rabbitprincess's Reviews > Skeleton Hill

Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey
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's review
Sep 05, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: mags-and-newspapers-and-blogs, bibliotheque, 2010
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: the Globe and Mail
Read from June 06 to 10, 2010

I wasn't really expecting overly much from this book, so I can't say I was disappointed with what I found. This is a police procedural in the vein of Rebus or Banks, except that Diamond doesn't have quite the same forceful presence or commanding knowledge of music that the former two detectives possess (especially Banks with his music). There's a 20-year-old skeleton and then a more recent corpse, both tied in with a historical site where a battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers is re-enacted. It was this angle that intrigued me, but it wasn't really the main focus of the investigation. Diamond's investigation followed a reasonable path, but I felt like the end kind of slipped away from me. Granted, I was reading this on the bus and I read fairly quickly, so I could have missed the key "epiphany moment" that prompts Diamond to arrest the person he does. And if the last chapter had not been there I would have been seriously dissatisfied with the final interrogation.

One thing I must comment on is the copious historical background shunted in as dialogue. I haven't read a book with that much expository dialogue in a while and it was very jarring. I'm not sure how much of it was relevant, but I did start skimming those parts. However, I was amused when one of the characters Diamond interviews, a clothing expert, starts going on about these historical garments and she essentially shuts herself up because she can see Diamond is not very interested. Diamond was quite the reader stand-in there.

Also correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't police officers supposed to sign nondisclosure agreements or something when they join up? Because if they are, Diamond really violates his with his girlfriend or whatever she is, Paloma. He'll meet up with her in the pub in the evening and then happily disclose tons of details about the case and where they're planning to go for leads and stuff, and here she is cheerfully offering advice and commenting on what they've found. Not exactly the smoothest of moves, Diamond.

That and the somewhat flatness of some of the other characters aside, this was a harmless enough novel to spend a couple of days with on the bus. I don't regret reading it but will not bother seeking out others in the series.

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Reading Progress

06/06/2010 page 41
12.2% "Maybe a bit slow to start, but I could just be impatient."
06/07/2010 page 115
34.23% "The investigation's moving along nicely now, save for the exposition-laden dialogue interlude concerning the history of Lansdown."
06/08/2010 page 192
57.14% "Haha I enjoyed the meta commentary from the one character who cut short her lengthy historical digressions because she could see Diamond was not interested." 1 comment
06/09/2010 page 278
82.74% "A pale horse? Reminds me of Agatha Christie (the title, if nothing else)."
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