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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
10
4.6 out of 5 stars


HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 11 June 2010
THE LAST DETECTIVE

Peter Diamond has started working for Avon and Somerset Constabulary in Bath. He is awaiting the results of an investigation into his conduct of a controversial case. In the meantime he is supposed to be getting to grips with the use of computers in investigations but he prefers good old fashioned methods. He's not getting on too well with some of his colleagues either and then a body is discovered in a lake. No one knows who the dead woman is until her widower comes forward following an appeal.

This is a complex story with many twists and turns and some interesting characters as well as a Jane Austen connection as the story is set in Bath. I really like Diamond himself - the size and the check suit and his ability to open mouth and insert foot. His wife Stephanie is an interesting person as well. I enjoyed the writing and the plot and would recommend this series to anyone who likes their crime without too much graphic violence.

DIAMOND SOLITAIRE

Peter Diamond is working as a security guard at Harrods in London when a small Japanese girl sparks a security alert when she is discovered hiding in the furniture department. Diamond gets the sack and the girl is taken into care because her parents cannot be traced. That should be the end of Diamond's involvement in the story but he is puzzled by the fact that no one has come forward to claim her and that she doesn't speak. He manages to talk his way into the special school where she is being cared for - it is thought she is Autistic - and starts to build a tenuous relationship with the girl.

What follows is a fast paced story involving a trip to New York and an equally sudden trip to Japan as Diamond follows Naomi - as she has been named - when she is snatched by a Japanese lady following a TV appearance. There are some memorable characters including the silent Naomi and a Sumo wrestler. I thought the relationship between Diamond and Naomi was very well done and extremely touching. Diamond of course was just how he was when he was in the police force - tenacious and curious and definitely not taking no for an answer but also very charming when he wants to be.

This is a well written story not quite in the usual vein of police procedurals with a very complicated plot which few readers will unravel before the exciting conclusion. I recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2012
I have just finished re-reading The Last Detective and thought that it held up really well given that it is now over twenty years since it was written. It is Lovesey's first outing for Peter Diamond (I rather suspect that he didn't intend to create a series detective but only decided to do so later).

Unlike many authors Lovesey was at this stage confident enough to not litter the book with multiple corpses. The story unfolds from different perspectives without ever losing the thread of Diamond running through it as the glue which holds it all together. The plot twist at the end is very neatly done.

Lovesey also displays an excellent grasp of what in 1991 was the newly emerging technology of DNA being used in crime detection. And given that it was published in 1991 the ubiquitous mobile phone was not relevant. There is much to admire in Diamond's approach to detection and if you like detective stories which set you a puzzle to work out whodunit then you will like this one.

An excellent book.
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on 15 January 2010
The first Peter Lovesey book (well two books really) I have read. I really enjoyed both stories and was quite happy to ignore a couple of plot absurdities (especially in Diamond Solitaire) because the overall story lines and writing were good. Diamond isn't a paricularly nice person but is more believable as a consequence. All in all, excellent value - and as the first two books in the Diamond series, a thoroughly recommended route to get to know Diamond.
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on 10 April 2010
This was an omnibus of two Peter Diamond stories - one whilst he is still with the police in Bath, and the other working privately as a security guard. I much preferred the first to the second as I know Bath. Quite a good read if you like detective stories.
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on 17 July 2013
This had me gripped from page one. It had a few red herrings to make you think about the killer's identity. This book is a must for all lovers of crime fiction. I can't wait to read all other books in the series.
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on 2 March 2015
The first story was engrossing and well worth the purchase. The second I thought a little too far fetched but that is why it is called fiction I suppose.
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on 14 October 2014
Excellent read and especially for anyone who knows some of the areas in Bath too. Holds your interest even with short bursts of reading over a few weeks
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on 30 May 2013
I thought about the characters all day long as I went about my daily necessities and looked forward to meeting them again at the end of day.
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on 7 January 2015
Excellent condition. Delivered in good time. Would recommend as a great value for money purchase.
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on 2 April 2015
Good, prompt service.
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