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Dead Simple [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Peter James , William Gaminara
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (692 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jun 2006

It was meant to be a harmless stag night prank. A few hours later four of his best friends are dead and Michael Harrison has disappeared. With only three days to the wedding, Detective Superintendent Grace - a man haunted by the shadow of his own missing wife - is contacted by Michael's beautiful, distraught fiancée, Ashley Harper. Grace discovers that the one man who ought to know Michael Harrison's whereabouts is saying nothing. But then he has a lot to gain - more than anyone realizes. For one man's disaster is another man's fortune . . . Dead simple . . .

'James has got the gift for turning mind-stretching subjects into novels that are irresistibly readable as well as utterly believable' Robert Goddard

'A brilliant idea, superbly crafted. A terrific page-turner' James Herbert

'A page-turner of a book with some terrifying twists . . . a very satisfying read' George Baker, Inspector Wexford

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 3 pages
  • Publisher: Isis Audio books; ABRIDGED edition (2 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405090022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405090025
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 12.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (692 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,499 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 the Paperback edition.

From the Author

Dear Readers,

This brief note is to tell you little bit about my new novel DEAD SIMPLE and a character – drawn from real life police officer I know – who I have been developing for several years.

I have been addicted to stories featuring the great detectives of fiction since I was a child, from Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe through to Morse and Rebus. To me all these great characters are compelling not so much because they are brilliant at solving crimes, but because they succeed despite their flaws. They have weakness and fallibility, just like all of us ordinary folk.

In DEAD SIMPLE my central character, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is such a man. He is brilliant at fighting crimes that happen to others, yet unable to solve the mystery of his wife who vanished into thin air nine years ago. And he is unable to resist resorting to mediums for help in his police work despite the risk to his career prospects from his sceptical chief.

I hope you will enjoy reading the first adventure of Roy Grace as much as I have enjoyed creating him and writing the book.

Very best wishes

Peter James --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
156 of 164 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner, americanised style 13 Mar 2006
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable 24 Jan 2011
I came on the sixth and latest book in this series, by chance and was hooked. I decided to start at the begining and read all the other books in this series in order. I was not let down. This first book is every bit as fantastic. If you enjoy a first class, rapidly paced, well researched English police detective tale, with a bit of a contiuing back story on the main police characters, this one is for you. I'm determined to find some time to read the others.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter James 'Dead Simple' 26 Mar 2012
By garcia
Format:Kindle Edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this addictive compulsively enjoyable page turner.
Criticism's of James' style and language pale through a well written, well crafted and highly recommendable thriller.
Am now off to read more, the best reccomendation
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Simple 18 Jan 2007
I bought this book specifically for holiday and am glad i did - although it gripped me very early on and i read it in no time at all. I found the plot very good and didnt guess the "bad guy" at all which for me is quite unusual and very enjoyable. I would defintely recommend it and am now trying to decide which Peter James book to read next!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can I bear to finish it? 16 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I will start by saying that up to Dead Simple, I have thoroughly enjoyed Peter James's books - going so far as to have read 7 in the last 9 months. I have particularly enjoyed the Roy Grace series although I have unintentionally read them out of sequence.

So I was excited at starting Dead Simple. But halfway through I am wondering whether to even continue. To me, there are so many implausible aspects to the basic story that this is totally distracting me from enjoying the book. I accept that I may be wrong, because PJ clearly researches his topics very well, but I will highlight just a few of the things that bother me. I hope this doesn't spoil the story for anyone but, given that the book is not a new release, I am assuming that most people reading this review will have already read the book and are curious to see what others thought.

(1) The breathing tube and hole in the coffin are only the thickness of a drinking straw. How could this possibly not only provide enough air for all the days Michael is underground, but also combat the effects of his breathed out carbon dioxide?
(2) The grave was 6 feet deep, and the friends heaped 2 feet of earth onto it before covering the hole with corrugated iron - if we count a foot or so for the coffin this left about a 3 foot 'space' of air in the grave with no ability for fresh air to enter. How long, realistically, would that small amount of air lasted?
(3) It was 2 days before the police started to take the 'missing person' report seriously. Yet here we have 5 friends out on a stag night, going from pub to pub, 4 of them end up dead in a fatal smash and the groom is missing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 1 day ago by S. driscoll
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a page turner....but would I read another ??
I very rarely read fiction novels but this one was given to me by a friend with a recommendation ...I quickly discovered that it was a page turner. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Mme Beverly Wake
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant
This is the first in a number of books written by Peter James in the DS Grace series. I first picked up a book whilst on holiday and really enjoyed the storyline so I decided to... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Mr. Peter J. Cradock
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read
Amazing read. From the start compelling. Twists and turns totally unexpected. Could not put it down once started. Highly recommend it.
Published 3 days ago by Mrs. Christine Theresa De Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Thought the book was brilliant from the first page to the last. Couldn't wait to read the next in the series.
Published 5 days ago by Jeanette Neary
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book
Very exciting read .I am now going to read some more of Peter Jones . I read this in 2 days , couldn't wait to see what happened next .
Published 6 days ago by janet mary porteous
4.0 out of 5 stars I am enjoying all the Roy Grace books much more ...
I am enjoying all the Roy Grace books much more than expected. Well written, half decent storylines- any fans of police / detective dramas,this is worth a read!
Published 6 days ago by sulkycat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Authot
Fantastic author. Always surprise endings
Published 6 days ago by Woo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gritty, edge of your seat stff!
Published 8 days ago by Mrs Jan Sach
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant story, kept me awake at nights
Published 8 days ago by kenneth m wallis
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