‘The Secret Hangman’ is Peter Lovesey’s 9th Inspector Diamond novel.
DI Peter Diamond and his team are working on two cases. The first involves a series of ram raids on Jewellery stores. Despite what appears to be a good tip-off, they find themselves running around in circles.
The second case initially comes to Diamond from his boss Georgina Dallymore. The daughter of one of her fellow Choir singers has gone missing. Before Diamond can make any real progress towards finding her, her body is found hanging in a playground. Initially the death looks like suicide but it is soon found to be murder. One of the suspects, her ex-partner, is found hanging over a road two days later.
Georgina would like the case closed as a murder-suicide but Diamond is not so sure. His team discover details of another double hanging from a few years ago where the bodies were left hanging in public places. They start to look for a link between the couples.
Then another woman is found hanged in public and the race is on to find her husband before he is killed as well.
Meanwhile, Diamond has started a relationship with a woman named Paloma. Even though his wife has been dead for 3 years, he still feels very hesitant and guilty. Paloma had been trying to meet Diamond and eventually arranged an ‘accident’ to do so. Does Paloma have an ulterior motive for her relationship with Diamond?
This was another excellent mystery to add to the series. Peter Diamond was in fine form, making leaps of logic beyond the capabilities of most people. His team played a significant role with Ingeborg continuing to grow in confidence and ability.
Peter’s boss Georgina has been horrible since she was introduced a few books ago, but was even worse than usual in this novel, blaming Diamond when things go wrong and taking the credit when things go right. I particularly enjoyed one quote when Diamond had solved the case:
‘Georgina, who had missed the main action, came out the front to bond with Diamond on the success of the operation she had masterminded, but he had gone’
I wonder where things will go between Diamond and Paloma and look forward to finding out in the next novel – ‘Skeleton Hill’.
Book Published 2007