Tag: Force

Peter James – Dead Simple | Review

Title: Dead Simple

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 470

Rating 4/5

 

 

This is the first Peter James book, and I was actually quite impressed by how good it was. As a general rule, I’ve found that he got better and better as time went on, so I was surprised to find that his first was pretty good. The main problems that I spotted were a couple of typos, but they didn’t really hamper my enjoyment.

It was also interesting because it was set back in 2005, which would have been when it was written. Mobile phones had physical keypads on them and the smoking ban was yet to take effect. Then there’s the fact that we’re introduced to a bunch of characters that appear throughout the rest of the series, and so it was good to get to know them from that initial meeting.

The good news is that you don’t need to read them in order if you don’t want to, and I’ve just been picking them up every time I see them in charity shops. It’s not a bad way of doing it, but it’s also not the best, because you’ll spoil yourself for bits of the characters’ personal lives.

 

 

The plot in this one revolves around what at first glance appears to be a stag night prank gone wrong. The groom has been buried alive in a coffin and the stag party, the only ones who know where he is, have been killed in a car crash. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Brighton police force, as he tries to figure out what’s going on in a race against time.

There were plenty of twists and turns to keep you going throughout this novel, and I was also taken by surprise by the big reveal at the end. James does a great job of setting your expectations and then subverting them, and I think it’s that which makes him a decent crime writer. That’s especially difficult to pull off when, as in this novel, the reader gets to see from the point of view of the suspects, as well as the police force.

All in all, this was a pretty solid book and a decent start to the Roy Grace series, although I also think that it gets better over time. Seeing as it’s the first book in the series, I don’t know why you wouldn’t start here, but if you are tempted to skip in then that’s fine too. Just make sure that you come back to it eventually, because it really is worth reading. It’s a decent example of what a crime novel should be and I know it’s easy to say looking back, but it seems obvious he was destined for great things.

 

 

Click here to buy Dead Simple.

 


Peter James – Need You Dead | Review

Title: Need You Dead

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 502

Rating 4/5

It’s been a while since I’ve read a full-length Peter James novel, although I picked up The Perfect Murder, a standalone novella, towards the middle of last month. I actually picked this one up because I filmed a YouTube video where my cat picks my TBR, and this is one of the books that Biggie chose.

The story here follows an investigation into a murder where there are a bunch of different suspects, some of them more plausible than others. We also get an insight into what happens when the police are forced to investigate one of their own. Peter James does a hell of a lot of research and so you can bet that the stories he tells are grounded in reality.

This is also a relatively recent addition to the Roy Grace series, and while you can read the books as standalones, it’s a better idea to read them in order if you can. Don’t do what I did and just pick them up from charity shops as and when you see them because you can end up spoiling yourself on some of the backstory that’s continuing to develop alongside each of the cases that the Brighton police force takes on.

For example, in this book, Roy Grace has to deal with an important funeral and he also ends up basically taking in a son that he didn’t know he had. That also reminds me that there were a few bits that didn’t quite tie up here, like the fact that the assistant commissioner can speak German but isn’t comfortable with Grace knowing that. I can only assume that he’ll deal with it in a future release, and I look forward to finding what it’s all about.

As for this book, I don’t think it’s James’ best and there were a couple of points at which my mind started to wander and I wasn’t wholly absorbed by the story. With that said, on the whole I thought it was still pretty good, and it can only be a good sign that it only took me a couple of days to read it. And I would of course recommend it, but I’d also suggest following the series in order if you can.

Peter James is also an approachable guy on social media, and he even has a YouTube channel where he interviews other authors and talks about his books. It’s through his Instagram that I learned that he has his own chickens, and it was pretty cool to see that Roy Grace has them, too. I think the main thing that I like about reading Peter James is that you can see how his real life experiences go into his writing, and I feel like I can learn from it.

If you haven’t read any Peter James – and any of his Roy Grace books in particular – you should.

Click here to buy Need You Dead.

 


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