1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Keeps getting better,
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This review is from: Friend of the Devil: The 17th DCI Banks Mystery (Paperback)
I used to rate Peter Robinson as a better than average police procedurals writer, but nothing more. I think he has really hit his stride now though and the last couple of Inspector Banks I have read have been well above average. It isn't so much the plots - although these are fine - it is more the characterisation which has reached a level of complexity and maturity way beyond that normally seen in novels of this type. Banks - while being a little maverick - isn't the cliché that often seems to be the only way to make crime novels interesting. The most striking feature of his novels for me though is the fact that he manages to portray mature professional women in a way that few male writers master. And he is balanced. The men are just as unsure / interesting (or is that messed up) as the women which gives an edge of reality few crime writers manage.
The story in "Friend of the Devil" is about lives damaged by crime, and the revenge that individuals take when they don't feel justice has been served. It is also however about how individuals who just feel humiliated and frustrated can resort to the same extremes of behaviour as the truly disturbed - and about the everyday prejudice, uncertainty and disorientation that everyone experiences.
I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it highly to both those who enjoy a good crime story and those who like a bit more of a psychological study.