“Down Among the Dead Men” by Pete Lovesey, SoHo Crime, 384 pages, $27.95, hardcover
Despite this being the 15th book in the Peter Diamond series, it was my first introduction to the detective. I have an affinity for British crime mysteries, so there was a slim chance I was going to hate this book.
I found Diamond quite engaging, and liked him all the more for his lack of a tragic backstory that so many other detectives seem to carry in this type of book.
And despite being new to the series, I faced no continuity problems or confusion.
The plot ties together a missing teacher, a confessed car thief who claims to be innocent of the murder he is jailed for, and possible police corruption.
Diamond follows the clues with his boss, whom he thoroughly dislikes. But the author manages to wring laughs out of the obnoxious character without making her completely insufferable.
The mystery pieced together well through the story, without making any illogical leaps or bounds, and came to a satisfying conclusion. I’ll be seeking out the first book in the series to get to know Peter Diamond a little better.