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THE SECRET HANGMAN by Peter Lovesey

THE SECRET HANGMAN

By Peter Lovesey

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-56947-457-5
Publisher: Soho

Inspector Peter Diamond, three years a widower, gamely accedes to a lady’s advances.

How’s this for a cute meeting? Peter Diamond runs over costume researcher Paloma Kean’s groceries in a parking lot and insists on paying, and she reciprocates with an offer of dinner. Paloma, a divorcee, seems smitten with the burly, cantankerous detective, and her son Jerry, a religious fanatic and hospital volunteer, doesn’t object. But romance must take a back seat to the latest scourge of Bath, an unknown serial killer who likes to hang his victims from high, very public places. The first to be found is Delia Williamson, followed by her ex, Danny Geaves. But digging by the Murder Squad turns up a prior couple, the Twinings, two years back. Then Jocelyn Steel is strung up. If the pattern holds, her missing husband Martin will be next to go. As if that’s not work enough for the bone-tired Diamond, smash-and-grab robbers are looting the stores and half of his squad is reassigned. Worse yet, Paloma’s son comes under suspicion, jeopardizing the new romance.

Lovesey (The Circle, 2005, etc.), master of the switchback twist, has several in store here, but savvy readers may find them a notch or so below his crafty best.