Tag: Superintendent

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 – Love You Dead | Review

Title: Love You Dead

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 340

Rating: 9/10

 

Peter James - Love You Dead

Peter James – Love You Dead

 

This is the second Peter James book that I’ve read, the first one being The House On Cold Hill, and I have to say that I highly enjoyed both of them. Whilst the first two were sent to me for free from a publicist, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up going through the rest of his work, even if I have to slowly collect them when I see them at charity shops.

Here, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace sets out to capture the culprits of a number of different crimes, all of which end up coming together towards the end. Perhaps most interestingly of all is the main villain, a scheming woman with a passion for snakes and other dangerous animals. She has a habit of marrying rich old men and then promptly finding herself as a widow – you should know the type, it’s been overused throughout the years, but James uses it to good effect.

The characterisation is pretty good, the story line is interesting enough, and overall it’s a very competent crime thriller, but you’d expect nothing less from Peter James – after all, he’s made a career out of it. It’s not quite good enough to blow the reader’s mind, but it is still a great read that keeps you turning through the pages, aided by the fact that the chapters are so short.

One other thing that’s worth mentioning is the research that James puts in – he knows a lot about the police force, and he also pays a lot of attention to whatever subject matters he comes across. In this case, he covers snakes and poisons, as well as the effects of those poisons, and it’s clear that he’s put a lot of work in to make sure that it feels believable. And he does a good job of talking about modern trends and technologies, too – it doesn’t feel forced or artificial, and that’s a good thing.

 

Peter James

Peter James

 

Click here to buy Peter James.