Peter Lovesey

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How did I miss Peter Lovesey?  I just read a combined volume containing The Last Detective and Diamond Solitaire, mysteries featuring Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond first published by Lovesey in 1991 and 1992.  Although I wasn’t immediately smitten with the fat, irascible detective, he grows on you.  He sometimes lumbers off in the wrong direction, but he’s smart and he never gives up, and his long suffering wife is always there for moral support.

In The Last Detective, Diamond takes a long time to discover the identity of a naked murdered woman found in a lake because he ignores an important clue.  Subsequently he resigns from his job in a fit of temper, but nothing prevents him from eventually solving the case.

Diamond Solitaire is the story of how Diamond, now reduced to doing odd jobs, becomes intrigued by the problem posed by an mute little Japanese girl who was left in Harrods where he’s working as a security guard (until he’s fired for apparently overlooking her).  No one comes forward to claim her for several weeks, but after Diamond manages to present the mystery on television she’s snatched from the institution where she’s being cared for.  The plot develops in some unlikely ways, but it did make a good read.

By the way, there’s something odd going on regarding this blog.  I keep receiving notifications that people with the email address outlook.com have started to follow the blog, but they’re not listed as followers.  Is it because not a single one of them has confirmed the intention to follow?  Since I see only an email address and no profile, I have no idea who they are.   ???

 

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French page-turner

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L’honorable société, published by Dominique Manotti and DOA (pen name of a novelist and screen writer) in 2010, preceded the recent elections in France but couldn’t have sounded more timely.  In this police thriller the mystery isn’t who did it (the murder of a member of the security services attached to the French nuclear energy authority), but why.  What was the murdered man investigating at the financial conglomerate that supports the conservative candidate for president?  What is the project they call “Gédéon” that’s so important to a trio of young environmental activists that they would rather be suspected of murder than endanger it?

The actions shifts rapidly from one set of characters to another as the plot advances.  The characters are a varied lot, from the detective originally assigned to investigate the murder (good guy), through the politicians (disgusting), and on to the young activists ( clueless computer nerd, pretty girl, stubborn, self-righteous leader who has made a big impression on the girl).  The father of the girl just happens to be a journalist who joins the side of the good guys in order to clear his daughter of suspicion.

It made a good read, and hopefully, the deep rooted corruption described by the authors is exaggerated for the sake of the plot.