Tag: Novella

Susan Hill – The Man in the Picture | Review

Title: The Man in the Picture

Author: Susan Hill

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 150

Rating: 3.5/5

I found it pretty difficult to focus on this one while I was reading it, but I don’t think that’s Susan Hill’s fault. I was just going through some stuff in life, and they stopped me from giving it my full attention, at least until about half way through, when I did get a little hooked and started enjoying it.

This is basically a quirky little historical fiction/horror hybrid which has all the hallmarks of a classic Hill tale. It was good but not great, quite a cool little novella, and a little bit of inspiration for me on a project that I’m currently working on. All of that should have spelled a cracking little read, but I suppose it wasn’t really for me. Oh well!

Learn more about The Man in the Picture.

 


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.