‘The Last Detective’ is the 1st book in Peter Lovesey’s Inspector Peter Diamond series. I’ve read some of the later books in the series and I’m not sure what I was expecting from this one, but I found it to be excellent.
The body of a woman is discovered in a lake and Detective Superintendent Diamond and his team, including DI John Wigfull, are assigned to investigate the case.
Diamond is an old-fashioned detective, believing more in traditional policing than technology. He has been suspected of bullying a confession from a suspect in the past and suspects that Wigfull has been assigned to the team to spy on him.
The two initial challenges with the ‘Lady of the Lake’ are identifying her and determining her cause of death. She is eventually identified as a TV actress currently out of work. Diamond and his team are then quickly able to identify a suspect. Their suspect looks almost perfect, until they identify a new suspect.
The story takes a few twists and turns and each time I was certain that I had everything worked out… until I didn’t.
Diamond is new to the area after moving from London and is having a few problems settling in. After some friction with his boss, he resigns from the police force, but he can’t leave the case alone. Fearing that there will be a serious injustice, he ends up solving the case as a civilian.
At the end of the story his future is still uncertain. But, he has made his first concession to technology by buying his wife a microwave oven.
I loved the references to Jane Austin. My children have been reading ‘Pride and Prejudice’ for school and I’m dying to re-read some Jane Austin. I also love the Bath references, particularly Gay Street. My husband lived there for a while as a child and I saw it in a brief visit to England.
Every time I read a book in this series I’m pleasantly surprised. Why isn’t Peter Lovesey better known? I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series – ‘Diamond Solitaire’.
Book Published 1991