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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
22
4.5 out of 5 stars


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on 15 July 2016
I started to read Peter Lovesey a while ago and stopped - only going back when I had run out of other books to read. I don't know why I was put off originally, as I am enjoying all of the books I have read so far. They are easy to read, well written, all the story is relevant to the main story and lots of shortish chapters, so I can plan ahead how far to read when I am lying in bed.
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on 23 November 2012
As usual I enjoyed this Peter Lovesey novel, trying to guess the outcome and then being surprised. The story flows well with plenty of suspence and and well written. You can't see the cogs whirring or find glaring errors in what you read. A good who dunit.
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on 18 February 2007
I had been eagerly awaiting "The Secret Hangman", having been a fan of the Peter Diamond detective series since being given a copy of the"The Vault". In this series Peter Lovesey has created a human and likeable hero whose stubbornness and bluff manner are his strongest points. He unfailingly provides us with a classic murder mystery in the truest sense of the word, with a strong plot, believable characters and storylines which keep you reading and guessing until the end. There is a lack of graphic blood and gore that you find in many recent thrillers, instead the writer gives an intellectual puzzle. In "The Secret Hangman" he has not let his readers down; here is another tale of murder in Bath, a serial killer hanging couples in a bizarre voyeuristic way from bridges near Bath beauty spots. If I have one slight criticism of this book it is due to the love interest from the "Secret Admirer". Having followed the series I was shocked and hurt by the murder of Peter Diamond's wife, Stephanie in one of the earlier novels. The love interest in this book seems a betrayal of her character and although this book is set 3 years after her death I found it uncomfortable to read. I almost felt as though Peter Lovesy had been persuaded by an editor looking for book sales to kill off Stephanie. It felt as though having a happily married detective was too staid and from her murder they could introduce a love interest and sex scenes. Instead they killed a main character from the series who gave peter Diamond credibility and a sounding board for his ideas. I would still recommend this book to anyone, though would suggest reading them in sequence.
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A woman is found hanged from a swing in a park. It seems like a straightforward case of suicide until the post mortem reveals she was strangled first. When her ex-husband is also found hanged it looks like a case of murder followed by suicide but Peter Diamond is not satisfied and even when he is ordered to work on another case the two cases keep niggling at him. It also seems as though he is being stalked by a female admirer which is flattering but worrying. When Ingebourg - former crime reporter - digs up some interesting information about previous suicides in the area Diamond is even more worried.

When another hanging takes place Diamond and his team start to wonder whether they have a serial murderer on their hands. Meanwhile his private life is looking up. I found this a tense and exciting read because of all its twists and turns. The end was a race against time which kept me reading.

Peter Diamond is a likeable character in spite of his occasional irritability. He cares about his team and is prepared to apologise when he gets things wrong. I found the other characters believable and convincing and the murderer's motivation was well done. If you like your crime without too much on the page violence and with interesting characters then give Peter Lovesey a try.
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on 23 September 2016
I have enjoyed the previous Diamond books very much. He and his team get on with the job in a workmanlike manner and the various twists add interest and fun to the plots. However I do wish that the author had left out the romance or else provided Diamond with a more realistic lady friend. It stretched my imagination too far for Diamond to be "stalked" by an unknown admirer who wasted little time in initially "ambushing" him in a supermarket car park and then proceeded to seduce him. I found her both distracting and annoying!
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on 9 April 2009
Peter Lovesey has written some superb books, probably none better than Bloodhounds. The Secret Hangman is no exception. Lovesey is an author whose style is reminscent of the old fashioned classic murder mystery that doesn't not rely on gore and sex to fill out the pages but intense plotting and the weaving together of intricate puzzles in which he allows Peter Diamond and his team to solve: another point to which the book is no exception. With well defined characters and vivid descriptions, those who admire the author's work will find the book a pleasure to read, as I did.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 July 2009
I've enjoyed several of Peter Lovesey's earlier books and was not disappointed by this one. It's a classic detective story in that the murders are carefully planned, there are red herrings and a definite motive is revealed near the end of the book. The author creates distinctive characters, including Diamond the chief detective in this series. My only criticism is over the depiction of his boss, whose behaviour towards him is a caricature of an over-bearing and irritable woman who tries to take the credit for successful operations.
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2007
Not quite one of Lovesey's best - the Vault was really superb - but still extremely enjoyable and entertaining, even if the villain's identity is fairly easily guessed. One thing that bothered me was that the motivation for the murders was very similar to that in an Ed McBain 87th precinct novel. Can't say more without giving the plot away ... I agree with the previous reviewer, I wasn't crazy about Diamond's new love interest. She just didn't convince me as a character, and the relationship between them didn't work for me. The scenes between Diamond and his team are what really carry the book along.
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on 2 December 2012
Peter Diamond the feature character in these stories provides the reader with a credible touch of realism. The author manages to create a perfect image of Bath and surrounding area. The story line is gripping and the many twists and turns leave the reader hanging on to the end. As with all in this series, Great Character, great story, beautifully written.
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on 28 December 2010
Well written police procedural, set in Bath and cleverly plotted at least at the start; I felt there were some problems with the denouement which were either glossed over or ignored. In particular Paloma does not convince in either half of the story, and some details of the way the villain gets his information are sketchy. However, well written and entertaining.
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