Title: Prophecy

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 374

Rating: 3.5/5

This is one of the more interesting Peter James books because it was written and published towards the end of his early career, and so while he’s not quite the writer that I know and love today, he’s a lot more skilled than he was when he first started out.

It’s also from before he started work on the Roy Grace series, and so it’s not in the crime genre like you might expect if you’ve read some of his more recent stuff. Instead, it’s a fairly sophisticated thriller that’s reminiscent of the recent breed of bestsellers that we’ve seen, but written thirty years before. In fact, the book is almost as old as I am.

Prophecy is surprisingly brutal at times, and I can’t complain about that. James doesn’t write gore and viscera too often, but when he does, he always does a good job of it. There’s a line on the cover that describes him as Britain’s answer to Stephen King and Michael Crichton, but if anything, his writing here reminds me of James Herbert. But I guess you can’t be Britain’s answer to James Herbert, considering he was also British.

In fact, the very first scene here (which functions as a prologue) involves someone getting a red hot poker shoved up where the sun doesn’t shine. This is referenced again later on, when we’re told that it was a way of killing someone without leaving a mark on them. I’m not convinced that would actually work, because I’m pretty sure a red hot poker would leave a little anal detritus, especially given that it pierced the internal organs. They’d leak out like meat exploding from a sausage.

Still, even though there’s a lot of good stuff here, I’m not sure whether I’d specifically recommend it unless you’re a Peter James fan who wants to read some more of his work. If you’re new to him then you’re going to want to check out either the Roy Grace crime books or the Cold Hill horror novels, just because they’re more recent and more polished. Otherwise, this makes for a good starter for further exploration.

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