“Dead Simple” by Peter James – Book Review

Six young men in their late twenties. Friends since their early teens, their natural leader is the charismatic, handsome, and wealthy Michael Harrison.  Michael Harrison is a prankster who has pulled some stunts on them over the years – some outstanding practical jokes.  Now, Michael is due to be married in a week and they plot revenge on him via his stag night.

Only the prank goes tragically wrong…

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is just the right side of forty. His beloved wife, Sandy, has been missing since his thirtieth birthday. He returned home from work that night, intending to spend it with Sandy and another couple to celebrate his big ’30’. Instead, he found the house empty.  All her belongings were still there, the only thing missing was her handbag. He never saw her again…

Roy Grace still holds out a faint hope that she will return. He has left her clothes in the closets, her belongings grace his house still.  He feels unable to move on with his life without any kind of closure.  Over the past nine years he has exhausted all of his own police expertise in trying to find out what happened to Sandy. He has also consulted many mediums and psychics in his quest.  To no avail.

Roy Grace is the son of a policeman and can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Now, to all intents and purposes a widower, Roy leads a solitary, workaholic life.  His only joys are running along the Brighton and Hove seafront, and driving his Alfa Romeo 147 car.

Brighton and Hove seafront

Roy’s interest in the supernatural side of things will put his career into jeopardy on more than one occasion.  He collects books on the occult.

Stationed at CID Headquarters, Sussex House, Brighton, he now works on cold cases. He was given twenty files, each containing an unsolved murder. He misses the camaraderie and heightened activity of his former work place at the Brighton police station in the town center.

Roy’s new boss is Alison Vosper. His colleagues have bestowed her with the nickname No. 27 after a sweet and sour dish on the menu at a local Chinese restaurant.  As you might have guessed – she waffles between being sweet and sour.

A friend and colleague, DS Glenn Branson, has an interesting case to which he enlists Roy’s aid.  Though not in his remit, he willingly steps in. It will be a case, and an experience, that Roy will never forget.

If you are looking for a British Police Procedural series with an engaging protagonist, then look no further.  Roy Grace is one of those coppers that you just can’t help but like.

The East Sussex setting, during the last week of May, brought the narrative into sharp focus. The characterization was exemplary and the police case interesting and suspenseful. Containing several plot twists, this novel will keep even the most ardent thriller reader happy.

Dead Simple” is a novel that expounds on the lengths some people will go to further their jealousy and greed.  It is the first in a series that I plan to pursue with enjoyment.

As of now, there are 14 titles in the DS Roy Grace series. It would look as though I have some serious catching up to do!  Check out these fantastic Pan Macmillan covers!

I hope that somewhere in the next thirteen novels I will discover just what happened to Roy Grace’s wife Sandy and that we see him getting on with his life.

A great and suspense-filled read which makes an excellent start to a series.

I received a digital copy of this novel from Hannah Feeney @wunderkindPR for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Peter James is a UK No. 1 bestselling author, best known for writing crime and thriller novels, and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. With a total of 13 Sunday Times No. 1s under his belt, he has achieved global book sales of over 19 million copies to date, and has been translated into 37 languages.
Synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners, Peter has garnered an army of loyal fans throughout his storytelling career – which also included stints writing for TV and producing films. He has won over 40 awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for which he was an Executive Producer. Many of Peter’s novels have been adapted for film, TV and stage.
His new book Absolute Proof – a stand-alone thriller – which was published by Pan Macmillan on 4th October 2018.

Follow Peter James on Twitter.

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About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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13 Responses to “Dead Simple” by Peter James – Book Review

  1. carhicks says:

    I read this one a few years ago for a group read and really enjoyed it. Then for some reason, did not read any more. I do want to get back to this series as I know I love the MC of Roy Grace. Nice review Lynne, I am glad you enjoyed this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw the stage production of this novel a few years ago – it was really good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skyecaitlin says:

    It’s a very unusual book, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

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