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Looking Good Dead [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Peter James
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Nov 2006

Tom Bryce did what any decent person would do. But within hours of picking up the CD that had been left behind on the train seat next him, and attempting to return it to its owner, he is the sole witness to a vicious murder. Then his young family are threatened with their lives if he goes to the police. But supported by his wife, Kellie, he bravely makes a statement, to the murder enquiry team headed by Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a man with demons of his own - including his missing wife - to contend with. And from that moment, the killing of the Bryce family becomes a mere formality - and a grisly attraction. Kellie and Tom's deaths have already been posted on the internet. You can log on and see them on a website. They are looking good dead.

Acclaim for Dead Simple:

'Destined for the bestsellers' Independent on Sunday

'A terrific tale of greed, seduction and betrayal' Daily Telegraph

Product details

  • Paperback: 537 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (30 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330434209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330434201
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,216 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

Amazon Review

It's a tricky proposition, changing horses midstream. And with Looking Good Dead, Peter James continues to do just that. The author’s reputation as a purveyor of subtly chilling horror and fantasy had been carefully built up over many years, and James had few British peers in this field. But that is not quite the compliment it sounds, for the horror field is in one of its frequent slumps at present, and apart from a few American giants such as Stephen King, some highly talented figures have languished, in some cases even forfeiting their publishers. It's possible that Peter James saw the way the wind was blowing, and decided to move on from his hitherto lucrative horror work, returning to the crime arena (in which he’d worked before) with the adroit Dead Simple, the inaugural book in the series featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. If DS Grace was cut from a familiar cloth (copper struggling with psychological problems), the plotting was innovative and fresh.

And so it’s proved to be once again with Looking Good Dead. Tom Bryce picks up a CD which has been left behind on a train seat, but when he attempts to track down the owner, he finds himself the only witness to a savage killing. Reporting the crime to the police has disastrous consequences for Bryce, and the lives of both he and his wife are threatened--by a notification on the Internet, no less. When DS Roy Grace becomes involved, he finds himself up against a malign group of very well organised criminals.

As in Peter James’ previous outing for Roy Grace, the plotting here is the thing. James addresses the crime genre as if he had never been away, and although Grace is, to be frank, not strikingly different from any other literary coppers, few people will complain when James’ storytelling acumen is as authoritative as it is here.
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Sharply plotted, suitably sordid' -- Daily Express

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripped me! 22 July 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not read any Peter James before but will definitely be reading more of his work now!

Fast moving, gripping, could NOT put it down. Yet another one that spent time cooking with me I'm afraid. You know what I mean? Stirring pots with one hand while holding book in t'other.

Only two things to say against the w-h-o-l-e book in fact. One was the odd Americanism that crept in now and then but having learnt that the author has spent a fair bit of time in North America, I suppose I can forgive him for those. Didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book in the least.

The second thing was that I don't think he had the TV news quite right as to the best of my knowledge, the 9 o'clock news ended some while back, which if you put this together with the rest of the events mentioned in the book, seemed to make the timing a little bit off? Suppose we just put that down to poetic licence?

I shall be looking to read some more Peter James in the very near future. He will now be up there in my list of favourite authors along with Kathy Reichs, Lee Child, P.J. Tracy, Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson and my newly accquired love of Simon Kernick and Stuart Macbride to name but a few. If you also like works by those authors, you'll LOVE Looking Good Dead!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
The second in the `Roy Grace' Detective series is another resounding hit in my opinion, with superbly developed characters, realistic Sussex settings and intriguing, compelling crimes to keep you on the edge of your seat. I couldn't put it down and I'm already relishing the fact that I have so many more of this series left to read- and books three and four ready and waiting.

This story starts off as more of a slow burner than book one, in which the reader was immediately plunged into the action. This time the author concentrates more on scene setting and character development which is effortlessly done, so you really feel a connection with the protagonists. What seems to be a bit of a mundane scenario is then suddenly turned completely on its head however and the story picks up a fast pace from there.

