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Summary

A woman's naked body is found floating in the weeds of a lake near Bath by an elderly woman walking her Siamese cats. No one comes forward to identify her, and no murder weapon is found, but sleuthing is Superintendent Peter Diamond's speciality. A genuine gumshoe practising door stopping and deduction: he is the last detective.

Struggling with office politics and a bizarre cast of suspects, Diamond strikes out on his own, even when Forensics think they have the culprit. Eventually, despite disastrous personal consequences, and amongst Bath's rambling buildings and formidable history, the last detective exposes the uncomfortable truth....

©1991 Peter Lovesey (P)2015 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"A brilliant performance." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"A terrific job." ( The Times)
"Mr Lovesey maintains a wonderful tone throughout.... A comedy of bad manners, full of oddball characters and wacky events develops into a perfectly realised murder mystery whose skilful misdirection never oversteps the bounds of fair play." ( The Wall St Journal)
"A bravura performance from a veteran showman: slyly paced, marbled with surprise and, in the end, strangely affecting." ( New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Last Detective

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The Last Detective

This a fascinating story, well narrated, with great characters that all get a chance to tell their own story. The ending was a real surprise, not something that happens that often.

15 people found this helpful

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The Last Detective - great book

This book was nothing like I expected ie it had no connection with the TV series however, the story line and narration was excellent. I'll definitely get the next book in the series

14 people found this helpful

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Was going to bin after 10 minutes - glad I didn't

I have to say I don't bond with the last detective in any way - terrible bigoted old bugger that he is. But strangely once I had got past the 'I'm going to bin this' cut off I couldn't help but get drawn into the story which isn't bad at all. It may not rate 5 stars but I think I will very probably download the next in the series - just to see how things go!!!!

8 people found this helpful

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Great!

So glad I have discovered Peter Lovesey and his Peter Diamond books. I was put off initially as I thought it was the dreadful TV series, but no resemblance at all. Peter Diamond is literally a gem. Proper detective fiction, no gratuitous gore, sex of swearing, just great characterisation and plot. Not mad about the narrator as accents seemed to wander about a bit... but otherwise, excellent.

7 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable - excellent 'who done it'.

Very enjoyable 'who done it'. Well read, full of expression. My only reservation was that everyone sounded as if they came from Yorkshire. Being local(ish) to Bath it's always nice to read books set in the area. Not quite in the Michael Robotham league but an excellent read none the less.

7 people found this helpful

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  • 13-01-17

surprisingly interesting read

Crime fiction is my favourite Genre so I've listened to a lot this was a little outside my usual style ....struggled a bit at first but soon became compelling interesting twists and turns humour splattered throuhout

5 people found this helpful

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Could have been excellent but let down by details

Would you try another book written by Peter Lovesey or narrated by Michael Tudor Barnes?

Yes to both

What could Peter Lovesey have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have paid a little more attention to detail. While much of the book maintains a credible story, (without wishing to give any spoilers), the post career choices of the main character are simply not credible and the denouement comes without any reasonable evidence - just a hunch.

Which character – as performed by Michael Tudor Barnes – was your favourite?

The main character

If this book were a film would you go see it?

It would have to be structured rather differently.

Any additional comments?

Eye for details and consistency let this down.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent story

Very entertaining story as always Michael Tudor Barnes brings the story to life very good story

3 people found this helpful

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Don't buy if you are bothered by mouth noises

An enjoyable story but I found the narration like torture: so much lip smacking, dry mouth noises and loud swallows. I actually got angry listening. Some terrible accents too, every one seemed to be a bad variation on Yorkshire despite it being set in Bath, and the bloke who lived in America had a strange accent unlike anything I've ever heard before.

I'd advise buying a paper copy and reading it yourself

2 people found this helpful

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really??

I found that although Michael Tudor Barnes is a good narrator he managed to make the detective sound like Frost, which is no bad thing I suppose, but he sounded far to old. I am not ageist but it didn't really suit the part.
My next issue was that I was enjoying the story up to the part, and I don't want to spoil anything, so I will be vague... It was just coming together nicely when Peter Lovesay must have thought.... right I was only contracted to write this many pages so lets wrap it up quickly, plus I can't think of a way to point the finger at the perpetrator so...um...umm...
The ending was... for me.... completely ridiculous. I guessed "who done it" but it was so quickly wrapped up and so unrealistically came the confession I just felt rather cheated... and felt had this been on stage or television it would have been completely ridiculed.
Come on Peter Lovesay we deserve better than that think out a way of drawing everything together realistically...

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan Read
  • 12-04-22

Surprisingly good

This audiobook was recommended but it still exceeded my expectations.

I was expecting the status quo to resume but the longer the book went on, the more I questioned what could happen in a short space to change fate.

The outcome was never in doubt but the ending was surprising.

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  • Marianne
  • 15-01-21

A truly dazzling display of writing prowess. Great

A truly dazzling display of writing prowess. A great story in any genre. wonderful Detective.