Peter Diamond, the Bath detective brilliant at rooting out murder, is peeved at being diverted to Professional Standards to enquire into a police car accident. Arriving late at the scene, he discovers an extra victim thrown onto an embankment - unconscious and unnoticed. Diamond administers CPR, but no one can say whether the elderly tricyclist will pull through. But why had the man been out in the middle of the night with an urn containing human ashes?
Diamond's suspicions grow after he identifies the accident victim as Ivor Pellegrini, a well-known local eccentric and railway enthusiast. A search of Pellegrini's workshop proves beyond question that he is involved in a series of uninvestigated deaths. While Pellegrini lingers on life support, Diamond wrestles with the appalling possibility that he has saved the life of a serial killer....
©2016 Peter Lovesey (P)2016 Little Brown Book Group
As always Peter Lovesey books are great.
The final disclosure
Police stopping the cyclist
Of all Peter's books this was a real Diamond
I’ve read/listened to many books in the detective Peter Diamond series and felt that this one to be inferior to earlier books in both the characterisation and plotting. Diamond has always been portrayed as a bit of a curmudgeon but in this novel he’s even more of a caricature. The female authority figures, such as the ACC, the head of a legal firm and a ward sister fare worse: the dialogue given to the last of these is worthy of a Carry On Film. Most of the characters are irritable and/or rude to one another. I don’t know if the author has tired of writing straightforward crime novels and is experimenting with a satirical pastiche, but it hasn’t worked. It just seems clumsy and unengaging.
While I expect a detective novel to be more contrived than real life it shouldn’t stretch credibility to the extent that this story does. After a slow start the novel gradually gathers some pace but goes off at tangents. The final denouement is weak and seem tacked on to the story as there are no clues laid during the narrative.
The narrator is better at depicting the male characters. The females mostly sound uptight or angry.
I am enjoying my retirement. Living part time in France . Going to the theatre and reading or listening to crime novels.
Diamond at his best. Lovesey has fun with the complicated plot and surprises in the last chapter.
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