When Constable Harry Tasker is shot in the head and killed in the early morning hours, that makes the third uniformed police officer picked off by a mystery sniper in England in three months. This is the first one in Bath, though, and Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond is on the scene quickly. He's told, in no uncertain terms, that the investigation will be led by Chief Superintendent Jack Gull of the Serial Crimes Unit.
By not giving in to his natural inclination to tell Gull to get stuffed, Diamond ensures that he stays close to Gull's team's pursuit of the sniper and, separately, can pursue his own investigation of the murder victims, trying to discover whether there might be a personal connection between them. This idea goes against the grain of Gull's notion that the sniper is just a psycho who hates cops, so Diamond doesn't immediately share his thoughts with Gull. He has to bring in his own team to help explore his theory, though, and this causes considerable awkwardness. The team figures that any connection among the cases would mean that there is something fishy in the victims' lives, and they take it as an insult to cops that the boss would think for a moment to cast suspicion on the victims.
Diamond is afraid of some things though. He has a white-knuckled horror of high-speed drivers––like Gull––and he hates guns. When Gull outfits his team for a stakeout with Diamond along, Diamond refuses the offered firepower, saying that for him to pack heat would only jeopardize everyone in his vicinity. Being a man of a certain age and avoirdupois, he's also none too fond of foot chases, climbing, or nighttime forest stakeouts (with or without guns). He much prefers to use his brain and to reason things out with his team and his longtime girlfriend, Paloma. (Not to digress too much, but I always thought police officers were supposed to keep their cases confidential. Diamond blabs just about every detail to Paloma. Not that I object; I just wondered about the propriety of it.)
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