Title: Not Dead Enough
Author: Peter James
Page Count/Review Word Count: 626
This is another of Peter James’ Roy Grace novels and so as such, it follows Detective Superintendent Grace as he investigates a crime in his native Brighton. James is a Brighton native himself and he also spends a lot of time carrying out research so his books are as accurate as possible.
In this one, Grace has to investigate the murder of a socialite called Katie Bishop. The problem is that the main suspect, her husband Brian, seems to be innocent. Then things start to get a little bit weird, and I can’t really talk about it without sharing spoilers. Suffice to say, though, that the storyline touches on identity theft and family secrets. I’d also say that it’s one of those rare books where the investigation of the crime is more interesting than the crime itself.
In fact, I think that the most interesting part about this particular book is the side story. Each of the Roy Grace books can be read as a standalone, but you’ll get a little more out of it if you read them all in order. That’s because each of the books also covers what’s going on in the personal lives of many of Grace’s fellow coppers, but we also get a lot of Grace’s own back story including an update on his missing wife Sandy and a little bit of development when it comes to his current squeeze, Cleo.
Now like I say, I’ve read these out of order and so I kind of knew what to expect and what was coming, at least with the cops’ personal lives. Still, I’ve read enough of these books by now that I’m pretty attached to most of the characters and so it was a lot of fun to revisit them and to just hang out with them.
This is one of the longer Roy Grace books, and that poses a little bit of a problem because each of my reviews has the same number of words as the book has pages, and yet I don’t have much more to say about it because there wasn’t a whole load of stuff going on. I enjoyed reading it, but it didn’t seem to have as much substance as some of the others, so it was kind of like snacking on a big bag of crisps instead of eating a proper meal.
Because of that, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one if you’re new to Peter James’ stuff, but if you’re working your way through the series then you also shouldn’t skip it either. It’s one of those weird books where there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it but where it feels as though it’s just business as usual. The good news is that I know from experience that the series continues to get better and to evolve and so you’ve got that to look forward to, too.