Read Playing With Fire by Peter Robinson Online


Fire. It violently destroys futures and pasts in a terrified heartbeat, devouring damning secrets while leaving even greater mysteries in its foul wake of ash and debris. The night sky is ablaze as fire engulfs two barges moored end to end on a Yorkshire canal. On board are the blackened remains of two human beings. One was a reclusive and eccentric local artist, the otheFire. It violently destroys futures and pasts in a terrified heartbeat, devouring damning secrets while leaving even greater mysteries in its foul wake of ash and debris.The night sky is ablaze as fire engulfs two barges moored end to end on a Yorkshire canal. On board are the blackened remains of two human beings. One was a reclusive and eccentric local artist, the other a junkie, a sad and damaged young girl.To the seasoned eye of Inspector Alan Banks, this horror was no accident, its method so cruel and calculated that only the worst sort of fiend could have committed the dark act. And it isn't long before the fears of Banks and D.I. Annie Cabbot are brutally confirmed, when another suspicious blaze incinerates a remote trailer in the countryside . . . and another solitary life is gruesomely consumed.But is it the work of a serial arsonist, or an ingeniously conceived plot to obliterate the trail to other heinous crimes? There are shocking secrets to be uncovered in the charred wreckage, grim evidence of lethal greed and twisted hunger, and of nightmare occurrences within the private confines of family. A terrible suspicion that a killer's work is not yet done drives Alan Banks as the hunt intensifies for an elusive, cold-blooded chameleon who could be anyone and anywhere.In Playing with Fire, award-winning, internationally bestselling author Peter Robinson delivers a modern masterwork of suspense that confirms his standing as one of the brightest literary lights in crime fiction -- a blistering tale of murder and betrayal that is as frightening, devastating, and hypnotic as flame itself....

Title : Playing With Fire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060198770
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Playing With Fire Reviews

  • John
    2019-02-05 10:50

    What more can you say about a Peter Robinson novel than that the maestro is at the top of his game yet again? He and Ian Rankin have a very similar ability to immerse the reader entirely in the lives of their protagonists to the extent that it can be a struggle for readers to pull themselves back into the real world. Yes, these are crime novels, and, yes, there's a strong element of mystery too, but to say only that would really be to mislead.This latest installment of the Yorkshire DCI Alan Banks chronicles begins with the destruction by fire of two derelict canal barges and the squatters dwelling within. Forensics soon reveal arson, and that the target was one of the barges, occupied by an unsuccessful artist; the casualty in the other barge, junkie Tina, was either just "collateral damage", as the disgusting euphemism has it, or, perhaps worse, was a deliberate piece of misdirection by the arsonist to obscure his motives. Banks and DI Annie Cabbot and their crew -- notably DC Winsome Jackman, with whom I could all too easily fall in love -- soon unravel an art-forgery conspiracy, especially when there's another arson murder just a few days later; but they also, with the aid of innocent bystander Tina's hotheaded wastrel boyfriend Mark (about whom one begins to care inordinately) uncover a nasty backstory for her involving childhood sexual abuse. Robinson's working through of these two plots in parallel is mesmerizing.Each time I finish one of Robinson's novels I wonder briefly why I don't read them more often, and then almost immediately the answer hits me: they're far too good to waste on a binge. Rather, I need to spread them out and savour them, waiting for le moment juste before I pick up the next one. But what a moment of happiness that moment usually proves to be!

  • Monica
    2019-01-22 17:48

    Some books are like coming home...almost like a "comfort" read. This book is one of those...another great Alan Banks book by Peter Robinson. Robinson is able to weave a plot around murders and crime that keep me completely entertained. The recurring characters in each of the books in the series grows more complex and real to me with each book in the series that I read. This is one of the series that I'm reading slowly so that I don't run out!Jacket notes: "When the bodies of two squatters are found in the burning remains of a couple of derelict barges, Inspector Alan Banks has to wonder whether one of their occupations caused their deaths. One victim was a local artist, with plenty of turpentine and oil paint at hand; the other was a young woman, a junkie, who evidently shot up her final fix just before the fire started. But if the fire was an accident, why did her boyfriend bolt from the scene when the police arrived? And why did the neighbour who discovered the fire not call it in right away?"

