cover image The Summons

The Summons

Peter Lovesey, Author Mysterious Press $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-89296-551-9

A resourceful convict's escape from a prison dubbed ``the British Alcatraz'' launches Peter Diamond's third case (after Diamond Solitaire). Once out of Albany Prison, John Mountjoy kidnaps the Assistant Chief Constable's daughter in order to force the Bath police to reopen his case. His demand: that the detective who put him away for murder now find the real killer. What he doesn't know is that Diamond--fat, bald and brilliant--has resigned from the force in a huff and lives in London, where his odd jobs include ``collecting supermarket trolleys from a car park.'' But his old bosses need him desperately and, to his own astonishment, he begins to be pursuaded that he had indeed goofed the first time. But a race is on between Diamond (with one helper, Detective Inspector Julie Hargreaves) and a team of trigger-happy cops who are itching to run Mountjoy down. The chase leads to a ``crusty'' (hippy) encampment, a horse funeral, a battered husband, ``buskers'' (street entertainers) and a siege of a huge old empty luxury hotel. Except for one irritating device used to delay the denouement, the action proceeds logically, with solid plot construction, savvy dialogue and great good humor. (Oct.)