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Another One Goes Tonight by Peter Lovesey

Another One Goes Tonight (2016)

by Peter Lovesey

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Another intriguing read from a master story teller.

Peter Diamond is delegated to assist a Professional Standards team after a police car is involved in a serious accident just at the end of its shift. The station has received a call about a naked man and the squad car is on its way to investigate when the driver swerves to avoid hitting an object. It rolls, the young driver is killed, and his passenger seriously wounded. There are many other things that Diamond would rather be doing than investigating colleagues.

However near the scene he discovers an elderly man, also seriously injured, presumably hit by the police car, and he begins to take a personal interest. But what was he doing out at that hour of the morning? The more Diamond and his team investigate, the more intriguing it becomes, especially after they work out that a number of elderly people have met untimely ends, albeit from supposedly natural causes.

The narration by Peter Wickham is particularly adept, with good distinguishing between characters.

I've been following this prolific British crime fiction author since 1972 when I was hooked by his debut novel WOBBLE TO DEATH. Check him out on Wikipedia. ( )
  smik | Aug 19, 2017 |
I think it has been about 4 years ago that I discovered Peter Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series. Since then I have read all the books about the choleric police detective from Bath, and he has quickly become one of my favourite fictional sleuths. This is his sixteenth outing, and as usual it involves a particularly complex crime.

It is difficult to keep a series fresh over several decades. And to Peter Lovesey’s credit it must be said, that he tries coming up with something new in every instalment. This time the story takes us into the world of railway enthusiasts, people who collect train memorabilia.

The beginning is exciting enough: After a policeman is killed and another one heavily injured in a car accident Diamond is given the task of finding out what really happened. Was the elderly man found at the scene the cause of the accident? Peter Diamond has saved the man’s life, but the more he finds out about Ivor Pellegrini the weirder the case seems to be getting. Not only was he carrying an urn containing human ashes in his backpack, but Diamond finds two other urns hidden in the man’s home, raising questions about his character.

Pellegrini was a railway enthusiast and member of railway related clubs, in which mostly elderly people come together collecting pieces and equipment from classic trains and studying the history of old train lines. He seems like the epitome of an eccentric Englishman. However to Superintendent Peter Diamond there is something just not quite right.

Diamond is torn between the elation of saving a human life and his mounting suspicion that Pellegrini was a serial-killer, especially after coming across several printouts from websites debating the perfect murder method, which were stuffed into a drawer in the man’s workshop. Is this enough evidence? Certainly not, but when Diamond finds out that quite a few of Ivor’s friends and fellow train spotters died recently he starts feeling that he is on the right track.

With Pellegrini in hospital Diamond has to investigate without being able to question the main suspect.

Another One Goes Tonight does not quite have the freshness ad relentless pace of the best entries in this series. The narrative seems to be running in circles for some time while Diamond and his colleagues are debating whether Ivor Pellegrini may or may not be a serial murderer. This idea might seem a bit far-fetched to some readers as might the fact that Another One Goes Tonight relies heavily on coincidence, but then so did many of the classic detective novels it tries to emulate. Peter Lovesey has always been great at bringing back the feeling of a classic Agatha Christie novel, indeed his best works might be up there with the finest from the Queen of Crime or the likes of John Dickson Carr. This time however he does not quite succeed.

Some say, that modern technology with its forensics and DNA analysis has killed the classic puzzle oriented detective mystery, but Lovesey has been coming up with inventive ways for bumping off people for years. Indeed one of the most important issues of Diamond’s current investigation is whether such a thing as the perfect crime is still possible and how it can be achieved. In theory at least this might sound like pure gold for crime fiction fans, but for some reason Another One Goes Tonight just wasn’t as much fun as it should have been.

Although the ending did spring one genuine surprise regarding the identity of the murderer, the downside is, that the killer here is almost a bit too well hidden. A Person from the side-lines suddenly steps into the spotlight and since we barely knew this character until then, there is a lot of information dumped on us in the last few pages making the finale seem a bit convoluted.