  • Ruby Barnes
    2019-02-12 16:27

    Banks takes the biscuit and is reminded of his youthful dunking...I'm not sure if I've read Peter Robinson before. Probably I have, he's prolific and my wife likes Inspector Banks. I bought Playing with Fire together with Strange Affair and Not Safe After Dark from the Book People for 5 the lot. That should have been warning enough, that they were unsold clearout stock. Inspector Banks is unable to cross the room without receiving a character building flashback from every biscuit crumb, cup of tea, pint of bitter, shot of Laphroaig cask strength. When not puffing his character to bursting point the author is giving a running commentary on every piece of music that Banks is listening to in the house, car, his head, it goes on and on. I thought the characters were adequately painted after a couple of chapters but it didn't stop. This looks like the work of an author who has sacrificed proliferation for quality. If Robinson did, in fact, write this book himself then it may be an indication of what his early drafts are like before the over-detail edit. 445 pages here is probably 300 if the job had been finished. Nevertheless, still have the other two to read to ensure fairness. Perhaps it was a hiccup in his he raised the blue French rustic china mug with a chip on the side that would be mouthwards if he was left handed, which he wasn't, and inhaled the heady aroma of Laphroaig cask strength taken straight, no ice, he was reminded of the smell of the burnt bodies in the charred but rusty hulls of the narrowboats that the moneyed semi-aristocratic owner had forgotten, or even didn't care that, he owned. Perhaps the killer had been left handed and left traces of DNA on the chipped surface when he drank from that same mug, thought Banks, reminding him of his left-handed Uncle Freddy who wore vintage yellow Marigold rubber gloves to weddings.... etc.

  • Damaskcat
    2019-02-08 13:51

    A fire starts late at night on two almost derelict narrow boats on a short stretch of canal which leads nowhere. A body is found on each boat. DCI Alan Banks and DI Annie Cabbot have to find out whether this is murder or an accident and it soon becomes clear that it is murder. There are several suspects but none with a clear forensic connection to the fire. Gradually it becomes clear that there are a web of connections which may or may not lead to the truth. More lives will be lost and even more put in danger before the cases are solved.I found this gripping reading and it is definitely amongst the best books in this excellent series. The book is well written and well plotted and the relationships and motivations are very well done. I like the way Alan and Annie are adjusting to not being in a relationship and are trying to keep their professional relationship going without letting the personal intrude.If you like police procedurals with interesting characters and an atmospheric background - the Yorkshire Dales - then give this one a try. The series can be read in any order as all the books can stand alone but it is interesting to see the series characters develop if you read them in the order in which they were published.

  • Thomas Strömquist
    2019-02-16 12:33

    A good part into this book, I was convinced that my review would start with something like: "This was one of the lesser Banks". This is not the case. After an unusually uncaptivating and slow first half, "Dirty" Dick Burgess pops up and, even if he's brief and peripheral in this story, he's never dull. The second half is also a pickup of pace. One thing that bothered me is that, by reading the series out of sequence, I had a better than reasonable idea about what the climax would be and I thought it felt far-fetched beforehand. But when the revelation came it was both plausible and chilling and the final confrontation was very intense.I'm very fond of Robinson's character gallery in the banks series and he does a fine job in describing their interactions, relationships and feelings towards each other in my opinion, which is one ingredient that brings his police novels a notch above most.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-02-04 12:27

    Bettie's Books

  • Gail
    2019-02-13 16:50

    Fourteenth in this wonderful series following DCI Banks and his police partner DI Annie Cabbot as they piece together clues to solve the mystery of arson fires (and deaths) on two derelict longboats in Eastvale, Yorkshire. It's amazing how hard it is to put these books down once they've pulled you into their narratives. Secondary to the policing (but no less interesting) is the current hot-and-cold relationship between the two main characters, who used to be romantically involved. After a discovery shocking to both Banks and Cabbott, the perpetrator of the crimes is revealed but not arrested.

  • Larraine
    2019-01-30 16:44

    This book got really dark and really really good very fast. One of the reasons why I particularly like Robinson as a writer is because he doesn't waste words. Every word counts in the books. His character, Inspector Alan Banks, is one of my favorites. This is one of the earlier ones I had missed. Banks is divorced although it's only been about a year. However, his ex has not only remarried but has had a baby in her mid forties. He's living in a cottage that he has made all his with his music and quality Scotch, but is lonely. He had a fling with Annie Cabot, one of his detectives, but she broke up with him. Now she's seeing another man which bothers him although he can't put his finger on the reason and insists that he is NOT jealous. However, the story is mainly about a series of fires with a side story about a young woman who appears to have suffered sexual abuse. It's difficult at first to find a connection, but little by little patterns emerge. It's proving the connection that is the challenge. This is an exciting book with so many red herrings as well as the subplot. The reader is offered the wrong path more than once. Peter Robinson is definitely at the top of my To Be Read list when his latest Inspector Banks book comes out.

