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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2008
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers. It is easy to read with chapters nicely broken up in to decent sizes. The dialogue is pacy and realistic - as is the intricate plot. It appears well researched and is a super,exciting read and easy to visulize. The ending will leave all fans of the Roy Grace series desperate for more.
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on 21 June 2008
"Dead Simple", "Looking Good Dead", "Not Dead Enough" and now "Dead Man's Footsteps" this series from Peter James goes from strength to strength. This latest is well plotted and will keep the reader guessing to the end. It also begins with 9/11 and the graphic descriptions James gives of that terrible day will make the reader think the author was actually there.

Each of the books in the Roy Grace series is totally different and stands on its own as a seperate story. However, there is the sub-plot of Grace's life running through each tale so to appreciate the books to their full potential I would advise new readers to start with "Dead Simple". There is a mystery in Detective Inspector Roy Grace's life which is proving to be as fascinating as the murders he investigates. To miss out on this sub-plot would be to deny yourself the full enjoyment of the series.

I've followed Peter James' writing for a long time and I always thought him a good author, especially his paranormal novels. With the Roy Grace series he has hit upon a genre with which he is obviously comfortable and enthusiastic about. I look forward to many more gruesome murders and the gradual unravelling of Roy Grace's enigmatic private life.
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on 29 June 2008
This is another fantastic novel from renowned author, Peter James. I've followed Peter's career since Possession, which means I've been reading his books for approximately <gulp!> 20 years. And he just gets better and better...

While I loved the supernatural and medical/scientific thrillers he's really found his niche in the crime fiction market. Unlike some writers I've read, Peter knows his books' locales - especially Brighton and Hove - inside out. He writes with conviction and knowledge about every twisting lane, every seedy or upper-class street, the beachfront, the people who live there. It lends his work that all-important sense of the reality. Until recently (when I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the publishers' launch on Brighton pavilion) I'd never visited Brighton. But it didn't matter because one of the many things Mr James excels at is evoking his surroundings, seedy or otherwise.

Not that he restricts himself to Brighton, you understand. DMF contains several well managed multiple storylines, one of which takes place on 9/11 (and the days directly thereafter). Timeline jumps are notoriously difficult to pull off, but James does so with consummate ease, such that I didn't mind the jumping from a tense moment involving a imminent torture to the aftermath of 9/11 and the protagonist of that plotline; or to Australia, where a different strand of the investigation is vigorously pursued. I loved the trip to Munich to search for his missing partner in Not Dead Enough, but James has taken it several steps further this time by including multiple locations and timelines ... and successfully retaining our interest.

The short, punchy chapters certainly help move things along. The believable dialogue and amusing exchanges between the main characters, especially Grace and Branson/Vosper/Pewe etc. all add to the book's effectiveness. I'd also echo other readers' comments about the ever interesting Potting. I really hope he's in all future Grace novels - we all know someone like him!

This is such a clever, ambitious book. I know that many readers read crime books and thrillers for the plot, but for me that's never been the most important element. I have to be convinced by the characters and their motivations; actually, I have to like them; think of them as real people, not ciphers. Not only does James deliver on this front, but he continues to develop his characters as the series continues. Also, with Peter's books I always get that feeling that I'm `in the story'; that the pages have effectively disappeared. James provides this and much more besides. The insanely ingenious plotlines and numerous twists and turns are the icing on the cake of any already enviable literary feast.

So why should you buy this book? Because it's clever and smart, with convincing dialogue and brilliant character observations? Because of the multiple plots and hard-to-guess twists? The fast pace and detailed observations? The technical, well researched details and sense of realism? Well, all these things, of course, and many more besides. Mostly I read his books because I love his writing: full stop.

