TitleDead Man’s Time
Author: Peter James
Page Count/Review Word Count: 504
Dead Man’s Time is another installment in James’ Roy Grace series in which we follow the Brighton-based detective as he investigates a crime spanning 90 years. It all goes back to a murder that took place in New York City in 1922, and I quite liked the way that the two different time periods came back together, especially towards the end. It was kind of anticlimactic in a way, but it was also the only real ending that could have happened.
It’s also interesting how the bad guys in this book aren’t actually all that bad, although they do their fair share of bad things. If anything, the main bad guy in this is the one who had it in for Roy Grace and who was out to get him and his family, a story line that took place in tandem with the main story but which wasn’t necessarily a part of it.
The main story, though, basically follows what appears to be a burglary gone wrong in which an old woman is tortured until she’s on the brink of death. They also take all of her art, her antiques and her valuables, leaving Roy Grace stuck trying to track it down in a race across time across Brighton and, later on, elsewhere in the world.
I don’t think that this is Peter James’ best book, but then I’ve read quite a few of them by now and you’re always going to find some books that are better than others in any series. It’s still worth reading though, and while you don’t need to read them all in order if you don’t want to, you will get a little bit more from the story if you do. Not from the crime at the centre of it perhaps, but certainly from the back story. When I read it, there were characters there that I knew would be dead or in jail a few books down the line.
What I will say is that even though I’ve read over a dozen of James’ books (including two 500+ page books in the last couple of weeks), I’m still enjoying them, and I’m probably going to pick up another 600-pager next weekend as I’ll be spending a lot of time travelling. James’ writing is sleek and easy to absorb, and at the same time it’s not intimidating. I don’t read his books and wonder how anyone could have ever written them. I just read them and enjoy them and then look forward to the next one.
So would I recommend this? Of course I would, but I would suggest reading through them in order if you can just so that you don’t spoil yourself for some of the storylines that come in alongside the mysteries. And it was cool that James included references to charities and other organisations that support some of the issues raised.