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Playing with Fire by Peter Robinson

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Playing with FireOne dark night in Yorkshire, DCI Banks and DI Cabot are called to the scene of a fire. Two derelict boats have been set on fire and there are two victims: the daughter of a local doctor and a marginally successful artist. Much is revealed as Banks and Cabot investigate, including the possible existence of an art forgery ring involving Leslie Whitaker, a local book seller and Cabot’s newest love interest, Phil Keane and that the artist’s death might be the result of a blackmail attempt. This could be the most challenging case yet for Banks and Cabot and time is running out as more fires are set and more people fall victim to the unidentified arsonist.

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Playing with Fire is the 14th entry in Peter Robinson’s long running British police procedural series featuring DCI Alan Banks. While there have been numerous new series in recent years with action set across the pond such as Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell, Robinson remains one of the standard bearers by which others are judged. The deeply developed characters and excellent plot development are what make Peter Robinson one of my favorite authors of the police procedural sub-genre and I have yet to be disappointed by one of his novels. This novel gets a well-deserved 4/5 stars.

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