Another One Goes Tonight is a fun old-fashioned British detective novel. But compared to Lovesey’s own stellar back catalogue it is just about solid. ( )
  TheRavenking | May 2, 2017 |
This is the first book I've read by this author. I'm a bit hesitant to say how I feel about it so will read other works. Admittedly, this is the most outlandish British mystery I've ever read. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Dec 3, 2016 |
I am surprised that Peter Lovesey’s books featuring Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond haven’t been adapted for television. After all, Bath, where they are set, is surely as photogenic as Morse’s Oxford, and the pragmatic yet frequently querulous Diamond seems to have the requisite personal idiosyncrasies to guarantee a loyal television audience. Most importantly, the stories themselves are always well constructed and engaging.

This is the sixteenth volume in the series, and once again shows Diamond at odds with Georgina, his Assistant Chief Constable, who has assigned him to a Professional Standards role, investigating an as yet unexplained traffic accident involving a police car in the early hours of the morning. One of the police officers in the car is killed outright, while the other is seriously wounded. Diamond attends the scene of the crash while the traffic officers are still conducting their scrupulous checks, and himself find another victim of the crash, an elderly man who appears to have been knocked an electric tricycle. Diamond is then catapulted into a beguiling investigation to establish what the elderly man (retired engineer and train enthusiast, Ivor Pellegrini) might have been up to, out and about so early in the morning.

Lovesey’s skill lies in his ability to construct quirky plots that still retain the reader’s credibility. Diamond is often irritating, even infuriating, and has a penchant for leaping to convictions and then attempting to make the facts fit his theory, only to have them completely dashed, leaving him to start again. He is, however, an essentially sympathetic figure, and his heart is clearly in the right place. Like all good leaders, he has also had the sense to equip himself with a strong team that can complement his own shortcomings.

Lovesey doesn’t do grim reality, favouring plausibility while picking out a clever path avoiding both the glorification of violence and the cosy, even twee, hinterland inhabited by the likes of Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. As with all the previous volumes in the series, the plot is tightly constructed, and the clues are all there. He did, however, manage completely to fool me (again), and the denouement came as much of a surprise to me as it did to Diamond’s colleagues. ( )
1 vote Eyejaybee | Aug 6, 2016 |
Peter Lovesey's sly wit comes out in full force in his creation of Chief Superintendant Peter Diamond. It's always there, almost at every page, and a pretty darn good mystery is always there as well. In this book Diamond is sent to investigate an officer involved car accident. He's pretty bored with the paperwork, so he takes on this task as an excuse to get out of the office, and while there he stumbles upon another casualty from what was thought was a single car accident. He finds an old man lying up on an embankment and the remains of an electric pedal tricycle. Peter applies CPR and keeps the man alive until the medics arrive. Diamond feels pretty good about what he has done until he stumbles upon evidence that might prove the old man he saved is a serial killer. So, off the books as usual, he and his team set out to try to unravel the mystery. But it's all the back and forth among Diamond and his team, and his very sly wit that make these books so enjoyable. Even a visit from the Complaints department investigating the accident refuse to stop him. Once Diamond is on the hunt, nothing will stop him until he uncovers all the mysteries, secrets and dirty dealings. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves British police procedurals. I would set Diamond up against some stellar company such as John Rebus, Alan Banks and Inspector Morse. He will stand alone on his own among such august company. ( )
1 vote Romonko | Aug 1, 2016 |
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For my brother John, who took me trainspotting in the great days of steam.
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Another one goes tonight.
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"Two police officers are about to head home after a long night shift when they receive one last call: a suspicious nude person has been spotted in the wee hours of the morning. En route to the call, the patrol car spins off the road, killing one of the exhausted cops instantly and leaving the other in critical condition. Whenever a police car is involved in an accident, the matter must be taken very seriously. Inspector Peter Diamond is assigned to look into the case. His supervisor is desperately hoping Diamond will not discover that the car was speeding or that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol--that would make the police look very bad indeed. Instead, Diamond discovers something even worse--a civilian on a motorized tricycle was involved in the crash, and has been lying on the side of the road by the accident for hours undiscovered. Diamond administers CPR, but no one can say whether the man will pull through. If a civilian has been killed by a police vehicle, the department has very big problems on its hands. Meanwhile, Diamond has become suspicious of the civilian victim, and begins a private inquiry. Why was he out in the middle of the night, carrying a funeral urn of ashes? Diamond's somewhat illegal and highly secret break-in into the man's house only exposes increasingly awful information, and leads Diamond to a trail of uninvestigated deaths. As the man lingers on life support, Diamond must wrestle with the fact that he may have saved the life of a serial killer"--… (more)

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