THE LAST DETECTIVE by Peter Lovesey
Not to be confused with the TV series of the same name (based on the Dangerous Davies’ books by Leslie Thomas), the last detective in Lovesey’s novel is DS Peter Diamond. He fancies himself a bit like Fabian of the Yard, a true gumshoe. Diamond can’t be bothered with all the new-fangled science surrounding police work, like “genetic fingerprinting” and computer-generated lists of suspects. He’d rather be hitting the pavement, knocking on doors, and interviewing potential suspects.
When the nude body of a female is found floating in a reservoir near Bristol, Diamond relies on his investigative skills to identify the woman and find her killer. Along the way he encounters a university professor whose heroic efforts save a young boy from drowning; the boy’s mother who works as a chauffeur; and a missing letter purported to have been written by Jane Austen.
When he examines these seemingly disconnected pieces of information, a picture begins to form. Meanwhile, his tactics are not supported by the “powers that be” and Diamond finds himself alone and in pursuit of a murderer.
His name might be Diamond but he isn’t as polished as Morse, or Richard Jury, or Penny’s Inspector Gamache. He’s gruff and a rough-cut. But he gets the job done.