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by Peter Lovesey
Soho, June 2002
304 pages
ISBN: 1569472912

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

This latest entry in the Peter Diamond series is among the best and in many ways, the most moving. Peter is called out to investigate the shooting of a woman in Bath's Victoria Park. When he arrives on the scene, he finds that the dead woman is his own much-loved wife, Stephanie. Because of his closeness to the crime, he is immediately taken off the case and replaced by Curtis McGarvie, who, knowing what the odds are when married women are murdered, focusses most of his attention on Diamond himself.

Peter does not help matters as his grief exacerbates his ordinary cussedness, but knowing that whoever did do the crime, it wasn't him, he embarks on a parallel and unofficial investigation which leads him to Bristol, Guildford, and London as he tries to discover who could conceivably want his lovely wife dead. Is her murder revenge on the part of some villain he has got convicted? Is it simply random and inexplicable? Or is there something in Steph's own life, till now hidden from Diamond's knowledge, that explains it all? Diamond will not rest until he finds out, regardless of the consequences.

This is an expertly plotted novel and the reader is unlikely to guess the murderer much before Diamond himself does. But most attractive about the book is Lovesey's portrait of his surly, stubborn detective, who, baffled in his rage and grief, is simultaneously infuriating and sympathetic.

Reviewed by Yvonne Klein, August 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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