Tag: Crimes

Peter James – Not Dead Yet | Review

Title: Not Dead Yet

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 536

Rating: 3*/5

 

Peter James - Not Dead Yet

Peter James – Not Dead Yet

 

This book annoyed me, which is a shame because I’m usually a fan of Peter James’ work. But in this case, it was the twist, which just made me feel cheated. It felt like the sort of twist where no hints are given and it comes out of the blue, and more as though I’d been lied to as a reader. Perhaps that was just the effect that it had on me, but it kicked in after about 400 pages and I felt as though those 400 pages were pointless.

Still, it’s a Peter James Roy Grace novel, and so even though it’s my least favourite so far, it’s still pretty good. I mean, it’s well-written and well-researched, as each of his novels always are, but I wasn’t feeling this one anywhere near as much as his others. Perhaps it’s because I’d only just read another one, so maybe I’m getting Roy Grace fatigue – although I doubt it.

One of the main problems that I had here was with the characters, largely because I felt like they weren’t acting how they normally would. This happened with both Roy Grace and with Glen Branson, who both acted kind of unnaturally. I was also occasionally thrown out of my state of suspended disbelief at the whole ‘Gaia‘ thing, a major character who’s basically an international singer, actress and superstar. I’ve been concerned by this issue in a few other books of late and I’ve been trying to avoid it in my own writing. It just feels weird to have fictional celebrities and real celebrities intermingling.

 

Peter James

Peter James

 

But this is probably me just nitpicking. The truth is that I was expecting to like this book and I also wanted to like it, I just didn’t. It probably also doesn’t help that I’ve read the books out of order and so when there are mentions of Roy Grace’s missing wife, I already know how the story arc ends and so I’m kind of dragged out of the story before being thrust back into it again when the chapter changes. That’s my fault and no fault of the author’s, but it’s something to think about if you’re reading them yourself. There are a few bits here that are kind of vital to later story lines, so even if you’ve been put off by my ramblings, it’s still worth reading.

So once again, I feel as though it’s actually something wrong with me as a reader that led to me not enjoying this, rather than Peter James’ fault as an author. But then that’s probably because he seems like such a nice guy from all of the interviews I’ve seen (and his pretty impressive social media presence), which makes me want to like his work. But this particular book wasn’t for me, perhaps because I prefer the crimes that are committed by regular people, rather than the crazies. But each to their own, and don’t judge the book too harshly from my review. It’s certainly not bad enough to abandon the series just because of this one book, and besides – maybe you’ll like it.

 

Peter James - Want You Dead

Peter James – Want You Dead

 

Click here to buy Not Dead Yet.

 


Peter James – Dead Tomorrow | Review

Title: Dead Tomorrow

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 664

Rating: 4*/5

 

Peter James - Dead Tomorrow

Peter James – Dead Tomorrow

 

Dead Tomorrow is one of Peter James’ Roy Grace crime novels, and so if you’ve read one of them before then you should know roughly what to expect. This book in particular follows Grace and his team of Brighton policemen as they investigate a series of crimes that appear to be related to human trafficking for the purpose of killing kids and harvesting their organs to sell them on the black market. Grace and his team get involved after a body is discovered by a dredging boat and the autopsy reveals that their organs have been removed with some serious surgical skill.

Meanwhile, a mother is nursing her daughter through a tough time. Her liver is failing and while she is on the waiting list for a new one, she’s been let down a couple of times and hope is starting to run out. I think you can see where this is going.

I’m not going to tell you any more than that because I’m already at risk of revealing spoilers, but I will say is that it’s interesting because it gives the reader a unique insight into the story. There’s a real sense of dramatic irony, because none of the characters is able to see the full picture, but it works well here and it even helps to heighten the tension at times. It’s also interesting because the lack of available organs – and the black market trade – are both real world problems, and James does a great job of highlighting the issues through the medium of entertainment. I have a lot of respect for anyone who can make learning things fun, as well as for anyone who can use fiction to hold a mirror up to the world and make their readers ask questions. James does a great job of both of them.

 

Peter James

Peter James

 

This isn’t my favourite of Peter James’ Roy Grace novels, but it’s definitely in the top half of them. At times, the plot seems a little predictable, but crime novels need to fit a formula to a certain extent and it’s also a byproduct of the way in which the story is revealed to the reader. Here, it works well, and while I’d already progressed further into the series before I got to this book, there were plenty of little gems that taught me more about the world that Roy Grace and his team live in. One thing that James does well is to show the backgrounds and the personal lives of each of his characters, and it’s not just the main ones that get the treatment. Even the most minor characters have a fully-fleshed backstory behind them.

The book is also made a little more interesting by the fact that the action takes place in multiple countries. Grace himself is forced to fly to Germany in the middle of the investigation, and Romania is also featured as a key aspect to the story line. But as usual, the majority of the action takes place in Brighton – that’s Grace’s beat, and it’s also where James lives and works. That helps him to write convincingly about the area, and his high level of research – which includes the author working with real life policemen – helps to mark his work apart from that of his contemporaries.

Overall, this is a decent crime thriller with a lot going for it, but it’s not necessarily one you should go out of your way for if you’re new to Peter James’ work. It would make more sense to start at the beginning, but if you see a copy of this going spare then get your hands on it and, if not, work your way through to it. It’s a rewarding little read, and even though it’s long, it’s pretty easy to whizz through it. James’ clear and concise writing style allows you to fall into the story.

 

Peter James - You Are Dead

Peter James – You Are Dead

 

Click here to buy Dead Tomorrow.

 


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