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Upon a Dark Night by Peter Lovesey

Upon a Dark Night (1997)

by Peter Lovesey

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This is the best of Lovesey's Peter Diamond Mysteries that I've read to date. The various parts of the story are clearly defined and are progressively woven into the story. The outcome, as usual, is near the end but not the very end. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Jul 13, 2017 |
Love his character as always. Love the way he questions suspects and witnesses. Love the way the author shifts suspicion back and forth, and works in artifacts of English history. And I absolutely loved the character of Ada - I hope he brings her back at some point. ( )
  4hounds | Sep 21, 2014 |
An above average addition to this series. Diamond's character is by now pretty fully developed--he is abrasive, rude, contrary and inconsiderate. But he's a decent man who recognizes merit and has enough insight to make seeing the world through his eyes rewarding and fun. ( )
  ehines | Jul 2, 2014 |
Peter Lovesey has sustained a long and celebrated career through well-crafted detective stories in which he has managed to combine watertight plotting with colourful characters and a deft lightness of touch. He doesn't attempt to offer the gritty realism of Rankin or McDermid, but he also avoids falling for the cloying cosiness that bedevils so much of the crime genre.

Having written two highly successful series of light-hearted novels set in nineteenth century London, one sequence featuring Sergeant Cribb, a heavily moustached lugubrious Detective, and another in which obscure mysteries were resolved through the wit and willpower of "Bertie" (eldest son of Queen Victoria and subsequently King Edward VII), he decided to take on a more contemporary context in the early 1990s.

Hi new character, inroduced in "The Last Detective" was Peter Diamond, querulous Superintendent of the Murder Quad in Bath, and he featured with great aplomb in subsequent outings including "Diamond Solitaire" and the excellent "Bloodhounds" which poked gentle fun at the whole mystery novel genre and its often too enthusiastic adherents.

"Upon a Dark Night" opens with Diamond, as querulous as ever, concerned that he might be a victim of his own success and that the stress of struggling to find sufficiently taxing work to fill his days has contributed to a bout of hypertension. As even the least sensitive reader can foretell, such hubris is merely the tempting of providence, and all at once he finds himself with three cases to investigate - an apparent suicide of an elderly farmer, the mysterious dumping of a woman with complete amnesia at one of the city's hospitals, and the fatal fall from the roof of the glorious Regency Crescent of a young German woman..

This Diamond is certainly flawed - he is rude, sexist and frequently impatient, particularly towards his colleagues (his constant disdain towards Chief Inspector Wigfull are particularly enjoyable), but he is also capable of extraordinary acts of empathy.

This novel doesn't quite match up to Lovesey at his absolute best (for which try "Bloodhounds", "The Vault" or "The Circle") but I certainly enjoyed it. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Mar 8, 2013 |
  mulliner | Oct 17, 2009 |
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'It has been said . . . that there are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice upon a dark night.'
From Kai Lung's Golden Hours, by
Ernest Bramah (Grant Richards, 1922)
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A young woman opened her eyes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Diamond's only hope for solving two deaths that may be murders disguised as accident or suicide--a young woman who fell from a roof during a party and a farmer killed with his own shotgun--is a woman with amnesia.

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