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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A change of direction for an Inspector Grace novel
Want You Dead, Peter James, Macmillan, 2014, 405pp.

This is an interesting Inspector Roy Grace novel, but unfortunately it is time-sharing with the story of the decaying relationship between the young lady whose story dominates the novel, and her loony sociopath ex-boyfriend who is stalking her with a campaign of arson and murder. Inspector Grace doesn’t...
Published 7 months ago by Pink Fluffy Bunny

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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars same old, same old
Firstly, I would like to say that I have always been a big Peter James fan. I have read all of the Roy Grace series and have enjoyed them all immensely. I am however starting to feel that Peter is starting to run out of ideas. I know this is a winning formula for him, but the time has come for him to change things up a little. The whole Sandy thing needs to be brought...
Published 8 months ago by D. R. Miller


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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars same old, same old, 8 July 2014
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Firstly, I would like to say that I have always been a big Peter James fan. I have read all of the Roy Grace series and have enjoyed them all immensely. I am however starting to feel that Peter is starting to run out of ideas. I know this is a winning formula for him, but the time has come for him to change things up a little. The whole Sandy thing needs to be brought to a conclusion. This is the carrot he continues to dangle in front of us in the hope that we will buy his next book. It's gone on for far too long already and I, for one have now run out of patience. I wouldn't mind if the main story was strong, but in this book it wasn't. The plots and the characters seem to be getting more bland and weaker every time.

In my view, James needs to revitalise the series by concluding the Sandy thing and take things in a whole new direction. Otherwise it's just the same old thing over and over!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed, 24 July 2014
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Couldn't wait to start this book, wish I hadn't of bothered. Kept thinking it will get better, it didn't. Sorry, this is far the worse in the Roy Grace series, I even thought it might be a good idea to kill Roy off this time, glad he didn't, I'll give him another chance. The characters were awful, including the main heroine Red, didn't take to her at all. I think the Sandy story was good, but has run its course, I really wanted her to identify herself this time, maybe not exactly as the dream, that really would have been to laughable. Hope the next one is better.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite in the Roy Grace series, 15 Jun. 2014
As we are now in the grip (or not) of the World Cup, I would say in football parlance that for me, this book represented a game of two halves. Despite being a Peter James fan, and having read all of the previous Roy Grace novels, I found this not to be one of his best.

I found the shift away from Grace and his team as fairly prominent characters to almost bit players a negative move. It might have worked for me had I been taken with the main plot and the featured characters of Red and her sociopathic stalker ex, Bryant. As it was in the first half I found the plot too bogged down with repetitive detail, revealed via the counselling sessions with her therapist. I wasn't sympathetic to the character of Red, far from seeing her as a strong, independent character refusing to be a victim, I found her to be quite naive, if not stupid in her actions. For example, what female estate agent (given real life events) would deliberately falsify contact details in her work diary, before going to meet a client, a complete stranger, in an empty property. - especially when she knows her ex is a threat.

I was more engaged when the plot concentrated on Grace, his forthcoming nuptials to Cleo, and the team that we have come to know and in most cases love. Inevitably Sandy does make an appearance, though whether that story resolves itself I can't say. For me the novels are as much about their stories as the crimes they are investigating. The team come more into play once the plot becomes more focused on Bryant as a suspect, rather than what he intends to do and why.

Reading this review back, it feels very negative, but given how much I've enjoyed the others, it is my attempt to explain why I didn't like this as much. Peter James is a terrific writer, and this is not a bad book, it has all the drama, tension and shocks that you want from a good thriller, it just didn't do it for me, like some of his others. I'll still be waiting for news of the next one to see how things progress for Grace and his team.

