Thursday, July 16, 2015

Down Among the Dead Men by Peter Lovesey

First Sentence:  “Are you sure this thing works?”
Det. Peter Diamond has been recruited to work with his boss on a sensitive case out of town.  To say he’s less than excited by this prospect would be an understatement, but needs must.  What he doesn’t know, nor does his boss, is that the case involves someone with whom Peter had worked in the past.  In the same town to which they are traveling, the art teacher at a private girl’s school leaves her position without notice.  While the students are pleased by the very attractive man who replaces her, one student becomes concerned and decides to follow up on her own.
Peter Lovesey is unique in his manner of gently sliding the reader into the story.  One finds oneself intrigued, aware there has been a crime, but really not knowing with certainty the nature of the crime or where the path of the story is leading.    He also provides his character with a wonderful narrative voice and dialogue, replete with wry humour…”When it becomes necessary, you’ll be informed.”  Pompous old trout.  “As you wish.”

One also finds that Peter doesn’t lack for wonderful meals—no grab-and-go here… “They tucked into a char-grilled rib-eye steak with black-pudding butter, fries and salad (his) and vegetarian bake with salad leaves (hers).
Peter’s lady-love, Paloma, is delightful.  His boss, ACC Georgina Dallymore—how can you not love that name—may be dismissive of Peter at times, but she can also be observant… “You go in for mind games, don’t you?  Pulling the wool over the eyes of your superior.  Superior in rank, not necessarily in guile…”  And Peter is clever, brilliantly so at times, diplomatically "managing" his boss with tact and guile.  One could envy his skill. 
Every step of the way, the plot becomes more fascinating and compelling; complicated and wonderful in the way the threads are finally joined.
Down Among the Dead Men” is a wonderful, satisfying read with the unexpected villain brought to justice.  It is also part of a great series.

DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN (Pol Proc-Det. Peter Diamond – England – Contemp) – VG
Lovesey, Peter – 15th in series
SOHO Crime – July 2015

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