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on 27 May 2011
I had pre-ordered this as I am always waiting for Peter James' books to be published. It was delivered to my kindle just after midnight on publication day so I couldn't wait for the opportunity to read it.

It's the seventh novel in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series and once again is set around Brighton, Hove and surrounding areas.

I hate it when reviews give away the storyline so a very brief synopsis:
A teenage student has been killed in a fatal multiple car accident. Other drivers involved in the accident are later found tortured and murdered. DS Roy Grace and his team investigate and try to protect another driver involved in the crash.
Roy's problems in his personal life continue..........

Peter's books are always well researched and give readers a detailed and enthralling tale. I find his style of writing highly readable as he gently leads you through the story and transports you into a world of intrigue and drama.

This latest offering is well worth the read and I certainly recommend it.

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).

Although it's not essential to read them in order, it does mean you can follow the progression of DS Grace's personal story.
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on 19 March 2012
This was the second book by Peter James I have read and as with the first book this one got me gripped from the start and kept me turning the pages at pace throughout.
I like how the author gives us a chance to get to know the detective and learn about his private life inbetween the crime solving.
A very good read...would recommend and I look forward to reading more from Peter James.
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on 15 September 2012
Having read " Perfect People " by the same author, I was keen to read another. This was rather better, well paced, draws you in from the start with a nasty road accident. The story develops into a series of gruesome murders, some cross Atlantic chases - and ends with a neat twist, will not spoil by revealing this ! well worth reading
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on 30 December 2011
Peter James has maintained his high standard. I have enjoyed all his previous Roy Grace books and was looking forward to this one. I found the book a little slow to start and wondered where we were going then - wham - it all fell into place and it became a real page-turner. Would recommend this book to anyone who is undecided.
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Detective Superintendent Roy Grace may be one of my favorite characters in a mystery, police procedural thriller. It is difficult at times to define Peter James's writings, at times mysteries, combined with police procedural and both thrillers. I have followed DS Roy Grace,who works in his beloved, Brighton, about an hour outside of London, and in this novel discovered that his fiancee thinks he looks like Paul Newman. Yes, he is one of those policemen that you want on your side, good looking or not. He is thorough, effective, looks at every detail, and will do whatever it takes to get his man.

A horrific accident involving three vehicles and a bicyclist lead to a series of events that cause more murders and mayhem, and it takes all of DS Roy Grace's wiles to put everything in place. Carly Chase, a divorce lawyer, newly widowed and with a teenage son, Tyler, is driving to her office after a night of heavy drinking. Stuart Ferguson, a driver for a Scottish salmon farm, is driving to Brighton to deliver his wares. Ewan Preece, on the cusp of being released from prison is driving a stolen white van. All of them arrive at the same place,at about the same time, and one of them kills a young man who was bicycling to his graduate class.

In the midst of this tragedy, DS Roy's fiancee, Cleo, is having difficulty with her pregnancy. Those of you who have read all of the novels involving Roy Grace, know that his first wife, Sandy, has gone missing and it is now 10 years. We are given a glimpse of what may occur in future novels with the missing Sandy, but that is enough of that. The young college student who was killed, turns out to be the grandson of the King of the Mafioso in New York. The young man's parents swear to avenge his death, and a contract is put out to kill all involved in the case. As the student's mother has said, 'I Want Them To Suffer, And I Want Them Dead'. One of the most gruesome of killers, Tooth, is the man who is hired as the contract killer.

This was a formidable novel in many ways. It is fast paced with intricate swerves. You must pay close attention. The characters developed by Peter James are always strong people who leave a lasting impression. The recurring characters are much loved, and it is like meeting old friends, again. The novel surrounds an American Mafia family, and some parts of this plot are not as believable as others. This is a brilliant novel as usual, but not the best. The best is yet to come.

Recommended. prisrob 05-23-13
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on 11 September 2011
Like many reviewers, I've read all of the Roy Grace books. Some have been better than others, hence my not rushing to get hold of a copy of Dead Man's Grip as soon as it was published. I did enjoy this latest offering but some of the enduring themes in the series are starting to grate. The love-in between Grace and his protege Branson was less pronounced in Dead Man's Grip, which was a relief, but the constant and sometimes extensive descriptions of how attractive the female characters are is really starting to irritate this reader. Even the odd woman who isn't careful with her appearance could, according to a male character, "be one attractive lady" given a makeover. The author has a similar tendency to ascribe a high level of competency and commitment to anyone in the orbit of Sussex police. Is no-one associated with the police plain ugly, useless or just burnt out and disinterested? It would appear not. I also find the interaction between Grace and the absurdly named and impossibly perfect Cleo Morey mawkish. Some of the dialogue between these characters, for example, Grace telling Cleo he was going to arrest every piece of brie in Brighton after she told him she fancied brie more than she fancied him, is just risible.

This said, Peter James does tend to come up with a decent storyline and I was eager to see what happened. In virtually all crime fiction you have to suspend belief and take it as entertainment. In Peter James books, the real effort comes from having to plough past some of the characterisation and dialogue.

Despite the negatives, I would recommend Dead Man's Grip as a decent page turner for anyone who enjoys crime fiction.

I hope in the future some of the characters will become a bit less one dimensional.
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on 25 August 2012
An intricate plot with plenty of well drawn fascinating characters. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is faced with a complex investigation following the death of an American student whilst cycling to Brighton University. The plot thickens as we follow the drivers of the three vehicles involved in the fatal accident. The victim was the grandson of a high profile American gangster. What comes next is a little predictable, but there are plenty of twists and turns and surprises to follow.

