My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I started reading the novels of Peter James last year and found that just by the down-to-earth well written stories with the confident understanding of characters, he has taken me at times to such a state of suspense that I just couldn’t stop reading them, it is no wonder that he has become one of Britain’s best-loved crime writers.
All his stories are located in Brighton, just an hour’s train ride from London, and over the sequence of his novels, Peter James is establishing himself to be as skilful a story-weaver as G. K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, and Elmore Leonard.
His central character is the resolute police officer Roy Grace who I find to be quite unorthodox and a very likeable character.
Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis
Michael Harrison had it all: good looks, charm, natural leadership, a wicked sense of humour, and now Ashley, his fiancée. While out celebrating with a group of friends a few nights before the wedding,
Michael suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself enclosed in a coffin equipped only with a flashlight, a dirty magazine, a walkie-talkie, and a tiny breathing tube. It’s all in good fun — payback for the grief his buddies had suffered at the hands of his own penchant for tomfoolery — that is, until his four buddies are killed in a drink driving accident just moments after leaving Michael buried alive in his coffin.
Detective Superintendent Grace — himself dealing with the pain of losing a wife — is brought on to the case when Ashley reports Michael missing. Suspicions are raised when Michael’s only friend not at the bachelor party refuses to cooperate and Ashley’s faithfulness — not to mention her increasingly mysterious past — are suddenly thrown into question. As Superintendent Grace soon discovers, one man’s disaster is another man’s fortune …dead simple.
What Do I Think?
It took me just one day to read this book; I just could not put it down it was so gripping and the fact that the story is set in and around Brighton made it that bit more special British if you like.
“Dead Simple” is fast and thrilling a real rollercoaster of a book full of twists and turns sometimes a bit mind-boggling but the story has hold of you right up to the end.
You can tell that Peter James has researched his subjects well and I got the feeling that he has spent some time with members of the Sussex police force it would be interesting to see if he has based the character of Roy Grace on a few of that police force?
If you haven’t already discovered the thrill of reading the Roy Grace series, this is a list of the order:
Dead Simple (2005)
Looking Good Dead (2006)
Not Dead Enough (2007)
Dead Man’s Footsteps (2008)
Dead Tomorrow (2009)
Dead Like You (2010).
While it’s not essential to read them in sequence, it does mean you can follow the development of Grace’s personal story.