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The Finisher: A Peter Diamond Investigation

Review

The Finisher: A Peter Diamond Investigation

Soho Crime is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Peter Lovesey’s first published novel, WOBBLE TO DEATH, with the release of THE FINISHER, the 19th entry in his series featuring Detective Peter Diamond.

Maeve Kelley has grown increasingly plump, all too settled in her role as an elementary school teacher, and is bored. The Other Half, a semi-annual charity marathon event in her home city of Bath, Somerset, England, is coming up. Maeve signs on to raise funds for the British Heart Association, so when word gets out at her school that she has entered, the donations pour in by the thousands of pounds. What can she do but pull on her trainers and set out on evening runs to get in shape for the big event?

"Diamond is entertaining and intriguing --- a true Diamond in the rough. You will be fascinated by his lifestyle and will want to visit Bath for yourself... It’s history, mystery and pathos all wrapped into a gem of a series."

On one twilight eve, Maeve hears a wail coming from the staircase beneath a basement entranceway near her flat. There she finds a woman, badly bruised and unable to climb out by herself. She extricates Olga, a Russian who barely speaks English, and returns her to her elegant home nearby. There Olga tries to explain that she was mugged but resists reporting the assault to police. Their friendship develops into a life-threatening situation when Olga says that her husband, Konstantin, would object.

Peter Diamond is assigned to crowd control on race day and spots an old nemesis he thought was still in prison. He also has been on the lookout for a band of illegal Russian immigrants and tries to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Does this sound like a typical whodunit “bad guys against the good guys” novel? Well, think again. British murder mysteries seem to be in a genre of their own. Perhaps it’s the wry humor, or the dialect, or the atmospheric stealth that teases you to the very end, leading you through a veritable school of red herrings until the culprit is netted. THE FINISHER is all of the above, featuring an improbable detective who outwits his stuffy by-the-book superiors, as well as the culprit through ingenious, often accidental detecting.

I read and reviewed my first Peter Diamond novel, ANOTHER ONE GOES TONIGHT, in 2016. I was so compelled by Lovesey’s storytelling that I looked up his backlist to hunt down the opening installment of the series, THE LAST DETECTIVE. I was hooked and have now read them all. Diamond is entertaining and intriguing --- a true Diamond in the rough. You will be fascinated by his lifestyle and will want to visit Bath for yourself; its ancient Roman baths, vast stone quarries and Victorian parks make these books an armchair traveler’s delight. It’s history, mystery and pathos all wrapped into a gem of a series.

Reviewed by Roz Shea on September 11, 2020

The Finisher: A Peter Diamond Investigation
by Peter Lovesey

  • Publication Date: August 4, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime
  • ISBN-10: 1641291818
  • ISBN-13: 9781641291811