‘Diamond Solitaire’ is the second book in Peter Lovesey’s Inspector Diamond series. While some parts of this book seem very far-fetched, it was extremely entertaining and also very heartwarming at times.
In book 1 – ‘The Last Detective’, Peter Diamond resigned from his job as a CID Inspector over an argument with his boss. Too proud to ask for his job back, he has been doing odd jobs (and redecorating his flat – very badly) ever since.
While he is working as a security guard at Harrods, the alarm goes off one night. While carrying out his end-of-day inspections, Diamond failed to notice a young Japanese girl hiding in the furniture department. So Diamond once again finds himself unemployed.
Weeks later, Diamond is still looking for work. And, the young Japanese girl, who is mute and has been labelled autistic, is still unidentified and in care. Diamond decides to make it is mission to communicate with the young girl and to track down her family.
What follows is a mad dash around the world following the girl (now kidnapped) and various leads. Diamond’s travels take him to New York and to Tokyo. Along the way he encounters kidnappers, hit-men, sumo wrestlers and medical researchers. He encounters the worst of the pharmaceutical giants and the lengths that some people will go to to make money. Even the mafia is involved in the story.
Some of the story is deadly serious and some incredibly funny. I could just picture Diamond trying to deal with a giant sumo wrestler who speaks no English. Peter Diamond continued to surprise me by his incredibly warm heart despite his gruff exterior. The police force obviously don’t realise what they’ve lost with Diamond’s resignation.
There was so much packed into this novel that it’s amazing that Peter Lovesey has managed to keep the series going for so long. I can’t wait to continue the series with ‘The Summons’.
Book Published 1992