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A Friendly suggestion

Out today: Peter Robinson's latest suspense novel Friend of the Devil (yeah, yeah, we know it's named after that old Grateful Dead song, take off your tie dye and settle down).

Peter I've long been a Robinson fan. He writes tight, smart procedurals, set in modern-day Yorkshire, England, centered on DCI Alan Banks, a music loving divorced 50something with an on-again, off-again (mostly off-again) relationship with his colleague DI Annie Cabbot. This new one is particularly good, harkening back to one of my favorites, Aftermath, in which a Fred and Rosemary West-type couple are caught with a dead girl in the basement - and that's only the FIRST CHAPTER. (It still completely blows my mind that Martin Amis' cousin was one of the Wests' victims - if you haven't read his memoir Experience do so immediately.)

Aftermath is a truly chilling book, the first one by Robinson that I read, which is unusual for me because my obsessive-compulsive disorder usually means I have to read all suspense series in order. I wouldn't recommend that tactic for Robinson's books, though: His early stuff isn't terribly good. If you start halfway down the list, say, Innocent Graves or Blood at the Root, you're in good shape, because everything from Blood on is good. (Another excellent book: In A Dry Season, in which a town buried underwater becomes unburied during a drought and reveals...A MURDER!)


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