Cop to Corpse, copyright 2012, is a detective novel authored by Peter Lovesey and published by Soho Press. It is the 12th installment of Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series of detective novels.
This installment opens with Peter Diamond finding himself promoted to Chief Superintendent of the murder squad of Bath, England. Diamond has served for many years as a homicide inspector and boasts the highest rate of solved crimes on the force. As he begins his new role Diamond is faced with the recent murders of two police constables by high powered rifle shots. Diamond has just begun his investigation when a third such murder is called in minutes after it occurs. He and his team swiftly head to the scene with hopes of apprehending the sniper or at least identifying any witnesses to the murder.
Once at the scene Diamond encounters a motorcyclist and narrowly avoids getting run over, but he is knocked to the ground and receives many cuts and bruises in addition to a badly twisted ankle. Hampered badly by the painful injuries, he has to rely on Ingelong Smith and inspector Leaman to continue his investigation. Diamond’s theory that the murders of police constables were committed by someone in the police force is not a popular in any sense. Diamond’s investigative team as well as his superiors are appalled and upset by this insinuation and talk of demanding his early retirement begins to circulate.
Despite the misgivings of his associates Diamond is determined to apprehend this police killer. The collected evidence, including the discovery that the killer uses the same high powered rifle as is issued to police tactical units, continues to support Diamond’s statements. His squad and superiors become conflicted between their respected boss’ theory and their loyalty to fellow officers. An enormous search for the killer is launched and Diamond must caution the teams to suppress their emotions and stick to procedures of proper investigation lest they miss important clues, or worse lose another one of their own.
I enjoyed this novel immensely, as I do most of Peter Lovesey’s writings, and I cannot give justice to the scope of his impressive ability to create suspense. I have also found his characters’ development and their interactions to be complex and enjoyable. Peter Lovesey is truly one of my favorite authors who incorporates a thorough knowledge of local culture and police procedures alongside a study of the dark humor that keeps up the morale of the people who perform one of the toughest careers known. Very compelling.
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