A cop killer is on the loose. Dubbed the Somerset Sniper, he comes, kills and disappears with out leaving so much as a hair or stray cigarette butt behind. He kills in the middle of the night leaving virtually no witnesses. The victims are all policemen whose lives did not appear to intersect in anyway-seemingly having no connection either professionally or privately.
Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond and his men are first to arrive on the scene of the third victim, PC Harry Trasker and are immediately engaged in a turf war with Diamond’s ongoing nemesis Jack Gull, Head of the Serial Killer Unit. Much of the police work throughout the book reflects the ongoing personal competition between these two characters. Readers who are familiar with the series will know just what is going to happen, but people discovering the series for the first time, will quickly pick up on the fact that these two men do not, in any way, like each other. Diamond is convinced that the victims were chosen because of something in their past and so he focuses his investigation on digging into their past looking for any sort of connection. When this line of investigation causes him to request the past service records of the men it triggers some animosity among his fellow officers. His break comes while interviewing one of the widows, though he doesn’t realize what the true implications are until much later.
This is the twelfth Peter Diamond novel and readers who are fans of the series will be quite happy with this book. It has Peter back on the streets of Bath chasing a sly killer while battling the regulations of the department and dealing with the personal competitions between Jack Gull and himself. There is enough of the back story on the characters presented for anyone unfamiliar with the series to figure out right away what Diamond’s issues (and he has many) are.
I found the plot to be a bit slow in the middle of the book. Diamond seemed to leap from one red herring to another and the fussing back and forth with Gull and his crew became a bit tiresome. The highlight of the plot was the surprising twists thrown in along the way. Lovesey really out did himself this time out giving readers hints to follow but still surprising readers in the end. Overall, Cop to Corpse is another winning entry in the Peter Diamond series.