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Killing With Confetti
Detective Peter Diamond #18
BY Peter Lovesey

SOHO Crime
July 2019/ ISBN
Mystery / Police Procedural/ Contemporay/ England

Reviewed by LJ Roberts 

Ben 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 becomes clear.

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.

"Killing 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.

Reviewed 2019