Title: Find Them Dead
Author: Peter James
Page Count/Review Word Count: 550
This is another book in James’ Roy Grace crime series, and that’s the kind of series where once you’ve read one of the books, you’ve pretty much read them all. That’s not to say that you should only read one of them but rather that they’re all of an equal quality and so if you like one, you’ll like them all. And if you read one and don’t like it, I guess you’re better off looking elsewhere.
This one follows what happens after a drug importer is caught bringing £6 million worth of cocaine across the channel inside a classic car. The guy who’s the head honcho of the syndicate that he’s working for doesn’t want him to talk, and so he starts sending out threats to basically anyone he can get hold of. This includes his drug mule and the guy’s brother, who suffers from down’s syndrome. Those scenes were pretty tough to read, but they gave it a grittiness that I also enjoyed.
There’s also some pretty good stuff going on in the background. Grace has joined a team in London to try to cut down on knife crime, and we see that taking place at the beginning before there’s a section end where we jump forward four months. I usually don’t like it when that happens, especially around a quarter of the way through the novel, but it works here. That’s because it’s really the only way that James can tell the story in such a way that he’s able to follow the case from start to finish.
James does a lot of research into the way that UK cops work, and he also knows his way around the legal system. That’s what makes his stories so believable, but that’s also why he needed to use that time jump – because otherwise, there’d be no way for him to cover the trial, as well as the actions that led to that trial in the first place.
The result is a gripping crime thriller with a whole heap of stuff going on, with a fast-paced plot and cracking characterisation. As usual, it also builds up to a denouement that wraps things up nicely and leaves you feeling fulfilled, even if you’re not necessarily gagging for more. He does a good job of that, getting the length just right without sacrificing readability or cutting out part of the plot.
And even though I’ve said that there’s not necessarily a huge amount of difference between the books in this series, I’d have to say that this is one of the better ones, with so much going on that it’s hard not to get absorbed by it. Before long, you’ll be blazing through it and looking forward to the next big reveal, and even though it’s a pretty chunky book, it’s not one of those that takes a huge amount of time to get through.
And so when it comes to the question of whether I’d recommend it or not, the answer is pretty much a resounding yes. Better yet, this is one of those series where you can read it in pretty much any order without losing any value.