Top critical review
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Far too predictable, uninspiring and compared to the marvelous dead simple this is a huge let down!
on 20 June 2009
Dead simple, the first Roy Grace novel was by far the best book i have ever read. So you can imagine my expectations were extremly high when it came to this sequel, Looking Good Dead, but what a big dissapointment it is. The storyline is as bland as the title. It is also boring, tedious and fustrating. There are absolutly no twists, too many characters and loose plot strands. No action or any moments of tension. As before we see the perspective of the villians and victims as well as Roy Grace. This time round however the victims are annoying and you couldn't care less if they actually end up dead. I found myself scanning the last few chapters just to put myself out of my misery. Seriously this book is that annoying!
The format is kind of a mirror image of the first one so this one offers nothing new. All the strenghts and good quality's of Dead Simple just vanish amongst these pages and are replaced with cliqued, stupid and childish characters. No suspects are set up so there is no whodunnit aspect, allowing for no twists or shocks. The villians are not revilled until the final few pages and they turn out to be a bunch of Russians and Americans with no jutification or motive for there actions. No explanation is offered and there's barley a description of any of them. Dead Simple was full twists which is what made it so marvelous. James has become unessersarily violent with no cause or reason to it, other than to repulse the reader perpously. His description sometimes is out right digusting and sick and even the sex scene between Cleo and Grace, which should have been handled stylishly and with feeling, just became a perverted account of detailed porn and it became laughable.
The ending is over the top, comic book style rubbish. So predictable, lacking any tension what so ever. Even Grace is less likable at times. At one point James describes how Grace once paid a young teenager to engage in oral sex with him. Is that the kind of hero we want to read about? i don't think so. The Potting Character is utterly pointless and extremly annoying and also a way of filling a page with needless conversations about Pottings views and racist remarks. It's just filling in time. It also repeats many of the ideas from book 1, like going to visit the medium for answers, constantly refrensing his missing wife to try and draw out sympathy, which doesn't work. Cleo is just a 2-D good looking figure for Grace to get with, who has no likability, just like all the other supporting characters and there's far too many to recall.
Dead simple was to the point, faced paced thrilling page turning entertainment, this is just slurge. It's like James couldn't be bothered to put together a decent sequel and russled up this boring story within an hour. It's like no effort has been put in to match up to the brilliant prequel. I never thought i'd be giving this only two stars. I would have given one but it's not that bad. I was convinced Peter James was to be become my favourite author, but not after this disaster of a crime novel. I can only hope the next one returns to form. I am deeply dissapointed by this and my views on James have changed. I shall only read the next one to see if this was just a one off rushed sequel. I do hope it is, otherwise i will not be returning to his books. perhaps Dead simple was just a one off??