‘Playing With Fire’ is Peter Robinson’s 14th Inspector Banks novel.
The story begins when two narrow boats, occupied by squatters are destroyed by fire. There is one dead body on each boat. Thomas was a middle aged, discontented, not very successful artist and Tina Aspern was a young drug addict whose boyfriend Mark Siddons left her alone after her last heroin injection.
DCI Banks and his team soon realise that the fire was arson but aren’t sure who the intended victim was.
There are no shortages of suspects including Tina’s boyfriend Mark, Andrew Hurst who watched the fire for a while before reporting it, Leslie Whitaker who provided Tom with old paper that was probably used in forgeries, and Tina’s stepfather Dr Patrick Aspern who Mark claims had sexually abused Tina.
Then another body is found in a burnt out caravan and the links start to become clearer.
The murderer has covered his tracks well, but the persistence of Banks, Annie Cabot and Winsome Jackman gradually uncover his trail. But will they get to him before he strikes again.
There were some excellent characters in this novel. We got to find out more about Banks and Annie as well as getting to know Winsome much better. Mark Siddons was a pathetic but loveable character. Patrick Aspern was a nasty piece of work. And Annie’s new boyfriend Phil Keane, an art evaluator, seemed a bit too good to be true.
Every time I read one of the novels in this series, I fall in love with the series all over again. I’m looking forward to reading the next novel – ‘Strange Affair’.
Book Published 2004