'At the centre of it all, by the pooling that marked the seat of the blaze, lay a blackened body . . . It had been hard to spot at first among the charred furniture and fixtures, but once you managed to separate it out from its context, you couldn't miss it, and Banks knew he wouldn't forget it.'
In the early hours of a cold January morning, two narrow boats catch fire on the dead-end stretch of the Eastvale canal. When signs of accelerant are found at the scene, DCI Banks and DI Annie Cabbot are summoned. But by the time they arrive, only the smouldering wreckage is left, and human remains have been found on both boats.
The evidence points towards a deliberate attack. But who was the intended victim? Was it Tina, the sixteen-year-old who had been living a drug-fuelled existence with her boyfriend? Or was it Tom, the mysterious, lonely artist?
As Banks makes his enquiries, it appears that a number of people are acting suspiciously: the interfering 'lock-keeper', Tina's cold-hearted step-father, the wily local art dealer, even Tina's boyfriend . . .Then the arsonist strikes again, and Banks's powers of investigation are tested to the limit . . .
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Smarting from the break-up with his girlfriend, DI Annie Cabot, and still in shock from his ex-wife's recent pregnancy, DCI Alan Banks welcomes the diversion of a fire on two houseboats on the old Eastvale canal.. even though two bodies are then found on board. But was it arson or accident? And why was the boyfriend of one of the victims found lurking in the woods watching the fire-fighters in action? The case soon widens with another fire, another death, the discovery of art fraud, paedophilia and incest. And to add to it all DI Cabot has a new man - one that Banks doesn't like or trust an inch. As the case unravels and becomes ever more complicated, so Banks' personal life becomes entangled, occasionally blurring both his and Cabot's vision of the real villain in their midst. Crossing the York moors from city to village, Robinson draws a vivid picture of life in the North. Tauter than "The Summer that Never Was", the plot moves quickly and intelligently with Banks once more central to the core. Only this time he may have bitten off more than even he can chew.... A must for all Robinson fans. - Lucy Watson
About Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in Canada. His Inspector Banks series has won numerous awards in Britain, Europe, the United States and Canada. There are now fifteen novels published by Pan Macmillan in the series. Aftermath, the twelfth, was a Sunday Times bestseller.
Playing With Fire by Peter Robinson
Used - Very Good
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