  • Shirley Schwartz
    2019-02-19 16:49

    This is top drawer crime fiction, written by a master. I absolutely love the Inspector Banks series, and have been reading my way through the series. This book was good with the characters fully fleshed out and enough suspense to keep me turning pages, but it didn't have the "slam in the gut" plot twists that I've come to expect from Peter Robinson. I had figured out who the perpetrator was about halfway through, and that never usually happens with an Inspector Banks book. That is why I gave the book four stars instead of my usual five. There is an arsonist in and around Eastvale, and people are being burned in their homes. At first there doesn't appear to be a connection between the two fires, but as Banks and his team start digging, they find some old history between two of the victims. The characters in these books are what sets this series apart from other police procedurals. Robinson's characters are so brilliant and so alive that it almost seems like you are reading true-crime narratives. I highly recommend this series, but read it starting at book one so you will get the full effect of Robinson's character development.

  • Lorraine
    2019-02-09 11:28

    Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot investigate a fire which burns two canal boats on the outskirts of Eastvale, killing two people, one a teenage girl and one a 40ish artist. Investigators learn that the fire was set with the artist's turpentine, but the girl's boyfriend suspects that her stepfather had something to do with it, as he had sexually abused her before she ran away from home. The next day, another fire is started just north of town, in a caravan in a field where an unemployed man lived. Alan and Annie work hard to learn connections between the two fires, and begin to suspect the artist was the real target in the first case, and that he was painting copies of the work of painters from the past and passing them off as originals. Annie is dating a man who's business is authenticating art work, and he helps them with some paintings found in the caravan's fire-proof safe.As is usual with this series, the investigation moves slowly until a crucial discovery, and then ends with a bang - this time it's Alan Banks on the receiving end. Can't wait to read the next one.

  • Melaszka
    2019-01-26 14:41

    Several people have recommended this series to me lately. I tried the first book in the series a week or two back and found it very underwhelming. Guessing, however, that Robinson has probably improved hugely as a writer over the 30 years since that was written, I decided to try a later book in the series and I'm glad I did, as this was a pretty high quality example of the genre. Tautly plotted, very compelling (although the suspense is less in whodunnit, which becomes obvious fairly early on, but in at what point the police will realise he/shedunnit and whether they'll put themselves in danger in the interim), some touching human interest stories in the subplots and a wealth of police procedural detail. I'll definitely keep going with this series.Biggest peeve: tedious and extraneous detail of everything the police do at home in their time off, from what films they are watching, what music they are listening to, to what they have for lunch.

  • Barbara
    2019-01-27 16:30

    I really enjoyed this book. Finished it yesterday. I'm normally not a huge of longer mysteries but Peter Robinson seems to be the exception for me. have enjoyed several of his other books.His style is almost literary mystery-his characters are that well developed. Banks is again fantastic in this book. From the beginning it grabs you with the fires- who set them and why. There are so many angles and twistst and turns in this book that I can't mention them all.Mark, Gardiner, Aspern and Tina etc... There's many times I found my self guessing what could have set the fires and why but then another angle comes up. Just a fascinating book and writer. The end and solution to the crimes is great I found and believable. I won't give it away.The last 2 pages are fascinating- I'm assuming it's supposed to be written by one of the 3 men that had conspired with the fires-I won't mention names.

  • Michael
    2019-02-19 15:30

    This is the third in the the DCI Banks series I've read, and it didn't disappoint. A fire on a narrow boat on a cold winters night sets the opening scene, and Peter Robinson had certainly done his homework SOC investigations and what to expect. "Playing with Fire" skillfully creates a complex puzzle which takes the reader in several directions, but it all becomes clear in the end.

  • E
    2019-02-17 18:27

    Robinson rarely disappoints me, and his books seem to be getting darker, which I like. Unlike many detective fiction writers, Robinson deftly balances character development and tensions with twisty plots that keep one guessing.

  • Nonnie Augustine
    2019-02-08 16:43

    I always enjoy Peter Robinson's mysteries, and this was no exception.

  • Elisa
    2019-01-23 16:46

    Peter Robinson continues to be one of my favorite mystery writers.

