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Tuesday 9 July 2019

‘Killing with Confetti’ By Peter Lovesey

Published by Sphere books,
9 July 2019.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-7749-5 (PB)

The book opens with the planning of a prison riot, told in the viewpoint of Warren, a prisoner soon likely to get parole and who wants no part in the trouble. Warren knows that the riot has been planned by the powerful gang boss who rules his wing of the prison, whom everyone refers to as Uncle Joe. It then switches to the viewpoint of Magda Lyle, the prison governor, who is attacked in her home and kidnapped just as the rioting breaks out. Magda realises that it is not just a riot but an attempt to break out a prisoner and by her own courage and self-sacrifice foils the plot.

Peter Diamond, the head of Bath’s CID, feels wary when he is summoned to meet his immediate superior, the Assistant Chief Constable, Georgina Dallymore, in front of Bath Cathedral rather than in the office, but even his pessimistic outlook doesn’t anticipate a problem of the size she offers him. Accompanying Georgina is Deputy Chief Constable George Brace, the second most powerful officer in the Avon and Somerset force. Brace has a problem. His son, Ben, is determined to marry a young woman called Caroline Irving, who is beautiful, well-educated and wealthy, and is also the daughter of Joe Irving, a gang boss who rules in Bath and the surrounding area. Although she has not seen her father for many years while he has been in prison, Caroline has been living in luxury on the proceeds of crime, and still thinks of her father as ‘Daddy.’ Even worse from Brace’s point of view, Joe Irving is due out of prison and is insisting on a magnificent wedding for his daughter in Bath Abbey, with a reception at the Roman Baths next door. Peter Diamond’s mission, which Georgina makes it very clear he has no choice but to accept, is to attend the wedding as an undercover bodyguard posing as a guest and prevent any of Irving’s numerous enemies from killing him when he breaks cover to attend.

Diamond is aware that this mission is next to impossible and that it is futile to attempt to conceal from the media the wedding of top cop’s son to major criminal’s daughter. He is forced to take the assignment but insists on involving his team. On the day of the wedding, all goes surprisingly smoothly, apart from torrential rain, which Diamond regards as a blessing, as it prevents photos outside the Abbey, one of the most dangerous points of the day. Just as it all seems to have passed without incident, a body is discovered in the Roman Baths and Diamond has to rethink all his ideas as he leads the investigation.

Killing With Confetti is the seventeenth book in the series featuring Peter Diamond. As with all of Lovesey’s books it is compulsive reading, especially when Peter Diamond comes on the scene. It has an intriguing plot, with some moments of high tension, and Lovesey’s trademark dry humour. As always, the characterisation is superb. Diamond and his team are familiar and well-loved friends, all with their own quirks but all likeable. The theme that runs through the book is the corrosive nature of ambition, greed and entitlement, and the fundamental integrity of Peter Diamond shines through. Killing With Confetti is a page turner, which I recommend.
Reviewer: Carol Westron
Peter Lovesey was born in 1936, and attended Hampton Grammar School before going to Reading University to study fine art. He soon switched to English. National Service followed before Peter qualified as a teacher. Having already published The Kings of Distance, named Sports Book of the Year by World Sports, in 1969 he saw a competition offering £1,000 for a first crime novel and decided to enter. Wobble to Death won and in 1975 Peter became a full-time crime writer, winning awards including the Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2000 in recognition of his career in crime writing. He is most well-known for his Inspector Peter Diamond series. There are 17 books in the series. The most recent being Beau Death. Click on the title to read the review.

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.

To read a review of Carol latest book Strangers and Angels click on the title.

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