The King of Diamonds: Book summary and reviews of The King of Diamonds by Simon Tolkien

The King of Diamonds

By Simon Tolkien

The King of Diamonds

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Book Summary

With the publication of The Inheritance, Simon Tolkien was acclaimed as a naturally gifted storyteller who possesses a terrific command of language and a unique perception into the darker sides of human nature. The grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, with whom he had a very special relationship, Simon Tolkien's writing is set firmly in this world and is informed by his career as a barrister in England specializing in criminal justice.

Building upon themes of his last novel, Tolkien delves deeper into the human psyche with The King of Diamonds, exploring the depths of human depravity, and the overwhelming power of forgiveness.

It's 1960, and David Swain is two years into his life sentence for murdering the lover of his ex-girlfriend, Katya Osman. In the dead of night, David escapes from prison, and that same night Katya is found murdered in her uncle’s home.

Inspector Trave of the Oxford Police heads a manhunt for David, even though his suspicions lead him to Katya's uncle, a rich diamond dealer, and his sinister brother-in-law who has gone to great lengths to hide his ties with the Nazis. But when unseemly details regarding the diamond dealer and Trave’s wife come to light, Trave's motives themselves are suspect, and a newcomer to the Oxford Police, Inspector Macrae, is eager to exploit Trave's weaknesses. Once David is captured and put on trial for his life, Trave is willing to risk everything to uncover the truth.

Simon Tolkien has once again written a gripping and nuanced thriller laced with historical detail, treachery, and his signature writing style - a uniquely suspenseful blend that the Los Angeles Times called "half Christie and half Grisham."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While some of the twists strain credulity, everything comes together at the end." - Publishers Weekly

"This atmospheric and intricately plotted novel telegraphs its moves at times but should prove satisfying to readers of British mysteries set in the early to mid-20th century..." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. A thick web of family tensions and psychological dysfunction with a whodunit chaser...elegantly written, with Masterpiece Theatre pacing and embellishments." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Simon Tolkien Author Biography

Simon Tolkien was born in England in 1959 and grew up in a small village near Oxford. His grandfather was J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of The Rings. He studied Modern History at Trinity College, Oxford and then went on to become a successful barrister specializing in criminal justice, and, according to British custom, he appeared on behalf of both the prosecution and the defense. He now lives with his wife and two children in Southern California.

Tolkien's first novel, Final Witness, was published by Random House in 2002 and has been translated into eight languages. His second novel, The Inheritance, was published by Minotaur Books in April 2010 and was followed by The King of Diamonds a year later. All Tolkien's novels are published by Harpercollins in the UK. ...

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