Greetings from London! I trust your summer is going well! Or for my followers in the southern hemisphere, spring is just around the corner…
Well, I’ve been reading as always, and The Secret Hangman by the British writer Peter Lovesey was sitting on my shelve! First of all, I thought it was a fantastic title for a book! It got my curiosity immediately. Well, it would wouldn’t it! As you may know, crime is my favourite genre.
The book opens with an anonymous letter to the lead character detective Peter Diamond who is based in Bath. It is from a woman who as a secret admirer is trying to get a date with him. All very intriguing and well-timed as we later find out he recently lost his wife.
So back to the main plot. The first body of a woman is found hanging from a crossbar of a swing in a child’s play area in the city. The process of investigation into the hanging commence but nothing out of the ordinary can be found out about the victim. Then the body of a man is found hanging again in a very public place, and so the secret hangings continue.
Now you may think this is an ordinary crime, with the typical outcomes. But The Secret Hangman is different. The body of the second victim turns out to be the estranged husband of the first victim Delia Williamson. And without spoiling the plot for you too much, it’s not what you are thinking! No, it’s not a domestic dispute gone wrong.
As the body counts go up and with the victims tending to be spouses the pressure is on for detective Peter Diamond and his team to catch this serial killer before there are any more victims…
I liked the book because it is set in the historic west country UK city of Bath giving it a strong sense of location. The Secret Hangman has got a slower pace than say your typical crime novel set in London, but it is just as effective at keeping you on your toes!
As touched on earlier there is a love interest for the policeman and widower Peter Diamond who is a character called Paloma. She throws an interesting slant on the whole book and is a pivotal minor character. Then there is the original way in which they met…but you will have to read the book to find out about it!
The Secret Hangman is certainly worth a read and it contains a nice twist ending… Then, where would any decent crime novel be without twists and turns…
Until next time,
Happy reading and writing, S