Lovesey, Peter. Diamond Dust.

NY: Soho Press, 2002.

This is the seventh novel in the award-winning series featuring Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond of the Bath CID. The last couple of books have been a great improvement on the first couple and we’ve also come to know the supporting players pretty well — especially Diamond’s understanding, tolerant, and always supportive wife, Stephanie.

She spends much of her time involved with good causes, has a million friends, and simply doesn’t make enemies. So it’s a shock to both the reader and to her husband when he’s called out to check on a murder victim in a park and it turns out to be her — two shots to the head, execution style.

Of course, as the grieving spouse (and it takes Diamond a considerable time to even begin to come to grips with his abruptly and completely altered life), the Superintendent is barred from involvement in the investigation, much less running it. Equally “of course,” he’s not about to accept that restriction and starts a parallel investigation on his own, almost immediately turning up important clues that the official fingertip search missed. Then the body of another copper’s wife turns up, also with two shots in the head, and Diamond begins to wonder. He gets in touch with the other husband and they join forces to see what they can turn up. And time passes. Budgets are reduced. The hundred or so cops on the case are reduced to six, then to two. Eight months later, Diamond is still looking for something to give him a handle on the case.

Around page sixty, I thought, “Aha! I know who dunnit!” But then the suspect I had in mind has an alibi. But then, later, he doesn’t. But then. . . . Well, I’ll say no more about that. There’s a secondary plot involving a diamond heist and Kuwaiti royals, and it takes awhile before the connection becomes clear, but that turns out to be an important part of a well-developed story. This is possibly the best in the series so far and you’re not likely to guess the culprit before the last chapter.

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Published in: on 9 August 2015 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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