PETER LOVESEY – The Summons. Peter Diamond #3. Mysterious Press, hardcover, 1995; paperback, 1996. Published first in the UK by Little Brown, hardcover, 1995.

   I thought the first Peter Diamond book [Last Detective, 1991] was pretty good, but the second one [Diamond Solitaire, 1992] offended me mortally with one of the most stupid and unrealistic plots I’d come across in a decade or so. Which Lovesey / Diamond do we get here?

   Ex-Superintendent Peter Diamond of the CID (he resigned in a huff in the first book in the series) is called back to his old headquarters when a prisoner he helped put away escapes and kidnaps the daughter of a police official, The escapee has staunchly maintained his innocence all along and still does, and his price for freeing the girl is for Diamond to find the real killer.

   Diamond is far from convinced that he made a mistake, but feels he has little choice but to look into it. He and Detective Inspector Julie Hargreaves embark on a time-deadly search for buried answers several years old.

   I’m happy to say that this is the Peter Lovesey that I’ve enjoyed over the years, and not the one who wrote the unintentional farce published as Diamond Solitaire. He has created a vivid character in ex-Superintendent Peter Diamond, neither faceless nor (in this book, at least) larger than life. It is also an excellent detective story, with tracking down and talking to. Lovesey has a real knack for character and dialog, and tells a good story.

   I’m not sure things could have worked out quite as neatly for Diamond as they did, but it didn’t require me to suspend more disbelief than I could endure.

— Reprinted from Ah Sweet Mysteries #21, August-September 1995