I received my ebook via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ... the latest Roy Grace books but they have got worse over time, 26 Nov. 2014
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I used to look forward to reading the latest Roy Grace books but they have got worse over time. Very disappointed with this offering; much of the plot and the characters were just not believable. I think Peter James is taking an easy ride to get money from his loyal readers. This is the last Peter James book I will read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A series that has lost its way: a decent TV show would have decommissioned this by now, 26 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Want You Dead (Roy Grace) (Hardcover)
I've enjoyed this series but found the last two books almost coming across as contractual obligations. You still root for Roy but you get rather bored with the implausible main characters. Red is so much the unfavoured daughter that on the day her car catches fire her mother is more worried about the lamb in the oven being overcooked. And then the parents' house suffers a fire and they are both blithely unconcerned. The villain of the piece is frankly ridiculous: brilliant at everything except being a social human being, he does magic, picks locks, has unlimited funds, no less than seven identities as he's so good at getting passports, but no real job and an odd way of expressing his love for Red (although it is never explained why he suddenly comes back into Red's life after transforming from perfect boyfriend into psychopath). The character couldn't be more ridiculous unless he was a 94-year-old whizzing across the Atlantic with a piece of paper with some numbers on it given to him by a complete stranger 90 years earlier. Oh, wait, that was the last Roy Grace book.

And then the style of writing. Lots of one page chapters. With short verbless sentences. Again and again. Over and over. Not sure why. For the benefit of the reader? Or just a whim of the author? Pretty deep and meaningless.

And of course the Sandy saga continues. A woman who disappeared ten years ago can just flit into Brighton at whim without ever being recognized by anyone she knows in a city she lived in. Who - in an earlier book - even got into her ex-husband's house as a prospective purchaser. Obviously none of the neighbours would clock her. And this time she can even sneak into Roy and Cleo's wedding without any of Roy's colleagues recognizing her. So you get the usual four or five chapters of Sandy without any resolution.

In sum, it really is time to end this series and I've withdrawn my interest in it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 30 Oct. 2014
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Mary jones (belfast) - See all my reviews
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Very disappointed in this book ,both main characters are unbelievable .Its a real chore to continue reading this book but no doubt I will finish it.Have always enjoyed the Roy Grace series but Peter James needs to up his game next time
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left wanting more..., 9 Mar. 2015
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As an avid fan of Peter James and the Roy Grace series I was really looking forward to reading this. Unfortunately I was left feeling a little let down by both the plot and the main protagonists. Not that this is a bad book and it does get better as it goes on and the investigation picks up speed, it's just not as good as the others in the series. The story focuses too much on Red and her stalker ex and not on Grace. In my opinion the story would have been much better if more was told through Grace's eyes and as a result of his investigation. Also it's time that the whole Sandy thing was put to bed - I for one am getting bored of waiting to see what will happen. That said, I'll probably still read the next book in the hope that there is some resolution and that Roy has a more interesting case to tackle!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A change of direction for an Inspector Grace novel, 2 Aug. 2014
By 
Pink Fluffy Bunny (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Want You Dead (Roy Grace) (Hardcover)
Want You Dead, Peter James, Macmillan, 2014, 405pp.

This is an interesting Inspector Roy Grace novel, but unfortunately it is time-sharing with the story of the decaying relationship between the young lady whose story dominates the novel, and her loony sociopath ex-boyfriend who is stalking her with a campaign of arson and murder. Inspector Grace doesn’t even get a mention on the dust-jacket of the hardcover edition, not even on the inside of the front cover. The two stories – that of Red Westwood and that of Inspector Grace and his supporting cast eventually merge as the violence escalates, but they are definitely two separate stories for much of the book. I wasn’t particularly interested in the fine detail of Ms Westwood’s life and relationships, well-researched and written as it was; though I can’t complain about it being here, as the book wasn’t advertised as an Inspector grace novel, and I had to skim through the pages in the library to discover that it, in fact, was. I can only speculate that the author considered this an important story to tell, or he and his publisher wanted to stretch his wings and find a new audience for his books; but, I repeat, it isn’t advertises as a Roy Grace story.

That being said, as well as the police procedural story, there is much change and progress in the life of Roy Grace and his supporting cast: his friend Glenn Branson is now a single father, and Grace himself celebrates his wedding in this story, which is attended by his first wife Sandy and their ten-year-old son... The story is excellently told, and there are a number of places where hints are dropped and paths are crossed which may or may not have a bearing on the story (or even a future one). Old characters make their returns, and at least regular one makes their exit, for even the Police suffer at the hands of this particular criminal.

