Celebrating and re-enacting a battle that took place on Landsdown Hill during the English Civil War over three hundred and fifty years earlier, two of the Royalist dead share a beer and discover a bone they think is probably human. At the end of the day one will get home safely and the other, a university history lecturer, will disappear.
His disappearance is reported to Bath CID. The bone discovered during the battle is re-discovered by three rescue dogs, and is found to belong to a headless corpse. Forensics tells Peter Diamond, Head of Bath CID, that not only are the bones not old, but the skeleton is female, murdered and buried within the last two decades.
Within days there are reports of a vagrant trying to break into cars at the Bath racecourse. A few days later he comes to police attention again when he tries to steal food at a market. And then he too is found dead.
SKELETON HILL is a fascinating insight into how evidence can be built up.
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book, it is hard to know where to start. The story is quite plausible. I've always liked the idea of battlefield re-enactments, and the opportunities they provide for crime cover-up are legion.
SKELETON HILL is #10 in the Peter Diamond series,and once again Peter Diamond comes over as very human, very real. He is not above getting his hands dirty. In fact his boss doesn't think he delegates enough. I enjoyed the glimpses of the inter-relationships with his team. He is a good leader and an intuitive detective. In the long run the case is solved through a combination of sheer grunt, meticulous investigation, and lateral thinking.
My rating 5.0
Other reviews to check:
- Books to the Ceiling: "everything a mystery should be"
- Do You Write Under Your own Name: "Reading a novel by Peter Lovesey is rather like settling down to watch a favourite tv show or film, in good company and with a bottle of wine and box of chocolates within easy reach. You just know you are going to have a good time."