good police procedural. nice read. didn't like the protagonist but the writing is good and held my interest.
"The Last Detective" is the first novel in the Peter Diamond series. It won the Anthony Award for Best Novel at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 1992. This novel is very well plotted. Since the same events are stated in the third novel of the series, "The Summons," I suspect that the author wrote the first three novels all at the same time. I would rate "The Last Detective" at 4.0 stars.
Assessing a murder mystery I believe requires a different approach than that taken for, say a piece of prose, a domestic drama or historical fiction. This is entertainment, a mental exercise; it needs to move along quickly, no time to be lost admiring the scenery -- although establishing a mood and an interesting setting is helpful. This one seems to tick off the essentials:
1. A unique, preferably exotic crime scenario, where no explanation is discernible
2. Several possible suspects
3. A figure who acts as detective and who has interesting characteristics
4. Several twists along the way and the whole truth revealed only at the end
I have a few minor quibbles, notably:
a. Dana's timely and easy discovery of the letters required suspension of disbelief
b. Greg's decisions in dealing with his wife's actions were hard to understand
c. Character development of Diamond was unsympathetic and sketchy through most of the book; however, I assume the author intended to remedy that in subsequent books in a planned series.
I felt that the revelation of some sloppiness in the police work lent realism rather than being a weakness.
All in all, a quick, entertaining read. I look forward to reading more in the series.
I'll read the next one.
It is truly amazing how certain authors and their characters can get to you. After only a couple of Lovesey's novels I was hooked. Especially his Peter Diamond novels. Cop Diamond isn't always the nicest of guys. Overbearing, browbeating, downright unsavory, he nonetheless "gets his man". My reservation, however, is that while he dangled every possible entity in the book in front of you as possible perpetrators of the crime, at the very conclusion, it ends up being a relatively minor protagonist --- kind of a "deus ex machina" --- perhaps a bit of a cheat.. In spite of that, The Last Detective was a pleasure to read, er, tear through.
Great read. Well developed characters and interesting tensions in the police department. I found the comments about the shortcomings of the English Public School system most interesting.
Very enjoyable read, the depth of the major characters development was really well laid out, loved the ending..Diamond is rough, grumpy and totally likable
I really enjoyed The Last Detective. The plot twists were carefully woven, so the book held my interest and the progression of the case felt solid and believable. A good British police procedural. I liked Det. Peter Diamond - grumpy and troubled, but not warped. I found myself caring about the characters.
This book started slowly, but it had enough plot twists to keep my interest. The characters were not people I especially liked. I am not sure I liked it enough to read more in this series.
This is well written. Like the other reviewer, I'd like to give it 3.5. I compare it to Helen Tursten's Irene Huss books--smart characters, good pace, not a lot of violence, solidly written. Points off for being dated, as the other reviewer mentioned. It's not timeless--however, it's not trying to be, so I shouldn't complain. I like the character Peter Diamond and I look forward to more time with him.
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