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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dead Simple" is fast and thrilling a real rollercoaster of a book
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...
Published on 14 May 2012 by John Hugh Glen

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184 of 194 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner, americanised style
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.
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Published on 13 Mar 2006 by Amazon Customer


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184 of 194 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner, americanised style, 13 Mar 2006
This review is from: Dead Simple (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.
In conclusion then, a page turner it most certainly is. I knocked this off in two days because I couldn't put the blooming thing down. If like me you have a busy life from which you need to be occasionally transported, released into a private world of high drama that goes at a rattling good pace, has plenty of twists and genuine 'oh my god!' moments, then this is the book for you.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dead Simple" is fast and thrilling a real rollercoaster of a book, 14 May 2012
This review is from: Dead Simple (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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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Simple, 18 Jan 2007
By 
F. Clancy (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Simple (Paperback)
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Simple minds, 23 May 2007
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OEJ - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Simple (Paperback)
My first go at a Peter James novel and it has left a rather forgettable impression. On the positive side, he has a good imagination for creating a story but his execution was bordering on the amateurish. Among the weaknesses was a frustrating shallowness of characterisation, nobody really stood out as being particularly good, bad or memorable, and everyone seemed to speak with a similar accent - even an Australian sounded the same as the rest.

Somehow I couldn't help feeling that this could have been a whole lot better if the characters had been made to seem truly interesting, or more likeable/dislikeable. The meat and bones of the story was clever enough to make for a memorably dark thriller, but the opportunity was wasted by not enabling the reader to really get inside the hearts and minds of the key characters. There were countless irritating details too - I'm definitely no prude but I found the (thankfully rare) descriptions of sexual activity gratuitous, abhorrent and puerile. It was irritating to see a woman described in the narrative as `seriously attractive' when just `attractive' would have done fine. And as an Autocar subscriber (a car magazine referred to in this book) I was right to query the mentioning of a Land Rover Defender diesel doing 124mph in a car chase; in a road test Autocar clocked it at 99mph max. Do you call that research, Peter? That took me less than two minutes to check up on! And I grew tired of the relentless name-dropping of various consumer products - when someone's mobile phone rang, it had to be an Ericcson phone, on a Vodafone contract. A handbag had to be a Prada, if anyone drove a car it had to be an X5, a TT or a CLK (when just the make would have sufficed) and when a radio scanner fell into the mix we had to be given its full, drawn-out specification so that, presumably, we could better understand how it worked. This is a writer who fails to understand the value of `less is more', that by thinning down details such as these it obliges the mind of the reader to work harder, which usually pays dividends in the form of an enhanced picture of what's going on.

Maybe I'm alone in wishing that central character Roy Grace had been given a different name by his creator? I just could not identify with a male character called Grace, while one of the peripheral police officers was called Allison - and he too was a male. Surely it must have crossed the writer's mind when he was thinking of names that `Grace' might not be the most suitable? Personally I could not get a fleeting image of Sue Johnston out of my mind whenever Grace's name was mentioned (the excellent Sue Johnston played Grace in the BBC drama series Waking the Dead).

Finally there was the predictability of the story's direction. Pretty much everyone who deserved to die did so, likewise the good guys survived. And in the pulsating climax, when the baddies are being chased by a police helicopter, I could only think of one way to escape and hey-presto, I turned the page and that's exactly how they did it. There were simply no surprises, no thrills, no emotions, nothing. It wasn't so bad that I considered not completing it, but it was a pretty lame effort that for the most part a teenager could have composed. I am truly astonished that it has received such accolades here by other readers and reviewers, all I can hope is that they are comparing it with equally plain vanilla non-thrillers and that they will see what I mean if and when they discover better writing standards - prior to reading Dead Simple I read TOKYO by Mo Hayder and more recently THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly, both of which were in a different league and for me immeasurably more entertaining.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 24 Jan 2011
This review is from: Dead Simple (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak!, 23 Oct 2014
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You skim through half the non-important descriptive drivvle in this book and be left with a weak attempt at a modern crime thriller written by a school student trying to impress their teacher but failing!
The one interesting plot it had going for it halfway through was replaced with a frantic, haphazard attempt at 'holding on to the audience', reminded me of a poor channel 5 police drama!
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Superb!, 16 July 2007
By 
Angel (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Simple (Paperback)
Excellent book - gripping from the first chapter - a definite must-read. I could not put the book down and after reading it in a day and a bit, I then went on to order and read the rest of the books he has written - all equally intriguing and gripping in their own way - Looking Good Dead is another superb book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible end, 19 April 2012
This review is from: Dead Simple (Paperback)
I read this book (the first of the series) after reading the others. I now have no idea how he was allowed to write more. Totally unbeleiveable plot and as for the ending. Pathetic. But similar lazy endings are also used in his other books. 95% of these books are great then are spoilt by the ending. Anyway this first book is best left on the charity shop shelf. Sorry.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant !!!, 20 Mar 2006
By 
S P BOYD (COVENTRY, WEST MIDLANDS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead Simple (Paperback)
I was amazed to read other negative comments about this book. I have never read a book by this writer before so I too took a chance on how well I might get into it or not.
To sum up the book reached halfway and I was convinced I knew the plot as well as the end ...WRONG !! .. in fact at the halfway point is the part where other books would have inevitably finished, this one however then takes a twist that I was not prepared for, and then it takes several more. Each time I have been amazed and pleasantly so that the book still had almost as much again to read.
I loved the charecters, Grace in particular, and while you learned about their private lives you did not become bored or bogged down or distracted by their own lives as you do in some books.
It was interesting to the point I didnt want to put it down, adictive in fact, and the fact that the chapters were not many pages long it meant I could read a quick chapter in between jobs, or a quick one before I fell asleep on a really tired night.
If this is the start of a new series by this man then I for one shall be avidly waiting for each one to come out. In the meantime I am off to the buying pages to get another of his books while I wait.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter James 'Dead Simple', 26 Mar 2012
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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Dead Simple
Dead Simple by Peter James (Paperback - 20 Jan 2006)
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