Peter Diamond, the Bath detective brilliant at rooting out murder, is peeved at being diverted to Professional Standards to enquire into a police car accident. Arriving late at the scene, he discovers an extra victim thrown onto an embankment - unconscious and unnoticed. Diamond administers CPR, but no one can say whether the elderly tricyclist will pull through.
But why had the man been out in the middle of the night with an urn containing human ashes? Diamond 's suspicions grow after he identifies the accident victim as Ivor Pellegrini, a well-known local eccentric and railway enthusiast. A search of Pellegrini's workshop proves beyond question that he is involved in a series of uninvestigated deaths. While Pellegrini lingers on life support, Diamond wrestles with the appalling possibility that he has saved the life of a serial killer. . .
Edgar-finalist Lovesey's superior 16th whodunit featuring Det. Supt. Peter Diamond (after 2015's Down Among the Dead Men) offers fair play fans a delightfully clever puzzle that toys with their expectations. Diamond, the irascible head of Bath's CID, isn't pleased when his boss, Georgina Dallymore, pulls him from his regular duties to look into the circumstances of a police car crash that killed the driver, Police Constable Aaron Green, and badly injured his passenger, Sgt. Lew Morgan. Georgina hopes that Diamond's review of the evidence will rule out any police negligence. His visit to the crime scene yields a dramatic surprise the body of an elderly man who was apparently struck by the vehicle while riding a motorized tricycle. Diamond's heroic efforts at CPR save man's life, but the unidentified accident victim remains unconscious, leaving the circumstances of the collision obscure. Lovesey taunts readers with extracts from what appears to be a serial killer's diary while building up to an ingenious final reveal that highlights his gift for misdirection.