There is also the ensuring saga of Grace's personal life. His, thought to be dead wife, Sandy, is always in the background. And, Grace has to cope with his feelings and worries for his fiancée, Cleo, and the problems she is experiencing in pregnancy. However, James occasionally glosses over some things that you expect to be better explained as regards Grace's feelings and motivations. Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson is not as irritating as he has been in the past. However, the additional back story of his divorce problems are just as irritating and a distraction from the main story as they have always been.

In conclusion, it's a good page turner if you skip the irritating passages.
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on 26 May 2011
Just finished the new book, great read and with so much going on. Without ruining the plot for others I will only say the saga of Sandy moves on with some shattering developments !!
The strong storyline and beautifully paced plot will have the reader spellbound. I really enjoyed the book and as with all the series of Grace story-lines the attention to detail and police procedure
is legendary. The locallity of much of the story set around Brighton remains a huge plus for the books and this one will not disappoint. I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a must read
and if you have not read any of the other books in the Roy Grace series this one will definately wet your appetite.
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on 14 November 2011
This started really slowly and it was ages before anything actually started to happen - at least anything worth investigating. Getting really irritated with all the maltesers stuff. And the "gazing up left and right to see if someone is lying" stuff. And all the romantic lovey stuff with his pregnant girlfriend and Branson's problems with his ex and all the Sandy stuff is just tedious ad nauseum now. Either deal with it or forget it. If I want romantic chick lit then I will buy Mills and Boon instead of a cop novel. I don't mind a bit of personal background but it was just boring.

The end felt hurried with no tension at all but to be honest, I just wanted it to end so I could be done with it by that stage. I have read all the books in the series but I doubt that I will bother with Roy Grace again.
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on 29 April 2016
Do not believe the subtitle of the cover: “One mistake, Two murders, No remorse.” This is a promotional caption that has little to do with the real novel. I was actually expecting “Three culprits.” But the author avoided this easy Christian simple trinity. Though he could have gone a lot further since there are at the very least four dead bodies, a real crucifixion, in fact even five, a diabolical pentacle, and one skeleton in the cupboard, closet or whatever old tunnel or WC.

But the book is absolutely excellent because it is true to the very last detail. The language, the procedure, the institutional working, even the human reactions of the cops mostly are absolutely perfect. They are not believable, they are just what they have to be to be true to the core of any criminal investigation. That’s the pleasure of this book. That makes it just thrilling, not because of the gross elements that are mentioned but never described, but because of the accurate events, their description, and their processing. And this pile of small elements geared into some kind of malicious network if not plainly fishing net that catches us and will never let us go, is the very charm, hypnotic fascination the book evokes in us, brings up to life, casts upon us without any possible escape.

The chapters are so small that they are not chapters any more but successive short sequences ready for the TV or cinema adaptation we all expect soon, especially those among us who have visited at a moment in our life or in a previous life this phenomenal city-harbor-beach of Brighton, halfway between Folkestone-Dover and Portsmouth-Southampton. And what’s more with a US extension through the very first victim of a dumb road accident that definitely would not have occurred if a dumb driver – who is accidentally a woman but could be a man – who was too impregnated with alcohol to drive since she had a diabolical and satanic hangover, had not recklessly cut in front of a lorry, after her passing it at probably excessive speed, causing the lorry that was ahead of her to then run after her with a very close and dangerous tail-chase engagement, eventually jumping a traffic light, hitting the first victim that caused the drama and running away like a guilty fox, his tail well squeezed between his thighs.

And that dangerous cutting in front of a vehicle to turn left or right, who cares, was the second in a row. She is entirely responsible for the accident, even if she did not touch the victim on his bike. And she is, what’s more, outrageously remorseless, unconcerned, free of any guilt and even provocative towards the parents of the victim. The fact that it brought the New York mafia into a simple traffic accident is only the magnification of her obvious and criminal responsibility.

The book is concentrating on stopping the hit man in his attempt richly paid by the New York Mafia to kill in atrocious suffering all those who were involved in the crash, no matter whether they were responsible or not, responsible by negligence and selfishness or responsible by real circumstantial but deadly developments. The author is malicious about this vengeful spree of murders, though the author does not describe the particularly gross elements of the various assassinations. I must admit the details are very creative. We are dealing with a criminal artist or an artistic criminal.

The only victim that is worth saving is a young teenager who is in no way involved in the road accident. He is only a circumstantial element in the project to kill the hungover careless and selfish woman who is his mother because that would make her suffer. The novel saves him and unluckily saves his mother too though she is the real culprit who will not be prosecuted for the death of the first victim, the road accident’s victim. In other words the book is quite ethical as for the police when they save the life of an innocent young teenager. But it is totally immoral since the main culprit in the initial road accident goes through the whole episode with hardly a slap on the hand for driving in a drunken state, under the influence as they say to hide the reality of the crime. And all the other actors on the English side as well as on the American side, two against two, two on both sides, are brutally killed or die brutally as a consequence of that woman’s carelessness and umbilical egotism.

But after all, who cares since the victims are first the son of a Mafia family; second a criminal who had not gone back to his prison as he should have after his day of work (AWOL if I can say so); third a Scottish truck-driver; fourth the daughter of the Godfather of the New York Mafia; and fifth the son of the same. The only two English people involved in that killing spree are English, one guilty up to the gills with drunkenness and driving under the influence and the other totally innocent, but they are English, aren’t they.

But yet a good thriller that is not fantasizing about police work. The author actually explains that he used the advice and counseling of several cops or ex-cops on both the English and the American sides.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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