RogerBW's Blog

Diamond Dust, Peter Lovesey 22 May 2014

Diamond Dust is the seventh book in Lovesey's Peter Diamond series, and one that makes for a very substantial change in tone.

Well, the nature of the victim is in all the blurbs, and it happens in the first chapter; but I still came to it cold, having started this book on the basis of the previous one, and it was highly effective that way. So I'm not going to go into detail except to say that there's a personal connection to Diamond.

Indeed, some of the most effective writing deals with Diamond's reaction to the murder. There's less of the usual juggling of clues this time, and more misdirection; but one major side plot seems really superfluous. On the other hand, as always, the incidental as well as the regular characters continue to be well-drawn and interesting.

The puzzles are not so much "to whom does the evidence point" but "given very limited evidence pointing at this person, does he/she have a plausible motive". Given the why, the who would become obvious; it's less of a classic detective puzzler than others in the series have been. Lovesey continues his trick of introducing information that's important in the context of one person by stating it in the context of someone totally different. The book does play fair; I admit the solution eluded me, though I had slight suspicions.

On the other hand, this isn't a cheerful book. In many classic detective stories, for example by Christie, the murder victim is a nasty person whom pretty much everybody is glad is dead (thus giving them all motives); the detective acts because civil order has been upset, and criminals ought to be caught, but one doesn't really get the feeling that anyone else's life has been all that adversely affected. In this case it's just the opposite: while the criminal may be caught and sentenced, the murder has still happened, the victim is still dead, and now everyone has to learn to go on. I look forward to seeing how this series continues.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1