This novel sees thirty something businessman Tom Bryce picking up a CD left behind on a commuter train. With no significant details on it, he loads it into his computer, thinking there will be some kind of identification on it so he can dutifully return it to its rightful owner. What he sees on the CD however leaves him reeling and his life is immediately pulled into a shocking nightmare...

This gritty story really is no holds barred and some details of the crimes involved are a bit gruesome, but nonetheless the story remains fascinating and believable given all the little details added by the author. There's a couple of little twists thrown in which make it all the more enjoyable as a reader.

A couple of other reviewers have picked up on the minor Americanisms that seem to filter into the authors writing, and given that he's spent time across in the States writing, I suppose this is a given fact, but it doesn't detract from your enjoyment of the story.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good British cop story 2 Oct 2007
I discovered Peter James when I read his previous thriller, Dead Simple, which was excellent. And he betters that with Looking Good Dead.

From a very basic, simple premise, the laptop left on a train, the poor unfortunate who finds it is catapulted into a world of mayhem and potential murder, simply by doing things which any reader could imagine themselves doing - and this is what Peter James does so well, it could happen to anyone.

Once into the story, the plot moves swiftly, but not so you can easily spot the twists, and the characters are completely believable, whether on the side of the angels or not. You'll be hard put to stop reading this once you've started, I certainly couldn't, highly recommended to lovers of thrillers/detective fiction
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By J. Chippindale TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Peter James is the author of several very successful thrillers, two of which have been made into successful TV films. More are in production now. He was born in 1948 and educated at Charterhouse. He lives in Sussex near Lewes.

I had forgotten how refreshing it was to read a crime thriller by a British author with British people and British places. I am a little tired of reading about New York `cops' or small American towns that have no meaning to the average British reader.

Tom Brice was doing what he assumed any other law abiding citizen would do, trying to return someone's lost property to them. The CD had been left on the train seat next to his own and in attempting to return it to its rightful owner he becomes the sole witness to a vicious murder. Worse it yet to come his young family are threatened with violence of the worst kind if he goes to the police. But supported by his wife, Kellie, he bravely makes a statement to the murder inquiry team that is headed by Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. The police make all the right noises, but could this be the worst mistake Tom has ever made . . .
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking Good Dead 7 Mar 2010
Another brilliant read from Peter James, couldn't put it down. It was fast paced, gritty, sordid in places but very,very readable. Peter manages to take a simple event like picking up a cd on a train and turn it into a gripping thriller. Excellent !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars really love the way this series is hotting up
this is the second book in the series and I can still say I am beginning to love this author and love the Roy Grace books I bought them all and read them in a few very short days,... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Aussie Susan
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking Good Dead
No 2 in the Roy Grace Series. Bit more gritty and explicit than No 1. Still brilliant read. Copy I received from this supplier was clean but used. It arrived in good time. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Gail Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars another good one in this series
I am an avid Roy Grace fan and although sometimes over does the amount of description of clothes, looks etc. I suppose it gives a better feel for the characters. Read more
Published 9 days ago by tony joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is 2nd book from Peter James I have read and - could not put it down - Already downloaded 3rd book and cannot wait to read it.
Published 19 days ago by Ina
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking Good Dead
Another nail biting, jump in your seat read. I loved it and can't wait to start the next in the Roy Grace series. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Simon Elliott
2.0 out of 5 stars Beyond tedious!
I really enjoyed Dead Simple - the first Roy Grace book - and bought this as a consequence. I will definitely not be bothering with any more. Read more
Published 24 days ago by teemac
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Have read seven of Peter James' books and have found them all excellent. Find them difficult to put down and when I have finished one I want to get onto the next one
Published 27 days ago by Cherie Fuller
5.0 out of 5 stars Spine chilling!
As good as his first Roy Grace book and with excellent characterisation, which has the effect of making you care so much about the main characters that it quickly turns into... Read more
Published 1 month ago by W. F. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read
I couldn't put this book down. It's story line is full of the unexpected. Can't wait to read the next book.
Published 1 month ago by A. Rowell
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking good d we ad
Ok read 1st one better withdrawn out front follow on from 1st book t bought . It would as no 1-2-3
Published 1 month ago by kim
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