You’re a newly married attorney. What would you do if your first wife wanted to hire you to find her missing husband? How would your new wife react?
That’s the dilemma Yorkshire attorney Eric Ward faces in The Diamond Murder, the fourth in the Eric Ward series by Roy Lewis. Whether it’s from guilt or old memories or something else, Ward accepts the request from his first wife. Then he enters a Twilight Zone kind of case whether nothing is what it seems to be, and a body found on a moor, a reporter being beaten up, a “retired” crook living in the south of France, and an old police investigation suddenly becoming new again all mix together,
The reader knows that Ward’s new wife Anne is right – he needs to stay away from the former wife. Does he listen to Anne? Of course not. And he may pay for his stubbornness with his life.
The author draws a complex web of personalities that are a delight to watch. Even Ward knows he’s being used – by the crook, by his former wife, and by the reporter. But the story becomes a kind of chess game, with plenty of surprise moves, including an old, organized crime ring for smuggling industrial diamonds.
Lewis is the author of some 60 other mysteries, novels, and short story collections. His Inspector Crow series includes A Lover Too Many, Murder in the Mine, The Woods Murder, Error of Judgment, and Murder for Money, among others. The Eric Ward series, of which The Sedleigh Hall Murder is the first (and originally published as A Certain Blindness in 1981), includes 17 novels. The Arnold Landon series is comprised of 22 novels. Lewis lives in northern England.
The previous three Eric Ward mysteries set a high bar, and the fourth one meets that bar and even exceeds it. The Diamond Murder is an eminently satisfying mystery, with well-drawn characters and more-than-credible plot twists.