cover image Friend of the Devil

Friend of the Devil

Peter Robinson, , read by Simon Prebble. . HarperAudio, $44.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-145753-1

Corpses may pile up in Robinson's thrillers about Yorkshire Chief Insp. Alan Banks and his now former lover, Det. Insp. Annie Cabbot, but rock and roll will never die. In Robinson's 17th novel, named for a Grateful Dead song, Banks frequently departs from his sleuthing to listen to enough rock anthems that it seems odd for an audio version to limit its music to just a few seconds of ominous introductory notes. Prebble's pitch-perfect rendition clarifies a complex tale of two serial murders that harks back to an earlier Banks-Cabbot investigation. His narration remains on cue and unruffled even when describing a paraplegic's severed neck (victim number one), the brutalized corpse of a beautiful young girl (victim number two) or Annie Cabbot's sad fall from grace at the end of a very boozy evening. Robinson's yarn comprises intriguing police procedure and the even more intriguing personal and professional relationships of his investigators. It's an engaging medley, and Prebble's vocal expertise makes it sing. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 8). (Mar.)