“Killing With Confetti – Peter Diamond #18” by Peter Lovesey

Filled with surprising plot twists, illuminated with tense, well-written scenes between interesting but easy-to-relate-to people and set against a Bath I know well, “Killing With Confetti” was excellent entertainment.

I only discovered Peter Lovesey’s series about Bath-based police detective Peter Diamond last year. For once, I didn’t go back to the beginning but dived it at book seventeen in the series, “Beau Death” because I couldn’t resist the premise of a long-dead body, dressed as Beau Nash, being found as a building is demolished.

I had such a good time with that, that I bought book eighteen, “Killing With Confetti”, as soon as it came out.

It was also an entertaining read, although quite different from the previous book. It opens with a set of scenes about a prison riot and a related abduction. Peter Diamond was nowhere to be seen, but I didn’t miss him because I rapidly became absorbed in what was happening in the prison. The scenes were tense, laced with a little humour and kept me turning the pages by going places I didn’t expect.

When we do get to Peter Diamond there is no obvious link to the start of the book. Peter has been dragooned by the Deputy Chief Constable to provide personal protection to the father of the woman the DCC’s son is getting married to, a local and much-feared crime boss who has just been released from prison.

In the story that follows, we get an close-up look at how posh weddings in Bath are staged (Ceremony at the Abbey and reception at private suite in the Roman Baths), follow an assassin planning and executing a hit, meet a truly scary hard man and watch Peter Diamond deal effortlessly with politicking senior officers but struggle when faced with tiny-but-wild bridesmaids and their not-so-tiny-but-really-wanting-to-be-wild mothers.

I enjoyed the mix of tension and humour in the storytelling. It kept things human without taking away a sense of threat. The details of Bath were spot on. I now know exactly how to plan to execute someone at a wedding in the Abbey and get away with it. I doubt that’s knowledge I’ll use but it was amusing to see such dramatic events worked out in my town.

The ending tugged hard on my suspension of disbelief but never actually snapped it. I’ll be back for more Peter Diamond next year. I may even drop back in time and read some of the earlier books.

Peter Wickham does an excellent job as the narrator. You can here a sample of his work by clicking on the SoundCloud link below.

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