The story of Ms Red Westwood is hard to describe without giving too much away, but she is an intelligent, professional young woman, whose ex-boyfriend turned out to be an abusive fantasist who remains fixated on her, and is driven to murder by her eventually taking a new boyfriend. Her evolution as a character from abused and self-blaming victim to abused but fighting-back heroine is well-described – though how many abused women in the real world have the support and internal resources to overcome their ’programming’ in this way is open to question.

The villain of the piece, the ex-boyfriend, is a fairly one-dimensional character, and does seem to have escaped from a Hollywood thriller.

So, to sum up; this is an excellent (and important episode in the) Roy Grace story, but it shares the book with a second story which I did not have any real personal interest in; BUT, as this is not advertised as a Roy Grace story, so you can’t justifiably complain about that aspect of the book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One big tease from beginning to end, 13 Jun. 2014
By 
A. Linton (Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Well on the plus side it was a fast paced read which kept me on the edge of my seat, right until the end. On the negative side when it ended I felt deeply frustrated - like other readers I wanted to know more about the lives of the police characters and their families - especially Grace's lost wife Sandy, but like so often it ended on a cliffhanger forcing me to buy his next book - which will probably be more of the same!

The central story of Red and her demented ex Bryant wasn't enough to keep me interested - much of it was pretty predictable and Bryant was too much of a cartoon supervillain to be believable. I grew increasingly frustrated with the police's stupidity - they seemed to rely far too heavily on high tech gadgetry and too little on common sense. For example I could predict one obvious way a would be killer could trap a woman who works as an estate agent (think of a tragic real life case) - why can't the police on the case realise this and use it as a way to trap Bryant? (And if they had thought to install video cams and a silent alarm in her flat instead of relying on locks the mystery of Bryant's access could have been solved right from the start). As for Red - words fail me - this is a woman who insists on living in her flat (even though her murderous pyromaniac ex seems to have unlimited access to it), working at her job as an estate agent, going off to visit clients alone, who doesn't call the police after she escapes from a killer, who dislikes a 10K engagement ring because it is too 'bling' (maybe Bryant has a point :)) Are we supposed to root for this irresponsible idiot to be rescued when so many better people have lost their lives along the way?

James is trying to do too much, juggle too many storylines and ends up doing justice to none of them - possible threats to Cleo and Roy's wedding/Roy's enemy Cassian being brought in as his boss, Glenn's possible crush on Red, Bryant's attempt to frame a fireman, Sandy's possible reappearance to name but a few - in the end these just fizzle out into nothingness. I'm also getting thoroughly sick of Cleo and Roy's loved up happiness - especially as Cleo comes across as such a bland nonentity - so perfectly nice she doesn't even kick off when her honeymoon is cancelled at the last minute! Time to bring back stroppy Sandy?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep it real, 18 July 2014
Enjoyable enough, but I'm one of the disappointed I'm afraid. The villain has skills which would make Superman envious; the victim returns to work day-after-day having shrugged off several attempts on her life and threats to her family - and chooses to do the opposite of what any normal, terrified person might do in the same circumstances. Sack the therapist woman !
And why would Bryce want to kill Roy particularly ? Thank God for a bit of Van Morrison eh.
The Sandy thing has run it's course and whilst initially an interesting sub-plot, quite honestly, I'll be glad if what's suggested has happened to her does come to pass.
My other gripe is the "utopian" relationship between Roy and Cleo. The constant references to how deeply they love one another and the frankly saintish way in which his new Bride accepts the cancellation of her honeymoon. Or maybe I'm the odd one ? But the most annoying thing is the very un-characteristic way Roy speaks to Cleo; I think someone else has mentioned the "right back at you" response to (yet another) of Cleo's declarations of undying love. Very cringeworthy and un-Roy like.
I appreciate keeping things too real would make for quite a boring story, but the balance has been lost here and had started to shift out of kilter with the last couple of offerings.
By the way, was I supposed to know who the Irish inmate was at the end ?
On the plus side, I liked the short chapters - and I shed a tear whilst sucking on a Malteeser......
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Want You Dead (Roy Grace)
Want You Dead (Roy Grace) by Peter James (Hardcover - 2 Jun. 2014)
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