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Skeleton Hill : An Inspector Peter Diamond Investigation
On Lansdown Hill, near Bath, a battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers that took place over 350 years ago is annually reenacted. Two of the reenactors discover a skeleton that is female, headless, and only about twenty years old. One of them, a professor who played a Cavalier, is later found murdered. In the course of his investigation, Peter Diamond butts heads with the group of vigilantes who call themselves the Lansdown Society, discovering in the process that his boss Georgina is a member. She resolves to sideline Diamond, but matters don't pan out in accordance with her plans.
Silver Dagger Award-winner Lovesey's 10th Peter Diamond investigation (after 2007's The Secret Hangman) may offer a less intricate plot and more procedural work than usual, but Diamond remains one of the most realistic and human of fictional sleuths. During a recreation of an English Civil War battle outside Bath, Rupert Hope, an academic who's playing a cavalier, and another participant discover a human femur. Presented with this minor puzzle, the police eventually unearth the entire skeleton, minus the skull. After someone bludgeons Hope to death, Diamond wonders whether Hope's murder and the headless skeleton are connected, and his team redoubles their efforts to identify it. A zipper found near the skeleton may point to a link with London's Russian community. While some readers will anticipate the solution with little trouble, sharp prose and characterization make this another winner in this enduring series. (Sept.)
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August 31, 2009
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