her late 20's who was checked out of her nursing home by an unknown person and found with her throat cut on a beach looking out to sea. Banks is in charge of the murder of a pretty young college student found dead after a drunken Saturday night. The plot twists several times with some genuine surprises before all is concluded and one of the murders will have direct ties to the serial killer story told in the 2001 novel AFTERMATH.

As with all Robinson's novels lots of details from what music loving Banks has in his CD player to the menus at the pubs where the detectives order lunch are provided. Though I generally appreciate such touches in FRIEND OF THE DEVIL all this detail begins to seem like tedious filler. Like another Amazon reviewer I've never been fond of the character of Annie and she is featured almost as much as Banks in the novel (there is a subplot about her being stalked by a young man half her age) so that may have contributed to me not being as taken with this novel as the others in this series. Still, for fans of British suspense novels that are definitely not cozy, Peter Robinson writes among the best in the genre.
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 unputdownable in spite of my grumbles 26 mars 2008
Par tregatt - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have really mixed feelings about "Friend of the Devil" -- on the one hand I rather enjoyed the book (I am an avid fan of the series); however, I did think that the pacing was uneven and found several plot gambits a little tedious. In spite of my reservations, however, "Friend of the Devil" did turn out to be a 4 star read. And that is a testament to Peter Robinson's storytelling talents.

When a paraplegic woman is found near a cliff edge with her throat cut, DI Annie Cabot thinks that she has another seemingly straightforward murder to investigate. The last thing she expected was that this murder would reopen a can of worms. For the murdered woman turns out to be none other than the notorious Lucy Payne, the other half of a pair of killers who kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered several young girls some years ago ("Aftermath"). Trying to come up with people who would have wanted to see Lucy dead, isn't going to be that difficult; if anything it's going to hard work trying to narrow the field. But who would have had access to Lucy's new identity? In the meantime, Alan Banks is in the middle of investigating the murder-rape of a young college student, Hayley Daniels. Closing the Daniels case is a first priority for Banks, but he still finds himself drawn to the Lucy Payne's investigation and wondering why Lucy's murderer chose to act now and in such an open way...

I'm a huge fan of the series and Peter Robinson's Alan Banks series is pretty much an auto-buy for me. That said, I have to say that I am getting a little tired of certain regular plot features/devices -- like the detailed references to the music Banks listens to -- sometimes it almost feels as if they were stage directions to the filmed version of the novels. More often than not however they read like indications that we're to take Banks as something more than a plodding policeman. The thing is that I rather thought that we'd moved away from such thinking! And then there was the little segue into Banks' and Cabot's private, screwed up love lives. My impatience with this plot gambit however may have more to do with the fact that I have never really warmed up to Annie Cabot as a character. I'm definitely in the minority here, I know and really think that the author should worry more about his characters' alarming drinking habits. My real problem with "Friend of the Devil" though was that I felt as if the entire subplot dealing with Banks' investigation into the murder-rape of Hayley Daniels was wasted, and that it made the pacing of the book uneven and seemingly plodding at times. I much preferred the subplot dealing with the murder of Lucy Payne and rather wished that Banks had been the investigating officer on that!

In spite of all my niggles, however, this still was a fantastically riveting read, with the last half of the book proving to be absolutely unputdownable. Which just goes to show how brilliant an author Peter Robinson truly is, and how in spite of all my nitpicking grumbles, I still found "Friend of the Devil" to be an utterly compelling and absorbing read.
25 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best Inspector Banks novel till now! 14 septembre 2007
Par Sissel M. Østdahl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Aah, to be able to write this well. To make readers lose themselves in a book even before the story has started properly, and in some passages manage to even make a crime story almost poetic.

Of course, as a huge fan of Peter Robinson I'm well acquainted with Chief Inspector Alan Banks, DI Annie Cabbot, the rest of the Eastvale police force and the goings on in a small Yorkshire village. But even to first time readers of Robinson, "Friend of the Devil" will prove this author's magic, his unique talent as one of, if not THE best British crime writer today.

