From Publishers Weekly
In his eighth Inspector Diamond mystery (after 2002's Diamond Dust), Lovesey demonstrates, lest anyone doubt, how richly he deserves the British Crime Writers Association's Lifetime Achievement award. It's been about a year since Inspector Diamond's wife was murdered, and he's back at the helm of the Bath homicide squad when he hears from Inspector Henrietta "Hen" Mallin. Hen and her team have identified a murder victim found on a Sussex beach as Emma Tysoe, reported missing from her teaching position at the university in Bath. More interesting to both police units is Emma's side job as criminal profiler. Thus two puzzles neatly intersect: who killed the profiler, and who is the killer the profiler was tracking? The two detectives approach the question from opposite ends, slowly forging an effective, respectful partnership. Hen, a petite, cigar-smoking dynamo who gained her rank on sheer talent, offers something few in Bath CID would have believed possible-an equal match for Peter Diamond. Lovesey is a master of intricate plotting. A Paiute water basket is not more tightly constructed than this extraordinary story, nor more exquisite. The identity of the killer, when finally revealed, is genuinely startling, and not because of authorial obfuscation. The writing is as smooth as polished steel, and the small touches that reveal character, especially the memorable Hen, approach genius. This is Lovesey at his best.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
*Starred Review* In a deft turn on the classic locked-room mystery, the central killing in this British police procedural takes place entirely in the open, in bright daylight, on a crowded beach, with the victim, a criminal profiler, herself a hunter of killers. Many mystery writers would be content with devising such a puzzle, but Lovesey, winner of the U.K.'s Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, makes this but one feature of his eighth Inspector Peter Diamond novel. The action revolves around two investigations of the profiler's murder, one in Sussex, where the body was found, and one in Bath, where the victim lived and where Diamond heads the Murder Squad. The profiler, it turns out, was investigating the murder of a film director shortly before her own death; her computer yields disturbing intimations that the director's death was the work of a serial killer who has only begun his "to do" list of celebrities. Lovesey injects a potent sense of paranoia throughout, starting with the body on the beach and continuing through a threatened celebrity in a Special Branch-protected "safe house," to which the serial killer easily gains access. Diamond's own wife was murdered in the previous installment of the series; here he goes about the business of trying to solve crimes with a kind of resolute single-mindedness that seems a typically underplayed, dignified response to grief. An ingenious and complex novel, this is Lovesey at the top of his form. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to the