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Dead Simple Paperback – Unabridged, 20 Jan 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (20 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330434195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330434195
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,275 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter James was educated at Charterhouse and then at film school. He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screen writer and film producer, before returning to England. His multiple award-winning, Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling novels have been translated into thirty-three languages. His writings reflect his deep interest in medicine, science and the world of the police. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created the hit Channel 4 series Bedsitcom, which was nominated for a Rose d'Or. Peter James won the Krimi-Blitz 2005 Crime Writer of the Year Award in Germany, and Dead Simple won both the 2006 Prix Polar International award and the 2007 Prix Cœur Noir award in France. Looking Good Dead was shortlisted for the 2007 Richard and Judy Crime Thriller of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for both France's SNCF award and Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policère. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and Sussex.

Product Description


Ingenious plotting, high suspense and tight writing (Daily Mail)

A terrific tale of greed, seduction and betrayal (Daily Telegraph)

A very impressive crime thriller series debut (Eurocrime) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

This is the book that started it all. It’s Dead Simple.

Dead Simple was the first book by No. 1 bestselling crime and thriller writer Peter James to be part of the multi-million-copy series featuring the definitive Brighton detective, Roy Grace.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W. H. J. Yip on 2 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Now, don't get me wrong - I enjoyed reading this novel, which took just a day as it's not a huge book. But I'll explain why it's 3/5 for me and not more (but certainly doesn't deserve less).

The premise of the story is very promising. Here we have 5 guys on a stag night, one of whom will be buried alive (unbeknownst to him) as a stag night prank. After he's buried, the other 4 drive off... and they crash, killing 3 of them, and leaving the remaining one on life support. Who could not find such a premise compelling - if a book were judged purely on premise, this novel would get 5/5.

I found the novel to read like a TV/film script. A lot of the writing was about emotions going through their heads, and what little description of places and objects invariably gave away the plot devices too easily and too quickly. I also found some of the choice of words a little odd: but looking at Peter James's bio, it's easy to see why and how easy it for him to mix British and North American parts of speech. Nevertheless, the novel was very easy to read - never a dull moment. But it felt like I was reading a novelisation of an action film rather than a drama (which supposedly is what the story is).

I guessed very early on what was going on, who was being deceitful; and the very tight way the story was written meant that nothing was "left to chance", so it didn't take a lot of guesswork to know that when a character "suddenly appeared out of nowhere", there was a logical and plausible explanation if you stopped to think for 2 seconds. The predictability of the plot is one of the big letdowns of the story. I don't care for plot twists, and this story wouldn't have improved with a plot twist anyway.
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199 of 209 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the first time I've read Peter James and picked it up after hearing it reviewed positively on Simon Mayo's show. It really is a page turner! The chapters are very to fairly short which makes it a great book for people like me who have a 25 minute train commute - you can usually time the finishing of the chapters just right for your stop.
The book involves a stag night prank of burying a mate in a coffin. If if this seems somewhat unlikely, James does get away with explaining the history that leads to this event, making it plausible enough to stick with it. When the perpetrators are killed in a van crash our man is trapped in the coffin with only one person in the world knowing where he is; and that person has most to gain by him staying lost (trust me I give nothing away, we're only up to page 40 or 50 here!). Therein hangs the first of many twists; there are several, yet somehow they are nearly all credible within the confines of this tale. And speaking of confines, some of the coffin scenes really are claustrophobic to read.
The slight downsides then. As has been referenced elsewhere the author I believe has been a scriptwriter in the States and at times there is an americanisation to the story that grates ever so slightly, including the use of american type terminology that wouldn't naturally be used here. Stylistically it has more of an american feel than say a traditional English crime fiction feel about it. I don't say that this is bad, by the way, but just be aware that PD James it ain't (and that may well be a good thing for some of you)! The ending is also a little rushed and slightly patly contrived, but by then you've rattled along with the book at such a pace that you forgive this minor(ish) transgression.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By John Hugh Glen on 14 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.

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 little 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.
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