‘Upon a Dark Night’ is the 5th novel of Peter Lovesey’s DI Peter Diamond series.
This novel starts out with Diamond feeling very stressed – from underwork. He is the head of the murder squad and no one in Bath is getting murdered at the moment. Currently the only cases are 3 suicides and a missing woman.
The missing woman was originally found unconscious in a hospital car park. But, when she regained consciousness, it was discovered that she had amnesia. She couldn’t remember who she was or where she came from. She was given the name Rose and placed in sheltered accommodation in Harmer House. Here she met Ada Shaftsbury (well known to the police for shoplifting) and they quickly became friends. Rose was soon collected by her stepsister and has not been seen since. Ada continues to pester the police about her missing friend Rose.
Diamond starts to look into a possible suicide where a lady has fallen from a high balcony while a party was in progress in the house below her. Diamond is immediately suspicious about her missing shoe. It also turns out that she was another resident of Harmer House.
But the more interesting case for Diamond is the old farmer who shot himself with a rifle. The suicide is a bit unusual and Diamond eventually realises that it was impossible.
Eventually Diamond and his trusty fellow officer Julie Hargreaves manage to tie a number of cases together and after heading in the wrong direction a few times they manage to find the murderer – just in time.
This was another wonderful addition to the series. Peter Lovesey can always be relied on to serve up an excellent mystery, beautifully written and with vivid and entertaining characters. My favourite in this story was Ada Shaftsbury (but I’m also getting to like John Wigfull).
The endings in this novel were pretty good. Positive for Ada but not so positive for Diamond. I wonder how he will cope with his new work environment in the next story – ‘The Vault’.
Book Published 1997