Brace, son of Deputy Chief Constable George Brace, and Caroline
Irving, daughter of professional criminal Joe Irving, are
getting married as soon as her father is released from prison.
Besides their son marrying a criminal's daughter, Brace is
worried the rivals may see this as a perfect opportunity to
remove Irving. In order to ensure everyone's safety, Senior
Detective Peter Diamond is assigned to see that all goes well.
A missing policeman and a body found in the hypocaust of the
Roman baths are not what Brace had in mind.
Lovesey creates the unexpected. There is certainly nothing
ordinary or predictable about the way the story begins or
continues forward. Yes, there is a not-named-as-such prologue
set in 2015, but it is a great entry into the story and captures
one's interest immediately. Just hang on, and its purpose
does become clear.
Shifting quickly to present day, Lovesey's description of
Carolyn's first-ever visit to her father in prison is so well
done. Her emotions are clearly conveyed. At the same time,
Lovesey knows how to start a story slowly, allowing one to
become familiar with, and invested in, the characters. Before
one realizes it, the tension begins to mount as the intent
If one has not previously read a Peter Diamond book, he may
quickly become a favorite character. He is curmudgeonly, tight
with money, and private about his life. He is also observant
and intelligent. His wry humor is expressed perfectly—"They
finally reached Camden Crescent, built on a slope so steep
that parts of the planned structure collapsed at an early
stage in the construction and were abandoned, … where
another 175 properties collapsed in a landslip in 1881. Reader,
if you ever think of moving to the northern slopes, hire a
surveyor." As well conversations with his cat, Raffles,
there is lovely irony—"'We want their day to pass
off peacefully, don't we?' ' Like Romeo and Juliet,"
Leaman said, 'Lovers from two warring families.' 'Let's hope
not,' Ingeborg said. 'Romeo and Juliet ended up dead.'
The plot has very good twists, plenty of suspense and a well-done
tie-back to the beginning.
with Confetti" is an excellent traditional police procedural.
It is such a pleasure to read. Lovesey doesn't take one down
blind alleys. He plays fair and brings all the strings together
with a great reveal and final twist.