The Inspector Banks novels have two main story lines. The solving of one - or more - crimes, and bits and pieces from Bank's private life. Not the least his personal relationship with Annie, with whom he is still working on a regular basis. There is however much emotional baggage between the two and obvious that their personal story is far from over.

In "Friend of the Devil" two nasty murders are discovered on the same Sunday morning. Banks and Annie are working on one case each. First separately, until Annie is reaching a breakthrough which brings her case in a new and shocking direction - a direction which involves Banks.

It soon becomes clear that there are two killers among their midst, ready to strike again at any moment.

Some readers may feel that Annie's personal life is taking up too much space in the book. However, being a woman, I must admit that Annie's doings are not without interest, and I am pretty sure that male and female readers may be reacting differently to the part Annie's lovelife is playing in the book.

Apart from this, I would hope - and believe - that most readers will find "Friend of the Devil" to be Peter Robinson's finest work until now.

With Chief Inspector Banks, Peter Robinson has created a very human and likeable hero, a soft-hearted man in spite of his profession. Bank's choice of literature, music and food, his relationship with his children, his struggle with the aftermath of his marriage - and the complicated feelings for Annie - all add to the picture of an interesting, attractive and complete hero one does not easily tire of.

As all books in the Inspector Banks series, "Friend of the Devil" is a book of contrasts. The harsh realism of brutal crimes, the investigators' necessary blocking of feelings in order to fulfill what has to be done, and the humanity behind it all. Whether the pain of the victims' relatives or the personal reaction of police and investigators.

Don't miss this nor Robinson's other books. Simply brilliant!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not the Best 28 avril 2008
Par Jandsarah - Publié sur Amazon.com
As an admiring reader of all the Banks' novels I have difficulty writing a somewhat negative review of Friend of the Devil. The plot is just too overloaded with characters whose names begin to blend into confusion. I found myself saying "Now I've run across this character already but who is he again?" and I actually kept a log of who's who. What makes it worse is that the author gives names to ancillary characters who are not important to the plot, people for whom "lab assistant" would have been enough. It's almost as if including a large number of characters is a substitute for an intriguing plot. I hope Robinson's next Banks novel will have fewer characters and a more suspenseful plot.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 "Friend of the Devil" 24 mai 2008
Par egreetham - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Please note: If you are thinking about buying this novel, and have not yet read Robinson's "Aftermath," definitely consider reading "Aftermath" first.

There is unquestionably a time in every novel series when the characters become too predictable, the plot is insufficiently compelling, and the familiar effects are just too thin to keep the whole enterprise going. "Careless in Red" by Elizabeth George represents one recent example of this phenomenon, and sad to say, "Friend of the Devil" seems to be another.

In this episode of the Alan Banks series, his one-time lover Annie Cabbot is investigating a more than usually senseless murder: who would want to kill a completely paralyzed woman who seemingly is a threat to no one? Unsurprisingly the rationale is more complicated than it might at first seem, and eventually ties in (in an overly deliberate complication) with the case that Banks is investigating: the rape and murder of a young woman in Eastvale. Banks's case is a pretty standard whodunnit. (The complication that connects it with Cabbot's case strains belief entirely.)

It eventually becomes clear that the two cases are involved with the one that Banks dealt with in "Aftermath." In fact, reading "Aftermath" after "Friend" would be a much less interesting experience than it might otherwise have been.

I have to say that after all this time, I am beginning to feel I don't care who Banks is sleeping with any more, and I am certainly tired of his ambivalent relationship to Annie. It's all become rather meaningless. His love of music, which seemed so strong and so organic to his character in the earlier novels, seems just a recitation of artists and album titles now. Though I'm sure that many people in Banks and Cabbot's line of work have a love/hate relationship with alcohol, I can't help wishing the two of them would just go and get into treatment already.

All that being said, Robinson is still capable of a telling observation, both of character and of setting, and still capable of the canny trick--there is an excellent one in the section which unites the two ongoing cases. But I don't think I will be reading another one of the Banks books.

In the early going of the novel, Banks thinks about why it is that at his age, he is beginning to read more non-fiction than fiction--it has more to tell him about life. Unhappily, "Friend of the Devil" is one more reason to believe that that is true.
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