The explosive twelfth Peter Diamond case.
In the small hours of a Sunday morning in the city of Bath a policeman on beat duty is shot dead by an unseen gunman - the third killing of an officer in Somerset in a matter of weeks. The emergency services are summoned. Ambitious to arrest the Somerset Sniper, the duty inspector, Ken Lockton, seals the crime scene, which is confined by the river on one side and a massive retaining wall on the other. He discovers the murder weapon in a garden - and is himself attacked and left for dead.
Enter Peter Diamond, Bath's burly CID chief. Middle-aged and not built for action, he pits himself and his team against the killer in a hunt that will test his physical powers to the limit...
Who's gunning for beat cops? That's the frantic question Peter Diamond must try to answer in British author Lovesey's superlative 12th novel featuring the irascible chief superintendent (after 2011's Stagestruck). The so-called Somerset Sniper has killed three police constables in three months, most recently one shot in the head while on foot patrol in Bath. The lack of an apparent connection among the dead men points to a maniac randomly targeting the police, but Diamond, who as usual dissents from the obvious theory, seeks a link that could suggest a rational motive for the crimes and the selection of victims. Diamond and his colleagues come tantalizingly close in a number of nail-biting scenes to trapping the murderer, only to have him escape and possibly strike soon again. Lovesey, winner of the CWA Gold and Silver Daggers, leavens the suspense with Diamond's trademark gallows humor, and closes with one of his cleverest solutions.