On the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first novel, Peter Lovesey, multi-award-winner and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, returns to the subject of his very first crime novel: running.
Through a particularly tragic series of events, couch potato Maeve Kelly has been forced to sign up for the Other Half, Bath's springtime half-marathon. What Maeve doesn't know is just how brutal some of the other runners are.
As race day draws closer, an Albanian refugee named Spiro makes a run for freedom on the other side of town, escaping the chain gang that has held him hostage and its murderous foreman, who is known to his charges as The Finisher. The Finisher has killed for disobedience before, and Spiro knows there's a target on his back as he tries to lose himself in the genteel medieval city of Bath.
Meanwhile Detective Peter Diamond is tasked with crowd control on the raucous day of the race - and catches sight of a violent criminal he put away a decade ago, and who very much seems to be up to his old tricks now that he is paroled. Diamond's hackles are already up when he learns that one of the runners never crossed the finish line and has disappeared without a trace. Was Diamond a spectator to the prelude to a murder?
Peter Lovesey has a knack - to borrow a phrase from the Roman philosopher Seneca - for grabbing readers by the lapels and leading or dragging them on, willy-nilly, through a maze of blind-corner surprises and unexpected plot twists . . . it's hard to imagine a more pleasurable way to read away the long hours of a quiet, wintry night - Richmond Times Dispatch
Pacing, dialogue, exposition, backstory - nobody handles them better than Lovesey - Booklist
Peter Lovesey rarely puts a foot wrong - Daily Mail
Lovesey moves from one dexterously nested puzzle to the next with all the confidence of a magician - Kirkus Reviews
Astonishingly convincing and inventive - Morning Star
Lovesey seems to have outdone himself with the labyrinthine maze of multiple murders and mysterious conundrums - Strand magazine
Peter Lovesey is the only living author in Britain to have received the two highest honours in crime writing - the Diamond Dagger of the Crime Writers Association and Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. He started with the Sergeant Cribb series set in Victorian London and later progressed to modern times with the award-winning Peter Diamond books set in Bath, his home for almost twenty years.
Now living in Shrewsbury with his wife Jax, whom he met at Reading University, he continues to reach and entertain new readers across the world.