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The Finisher

On sale

14th July 2020

Price: £20.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780751580846

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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?


Kirkus Reviews
'Lovesey moves from one dexterously nested puzzle to the next with all the confidence of a magician'
'There's plenty of suspense here - action too - all told in Lovesey's effortlessly elegant manner'
Publisher's Weekly
'One of Lovesey's cleverest . . . full of his trademark wry humour'
Weekend Sport
'If you like your police procedurals intriguing, solid and well-written, Lovesey's your man'
Daily Mail
A case that has all the ingredients of a first-rate mystery. Peter Lovesey rarely puts a foot wrong
Literary Review
'This is a mystery story complete with clues and red herrings; it is also a crash course in 18th-century manners. All very enjoyable'
Peterborough Evening Telegraph
'You won't want to put it down'
Martin Edwards
Peter Lovesey's characterisation, humour, and plotting are key, and I'm glad to report that these elements are here in abundance
Morning Star
Astonishingly convincing and inventive
Washington Post
Peter Lovesey - the dean of English mystery novelists - remains as ingenious as ever in Beau Death
Strand magazine
Beau Death is a doozy . . . Lovesey seems to have outdone himself with the labyrinthine maze of multiple murders and mysterious conundrums
Toronto Globe and Mail
Peter Lovesey is one author who can grab me on the title page . . . he's very, very good and knows his Bath history inside out . . . This is a great puzzle plot that will keep you guessing. Just what Lovesey does best
Seattle Times
The book, I am happy to say, is as tightly plotted and absorbing as the best of Lovesey's long-running series
New York Times
Witty, stylish and a bit of a rogue - that's what people said about Richard Nash, known as Beau, the notorious dandy who transformed the English city of Bath into 'the 18th-century equivalent of Vegas'. The same might be said of Peter Lovesey, whose elegant mysteries pay tribute to the past glories of this beautiful city
Chicago Tribune
It's a mystery that could easily be played for farce, but Lovesey employs his dry, caustic humor to cutting effect
Richmond Times Dispatch
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
Deadly Pleasures
Lovesey brilliantly weaves all these disparate characters and storylines into a wonderfully entertaining and compelling story. His work is the gold standard for UK crime fiction writing
Kirkus Reviews
A witty, steadily absorbing procedural marked by Lovesey's customary inventiveness and an unguessable solution
Joyce’s Mystery and Fiction Book Reviews
I loved this book and hope that Lovesey, who is in his eighties, will just keep on writing. I adored my virtual trip to Bath and the time spent with this book and its characters
Mystery People
An enthralling read, with an intriguing with serious issues of modern life in a compassionate but honest way. The dynamics between Diamond and his team are cleverly portrayed and totally believable
Publisher's Weekly
Masterly, atmospheric . . .On the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first novel, Lovesey is still going strong
Irish Independent
Threaded through this elegantly written mystery are vivid and timely subplots concerning Russian oligarchs and Albanian fugitives from modern slavery gangs. Peter Lovesey may now be in his eighties, but he tells his tale with all the wit and verve of a much younger man
Martin Edwards
This is a story firmly set in the present day (or at least the immediate pre-pandemic present day!) but Peter Lovesey's storytelling skills, and certainly his gift for constructing a fair play puzzle, match those of the finest exponents of Golden Age fiction
New York Times
In a peerlessly plotted mystery, Lovesey brings back his prickly rule-abhoring detective, Peter Diamond of the Bath police, who's investigating a murder at a half-marathon. As readers who love the Diamond series know, the picture-perfect old British city, honeycombed with sluices, drains and sewers, offers unrivalled facilities for disposing of bodies
Morning Star
It is 50 years since Lovesey's first novel, which also featured running. British mystery fiction's reigning head of state returns to that sporting setting with his customary wit, humanity and unpredictable turns of plot
Seattle Times
Throughout, Diamond remains his usual appealing self, and Lovesey retains his knack for tight plotting and supple prose
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Mr Lovesey's descriptive passages will have armchair explorers champing at the bit
Chicago Review of Books
I came away impressed by the storytelling, the relative pace of the plot and of the frequent twists and turns that made this a compelling read
Booklist (starred review)
There are those among us who would read Lovesey if he took to writing on the backs of cereal boxes . . . All the signature elements of this acclaimed series are present: the gin-dry humour, the engaging characters, the ending that kills you before you know you're dead . . . Slowly, but with relentless pacing and magical writing . . . the plotlines converge
The Tablet
An intricate, well-paced murder mystery set against the beauties of Georgian Bath, solved less by cold reason than by instinct and gut feelings on the part of the amiable old-fashioned copper, with his loathing of modern bureaucracy in the police force, and distrust of technology . . . Cat-loving DS Diamond, with his dog-loving girlfriend, Paloma, is the most amiable copper to come our way since the demise of the immortal duo of Ruth Rendell's Wexford
The Strand magazine
It's hard to believe that Peter Lovesey has been writing for half a century and reading his latest you'll feel he hasn't missed a step