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The Secret Hangman

A Peter Diamond Mystery by Peter Lovesey

The Secret Hangman by Peter Lovesey

Review: Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond and his team investigate a series of hangings in and around Bath (England) in The Secret Hangman, the ninth whodunit in this series by Peter Lovesey.

It's been three years since the death of Diamond's wife Steph and now, seemingly out of no where, he is being pursued by a wealthy lady. Not only is he not interested in getting to know this woman, he and his team are totally absorbed in a series of murders that may have begun two years ago. At the time they were ruled as suicides but Diamond does not believe in the coincidence of the murders. There were two couples, and now one woman. Will the woman's partner or husband be next? Diamond believes there is a serial killer involved. During all this time, his "secret admirer" Paloma remains persistent in her desire to meet Diamond. Diamond becomes taken with her tenacity and begins to spend time with her. Diamond and his team, however, continue move forward in their investigation, hunting for and finding clues. They still have no connection between the people who have been killed and the motive escapes them. They are sure though, without a doubt there will be another male victim shortly. Is it be possible that this is not a single serial killer? Could there be a cult involved? How did the killer (or killers) choose their victims? How do the "ram-raiders", a gang that drives stolen vehicles into the fronts of jewelry stores and other small businesses to loot them, fit into the scheme of things? Their biggest problem, of course, is, could they get the answers before the third man is hanged? And just why is Paloma so eager to meet Diamond, almost to the point of stalking him?

The Secret Hangman, with its cleverly ironic title, is a very likeable novel. The plot is suspenseful with an unexpected twist or two and the characters bring a touch of humor to their deadly profession. As a police procedural, it is very well done with a behind-the-scenes look at a police station, how it operates, and the relationships between those in charge and the rank-and-file.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Secret Hangman.

Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a trade paperback edition of The Secret Hangman for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Wobble to Death by Peter LoveseyWobble to Death
Soho Constable (Trade Paperback), October 2008
ISBN-13: 9781569475232; ISBN-10: 1569475237

Location(s) referenced in The Secret Hangman: Bath, England

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The Secret Hangman by Peter Lovesey

The Secret Hangman by A Peter Diamond Mystery

Publisher: Soho Press
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-488-4
Publication Date:
List Price: $13.00

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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