  • Steve
    2019-02-01 13:31

    Firstly, let me say that I have overall enjoyed reading the series in order, but these books are starting to annoy me and the annoyance is growing with each book. 1. Mr Robinson's obsession with making a point of mentioning a CD or piece of music that Banks is listening to by naming the track and singer or compsoer or referencing CD's on shelves of people he visits. 2. Constant reference to Banks's drink being Laphroaig - has to be product placement.3. Dialogue that is pointless, slowing the story down and the general mysogynistic vibeYou know when you notice something that doesn't normally bother you but when it does it becomes the only thing you can think about. Regular readers of this series will know all about Banks's classical music preference. (I notice some contributors have also mentioned this annoying trait in their reviews). Does it really need to be thrust down our throats all the time? At the start and end of each section I am waiting to read about the CD he is listening to and it is becoming an unnecessary distraction. It only took until the first word of the second paragraph of this book before we saw the word "Beethoven". 58 words in and there it was looming large causing me concern of what was to come. The first reference to classical music. It's not just classical though in this book and it got so crazy that I started making a note of every time a muscian that he was listening to was mentioned. He has even started to list the CDs on their shelves of people he visits .....Classical, Pop or easy listening. Oasis, Coldplay, David Bowie, Beth Orton, Bob Dylan, a suspect collecting vinyl records that are shelved in year of release and Beethoven (again). Jazz, Elgar, Tom Waits, Joy Division, Pet Shop Boys, Elvis Costello, Dire Straits, Tracy Chapman and Fleetwood Mac. Radio 3 playing chamber music. Bach and Mozart. Beethoven (yes again), Mariza, Beatles via Mantivani, Cassandra Wilson, Radio 3 special on Bud Powell. Soile Isokoski singing Richard Strauss. Gundula Janowitz, Van Morrison and Helen Shapiro. With Helen Shapiro we get a lovely anecdote about her releasing a single in the 60's where the middle of the record was missing so you had to buy that separately to be able to listen to it. Aaarrrggh. Cesaria Evora, John Mayall. Jesse Winchester, The Clash. Schubert and Mozart. And then back full circle to Beethoven.Next its the references to alcohol. Annie doesn't drink wine but "Sainsbury's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo", Banks doesn't have a whisky but Laphroaig (all the flippin' time), except when in the local) where his companion drinks campari and soda ! Really? Campari and soda in the local? Apologies to all of those Campari and soda drinkers. I'm sure you exist. Peter Robinson's Banks isn't Ian Rankin's Rebus, Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch or Phillip Kerr's Bernie Gunther when it comes to chat is he. The conversations are generally argumentative and I don't think I've laughed once at a line Banks gives. In no way can he deliver a line like the other detectives I mention. Chats are too long with pointless questions dragging the conversation out with dialogue that just doesn't go anywhere. Edit, edit, edit. The descriptions, particularly of the women and what there are wearing borders on the creepy.I enjoy the series, but I think Banks himself would look down his nose at this type of detective story if he ever picked one up whilst sipping his Laphroaig and listening to arias on his portable CD player. I am considering abandoning Banks but I want to stick with him until I see him subscribing to Spotify to listen to his banging tunes. Oh how funny, on his website Mr Robinson now has playlists on Spotify to support his books. I kid you not. Perhaps we will see Banks listen to his own playlist in future books.Maybe I'm turning into a grumpy old Banks and I feel better for getting this off my chest. I'm logging off now to have a pint of Carlsberg with lime and watch a box set. Just so you know.

  • Jeethu Varghese
    2019-02-06 17:41

    Again another super enjoyable thriller from Robinson.I loved the book.It was making my heart race till the end, particularly the adrenaline fueled ending.How I wished Annie could speed up. I was mentally shouting her to save him. Unfortunate of me to read about the arsonsist in the future Banks series in which it is explicably stated. But it didn't dampen the experience much. I loved the prologue, the way it was written and I thought it should end with the same excerpt from the narrator.It did. That was great. I liked Bank's perception of people around him, their emotions,pain and darkness.He is very much aware that often the answer to the riddle lies in his thoughts and the mind has to work its way through.Brilliant:)

  • Michael Craig
    2019-01-22 12:49

    I have only read one other Inspector Banks' novel ( A Dedicated Man ) 3 years ago, which I enjoyed with qualifications. I enjoyed this book much more. The plot moved along nicely with interesting sub plots, nicely complemented with snippets of Alan Banks' relationships past and present. I don't always guess the murderer correctly in novels, but, in this case, it was so obvious that I thought there must be a twist at the end. It was not to be; which left me slightly disappointed. Notwithstanding, it did not spoil my overall enjoyment of the story and I will not leave such a big gap before reading another in the series. I have no hesitation in giving it a strong 4 star rating.

