Tag: Pleasantly

Peter James – Denial | Review

Title: Denial

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 502

Rating: 3.75/5

I was pleasantly surprised by this book because it’s one of the older Peter James books on my pile and I’ve found them to be kind of hit and miss, with the quality varying widely without really seeming to vary depending upon when he actually wrote the things. Most of his books have some theme or another in them and so perhaps it depends more on what his theme is than on the book itself.

Here, you can probably guess the theme based on the title of the book. The story follows the son of a well-known film star and basically covers the unhealthy way in which he comes to terms with his mother’s death. Pretty unusually, we know that the kid is the bad guy right away, and we see things from his perspective as he goes around carrying out his revenge for society’s perceived wrongs against his mother.

It’s a pretty decent thriller novel to be honest, and while I’m not exactly the biggest reader of thrillers, there was still plenty here to keep me reading. In fact, despite the fact that it’s pretty massive, I flew through it in a couple of days and was left surprised by just how easy it was for me to get through it. Sure, there weren’t a ton of characters that I liked and related to, but the story line alone was enough to get me going.

I think a big part of that was down to the way that the antagonist here was so fully fleshed out, even though he was kind of crazy. I also liked the way that he incorporated fate into his crime spree, in this case by flipping a coin to decide his next move. I kind of want to play with that myself, so perhaps I’ll work it into a story.

I like the idea of a novel that’s based on the character as opposed to the plot in which I start by fleshing out the character and allow fate to guide the plot. Every time my character flipped a coin, I’d flip a coin, and that would decide the action that the character takes and thus the plot. The only problem is that I’m usually a plotter as opposed to a pantser, and so it would be an alien process to me.

All in all then, as you can tell, I enjoyed reading this book and it gave me a lot of food for thought. The enjoyment level was so-so, but I think it punched above its weight when it comes to the ideas that it shared. That for me is more of a testament to James’ ability than anything else, and so far I’ve almost always found him to be worth reading, although I’ll also admit that there are better writers out there.

So would I recommend it, then? Yeah, probably, especially if you like thrillers. You’ll like it!

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P. D. James – Death Comes to Pemberley | Review

Title: Death Comes to Pemberley

Author: P. D. James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 310

Rating: 3.75*/5


P. D. James - Death Comes to Pemberley

P. D. James – Death Comes to Pemberley


I picked this book up as a buddy read with some of my BookTube friends and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice and so I guess that counts against me, but I’m familiar enough with the basic idea behind it that I could pick up on the story here without needing to read Jane Austen. Although I will admit that now I actually want to, and that’s saying something.

The thing here is that there’s something just a little off about it, and it actually reminded me of reading the Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups books. You can tell that it’s somebody imitating somebody else’s style, but it’s done in a way that feels believable. It’s just not quite right. For that reason, I’m not too sure if I agree with this being published by Faber and Faber when it feels more like it should have been published by Quercus.

Still, it does read like what I imagine it would read like if Jane Austen wrote a detective novel, so that’s pretty cool. In fact, the two settings worked pretty well together, and I think that as long as you enjoy it for what it is, you’ll have fun. The problem would occur when you try to overanalyse it or to start talking about it as though it’s literary fiction. Granted, I’ve never really understood what literary fiction actually is, but I’d class this more as a sort of parody mystery.

All in all, I’m still glad that I read this, and I’m pleased to say that it’s also put me in the mood for reading the original Pride and Prejudice. I think that alone earns this one a thumbs up.


P. D. James

P. D. James


Click here to buy Death Comes to Pemberley.