Friday, September 21, 2007

Friend of the Devil

Oft-neglected by the critical establishment, Canada's so-called "genre fiction" writers are giants among readers and buyers of fiction. The crime fiction genre, aka mystery novels, is the top genre here at the Library, with an entire big section hived off on its own. The Canadian king of mystery fiction is Toronto's Peter Robinson. His Inspector Banks' novels have grown in popularity with each new title, and people note that the quality has not diminished over time as happens to many series with a continuing character. Indeed, Natasha Cooper in The Globe and Mail noted in her review that "Peter Robinson has now written 19 novels and he gets better with each one."

Robinson's latest, Friend of the Devil, is the 17th novel starring Yorkshire detective Alan Banks. While Robinson is a long-time resident of Toronto, he was born in Yorkshire and has set most of his writing back in the Old Sod. In this excellent addition to the series, Robinson revisits details of one of his best novels, Aftermath (2001), which focused on a British couple, the Paynes, who were loosely based on Canadian murderers Bernardo and Homolka.

And a bonus - many of Robinson's novels are downloadable as digital eAudiobooks from our NetLibrary digital audio service (free of charge, playable on PCs or MP3 players).

[***Update September 25 - There's an interview with Peter Robinson on the CBC's Words at Large blog, including:
CBC: Stephen King has called the Inspector Banks series the "best series on the market". How has it been living up to expectations based on prior successes and such acclaim?
Robinson: I don't really think about it. My only concern is to make the next book better than the one before, and that's more than enough to live up to. The series is doing well, though, and Friend of the Devil made No. 1 in the UK Sunday Times bestseller list.]


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