  • Kathy
    2019-02-02 12:28

    Alan and Annie have cooled it and are seeing other people when a arson fire kills two squatters on old barges abandoned in a canal. Then another person dies in a caravan set on fire. One is an artist who appears to have been forging paintings by well known masters, so the task is to identify his co-conspirators. This involved both Annie and Alan, and the arsonist almost adds Alan to his list of victims. I wish that Winsome had been given a more important part in the TV series; she is an interesting character.

  • Ruth
    2019-02-05 16:45

    Too easy to guess the bad guy.

  • Ulrikke
    2019-02-09 11:35

    Gripping plot, a bit predictable. And the relationship between the two main characters is so unbelievable and trite.

  • William Nolan
    2019-02-20 16:26

    A fiery conclusionA fast moving novel of arson,murder, incest, and a very well coordinated trio of detectives working the case to conclusion.

  • Kathleen Freeman
    2019-01-23 18:46

    I really like how this story came together and what an ending, I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

  • June Jones
    2019-02-04 10:30

    It was o.k.

  • Jim Ricker
    2019-02-12 11:23

    An other very good book by Peter Robinson An other good book by Peter RobinsonThanks. I am reading the whole Inspector Banks series next will book 15 five stars on all so far.

  • Jan
    2019-01-28 18:30

    3.5 star book that just didn't quite hook me the way other books in this series have. Still, a must read for series fans.

  • Whitewinterwoollens
    2019-02-16 11:34

    enjoyed this ins. banks novel. i always love a great crime mystery

  • Monica
    2019-02-20 10:24

    Arson destroys two narrow boats in a canal near Eastvale, and two bodies are found in the wreckage. Both squatters - a young woman heroin addict and a down at heels artist, no connection between them but proximity. A couple of days later, another arson, another fatality, this time in a caravan in the country, an ex-accountant who has a record of fraud. Investigators find hidden away a stash of cash and something that looks very much like a Turner watercolor.Finding a connection between the victims, and a motive for the fires is a challenge for Banks and the team, which now includes Winsome Jackman, a 6' Jamaican stunner, Stefan Nowak, the elegant Polish crime scene manager, Kev Templeton, bright, brash and a bit overeager and Geoff Hamilton, the arson investigator. Annie Cabbot has a new lover, and he seems almost too good to be true -Phil Keane is rich, handsome, cultured, an art dealer and authenticator who happens to know a thing or two about Turners.Each victim has a story - multigenerational child abuse, forgery, art fraud. There are appealing minor characters like Mark, the young man who was living with the dead girl, and stunningly evil characters like her stepfather. Dirty Dick Burgess has a walk on - he has calmed down a bit and is actually helpful. Banks and Annie's relationship is pricklier than usual - he's a bit jealous, she's a lot defensive. And Banks is still trying not very successfully to come to terms with the fact that his ex is remarried and has a new baby. And she's still angry at him.It's a page turner with a stunning ending.

  • Jina Howell-Forbes
    2019-02-03 11:45

    This book is a continuation of a long series of books about Inspector Alan Banks, a 40 something English homicide detective. I enjoyed this book well enough, but it did not live up to the high expectations I have for this series. I understand that everyone must have some tragedy and unfortunate events occur in their lives. Indeed, stories that have no angst in the characters personal or professional life can be rather boring. But lately it just seems that poor Alan Banks can't catch break the matter what he does. Compared to him, Jobe had it easy. In the early books of this series, Alan Banks is a somewhat flawed, but very intelligent detective. His personal life has its ups and downs but you see him as a reasonably competent husband and father, who drinks a little too much, smokes a little too much, and works too many hours at his job at the expense of his family. As the series has progressed, his marriage ends in a biter divorce and his children move on to live their own lives. Banks is alone and depressed. It seems that nothing good ever happens to the poor man . I will continue to read the series. I am attached to Inspector Banks and consider him one of my literary friends. However, I hope that Peter Robinson will soon see fit to let poor Banks have a reasonably happy personal relationship as well as some successes on the job. Failing that, I hope he at least puts Banks on Prozac pretty soon, or perhaps the author himself should take a little. Something good has to happen. This is too good to man to have everything be so negative.