Judith Cutler is the author of many short stories and some thirty novels. Her most recent is Ring of Guilt (Severn House) the latest in the series featuring antique dealers Griff Tripp and Lina Townend. Check out the other novels on www.judithcutler.com
There are some days when only a good book will do.
You want a novel written by a master of his craft. You want characters sympathetically but never sentimentally drawn, with believable relationships, good and bad. You want a topical crime ( as I write, a gunman in France is taking out policemen with an assault rifle), and even if it looks as if a serial killer is at work, you don’t want to sigh at the vicious predictability of the murders. You want action, but never excessive violence, and certainly no gratuitous, stomach-churning detail. You want pace, controlled as if by a conductor on his podium. You want an always readable a style, with the author assuming you’ve got an intelligent, educated mind, but never being self-indulgent and signalling every clever turn of expression with a wave. You want a frisson of pleasure at the entirely satisfying denouement.
You want Peter Lovesey’s latest Peter Diamond investigation, Cop to Corpse.
Set in present day Bath, this exemplary crime novel traces the investigation when the third policeman in the area is killed by a sniper within twelve weeks. This isn’t Bath of the warm stone and wonderful vistas, set jewel-like amidst green hills. It’s a city where people live and die, and the scenery conceals places to hide and hinders police operations.
I don’t need to say any more. Go and buy it now.