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by Peter Lovesey
Little, Brown & Company, March 2003
400 pages
16.99 GBP
ISBN: 0316725315

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The House Sitter is the most recent instalment in Peter Lovesey's Peter Diamond series and a very good one it is too. We begin with a mystery woman strangled on Wightview Sands, discovered as the tide threatens to engulf her. Simultaneously, the first in a series of ingeniously devised serial murders takes place, involving a leading film director who is making a film version of Coleridge's The Ancient Mariner. Lovesey's impeccably crafted plot connects both these crimes and a few more and manages to entrust their solution to Peter Diamond, despite the fact that they did not take place in Bath.

Lovesey is here playing with two splendid themes in crime fiction--the intellectual serial killer who taunts the cops with provocative messages and the locked room mystery. Old as they may be, Lovesey renews them, hauling them into the 21st century with wit and inventiveness. Unlike some of the classic versions of the puzzle mystery, however, Lovesey does not slight character development, neither that of some of the victims, or various police officers, and especially Peter Diamond himself, who has been forced by circumstances over recent years to develop a degree of sensitivity that he used to scorn. Very highly recommended.

This review refers to the original UK edition. A US edition has been announced for June.

Reviewed by Yvonne Klein, April 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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