Series: Allmen Detective
Book Number: 2
Read this book for: European detectives, luxury settings, gentleman detective, gentleman thief, stolen item recovery, murder investigation
Quick Review: The second novel in the series, and the strongest effort so far, this instalment showcases an early investigation by the agency with an interesting plot, more action, and the continuation of the enjoyable characters from the first book.
An unimaginably valuable pink diamond has gone missing and a mysterious Russian residing in Switzerland is suspected of having made off with the treasured jewel. But the investigative duo of Johann Friedrich von Allmen and his Guatemalan butler Carlos are on the case. Their search leads from London to Zurich to a grand hotel on the Baltic coast. Amorous adventures and diverting mishaps litter the path through a world of European high culture and luxury, with hard-knuckle forays into global financial markets and high tech moves to manipulate them.
ALLMEN AND THE PINK DIAMOND is the second in Martin Suter’s Allmen series, and the first proper Allmen investigation. The strongest novel in the series so far, the quality of this novel is both entertaining and encouraging for future instalments.
The Allmen series follows Johann Friedrich von Allmen, a gentleman who tends to live beyond his means, and his butler and right hand man, the competent, talented Carlos, as Allmen turns from gentleman thief to gentleman detective to make ends meet and continue to enjoy his life of luxury. This is the second novel in the series, and you should definitely read the first — ALLMEN AND THE DRAGONFLIES is the true origin story of the series and the agency, as well as quite an interesting read.
Although the first novel is interesting, this is the first proper investigation by the agency, with a plot far more complex than the first novel. The various twists and turns of this plot are not overwhelming, but they are solidly done and satisfyingly executed; this novel feels much more like a true investigation than the first did.
Suter is also much more at home with these characters now, and it shows in a more fluid, relaxed and comfortable characterization of Allmen and Carlos. The two of them remain a fantastic duo, with Carlos proving his brilliance over and over again. Allmen, as is fitting for his character, is still somewhat playing at gainful employment, and that aspect of his personality is part of what makes him so interesting.
This novel is also much faster paced, with much more action than the first. It is actually the stronger of the two novels, and the interesting areas and topics that were covered certainly bode well for future instalments.
ALLMEN AND THE PINK DIAMOND is well worth picking up; as it is a short read, you might even end up devouring it in one sitting!