Title: Not Dead Yet
Author: Peter James
Page Count/Review Word Count: 536
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.
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.