Summary and book reviews of The Vault by Peter Lovesey

The Vault

by Peter Lovesey

The Vault
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2000, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2001, 336 pages

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Book Summary

When a skeletal hand turns up in the vault of the Pump Room, followed by the excavation of a skull, Diamond is called upon to solve a series of crimes.

Bath is a town layered with history, from Roman times. Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is a policeman whose manner is not appreciated by his superiors, though he does solve crimes. When a skeletal hand turns up in the vault of the Pump Room, followed by the excavation of a skull, Diamond is called upon to solve a series of crimes — including murder and forgery — that require a knowledge of history, nineteenth–century art and literature . . . and contemporary human nature.

Chapter One

Some weird objects are handed in at Bath Police Station.

WPC Enid Kelly, on des duty this afternoon, sneaked a look at the Asian man who had brought in a pizza box. She was sure of one thing: it didn't contain pizza. She just hoped it wasn't a snake. She had a dread of snakes.

"How can I help you, sir?"

the man had the black tie and white shirt of a security guard. He lifted the box up to the protective glass partition. No airholes. Officers on duty learn to watch out for any container with holes punched in the top. But there was a bulge. Something bulkier than a pizza had been stuffed inside. Bulkier than two pizzas. "This I am finding at Roman Baths."

"What is it?"

The man glanced at the other people in the waiting area as if they might not wish to hear. Leaning closer to the glass, he said, "Can I pass through?"

"Just a moment."

Enid Kelly turned for support to the sergeant filling in a form at the desk behind her. He came to the glass.

"What ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Wall Street Journal - Tom Nolan

The Vault displays Peter Lovesey's delicate balance of humor and suspense—one of the delights of contemporary crime fiction.

The New York Times Book Review

Delivers a fine, unguessable ending . . . The Summons is good stuff.

Chicago Sun-Times

Top–rate writing and plotting . . . A treasure.

Publishers Weekly

Without gimmickry or splicing, delivers superb, unashamedly traditional crime writing.

Library Journal

Essential for popular fiction collections, especially those public libraries that maintain a healthy mystery/crime fiction section.

Kirkus Reviews

Nobody is better at misdirecting the gentle reader and snaking together multiple storylines than the wily Lovesey, who in his sixth case for Peter Diamond, tendentious head of Bath's Murder Squad (Upon a Dark Night, 1998, etc.), unearths various body parts underneath number five, Abbey Churchyard, the former home of Frankenstein's creator Mary Shelley.

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