And now we have to wait another year and I'm already missing Grace and co. And that last line! Talk about cliff-hangers...
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on 1 July 2008
no surprise that this book has only 5 star reviews so far its a typical roy grace book humour and suspense all the way. its just what you expect from james and thats not a bad thing. well worth a read for anyone. when i read the last word of the book i said out loud no way !!! can't wait for the next one though!
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I discovered Peter James with the first of his Detective Grace serie, 'Dead Simple'and thought it was an absolute success. It got me hooked from the start and after that one I read all the others and was not once disappointed. His setting is always a familiar Brighton and around, where the most striking and hair rising stories happen...In this latest, the center stage is mostly Brighton again but also a ravaged 9/11 New York and some remote australian town. True to his style, the suspense is relentless, all the characters utterly genuine and credible, and his detective Grace is an endearing man we can totally sympathise with.
Now, if the closing line of the book is not pure genius to make you salivate for the next, I don't know what is !
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on 14 January 2009
Dead Man's Footsteps

It's not often that a series keeps getting better; there's usually a sagging point somewhere, often in the middle of a run, sometimes at the end. Author's seem to lose their pace, they're not interested in their character's anymore; they've written about every aspect of their lives, their families lives and there's nothing left to say. But this is just not the case with Peter James' Roy Grace series.

Fastidiously researching his material, James makes it impossible to get bored creating compelling characters and plots so stylish and intricate, you almost need a pen and paper to keep track. In a flooded market, he towers over his competitors; providing superior thrills and fiendish plots.

Greed, seduction, betrayal; Dead Man's Footsteps has it all. There are only a few books you read in your life where you go to bed reading them, then wake up and have to read more. Full of twists, turns and complex puzzles, I couldn't put it down. Bring on the next one!
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on 12 July 2008
Enough has already been written about the plot. I just thought I'd say that I enjoyed this latest volume in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series but not quite as much as the previous book in the series, 'Not Dead Enough'. The 'criminal' characters didn't totally engage me and I found myself being frustrated at having to jump so frequently between different characters and short sections. To me, books aren't TV/movies and I wish the storyline would stay more focussed on individual characters, especially Roy Grace (this jumping from character to character seems to be a growing style with thriller writers). In fact it was only the sections with Roy Grace or the great characters in his investigative crime team that kept me reading (especially enjoyed the rivalry with Pewe and the few moments the story gave to Cleo). However, I'd definitely recommend this well-plotted, well-written, sharply characterised crime series and its accuracy with regards to police procedure in the UK is an added bonus. With any series you'll get more out of it if you begin with earlier volumes, but it's not essential.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 January 2009
I cannot understand the reviews that do not like this book. Having read the two most recent Roy Grace novels I was looking forward to this one just as much as I now am to the next. The story still follows in Roy Graces footsteps and his sidekick Glenn Branson as they try to track down and solve yet another of Brightons crimes. I am in love with the characters almost as much as the story itself and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next in the series.
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on 19 April 2009
Peter James's is building a classic crime series with his fourth Roy Grace novel. His knowledge and research of policing and solid characterisation have been matched here by a cleverly worked plot and the skilful melding of events in two time periods six years apart.

Ronnie Wilson, a schemer and dealer who gets by but has never quite made it, is in New York for a make-or-break meeting in the World Trade Centre on the morning of September 11, 2001 when the world around him literally collapses. His shock and disorientation quickly turns to anger however, how could this possibly be happening to him today, the day that is going to see him finally hit the jackpot, it simply cannot be, and then a moment of inspiration turns tragedy into the making of Ronnie Wilson.

Six years later, Abby Dawson is in the final stages of a plan that will set her up for the rest of her life when, as she leaves her Brighton apartment building, she gets stuck in the lift. What starts out as a minor inconvenience becomes, in the next few hours, a living nightmare that will threaten both her life and that of her sick mother.

Across town in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called out to the discovery of a body wedged in a storm drain. As he begins the investigation of a two-year-old corpse, Roy Grace has no idea he is embarking on a case that will span three continents and involve the biggest terrorist atrocity of all time.

James handles all the complex elements with great skill and imagination and the novel rips along at a pace that devours its five hundred plus pages. The only blemish for me is the introduction of Detective Superintendent Cassian Pewe from the Met as an erstwhile challenge to Grace's infallibility, a challenge that, in the end, peters out with a whimper and you wonder why James bothered.

That aside, this is a great addition to the series and I look forward to Dead Tomorrow, due out in July 2009.
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on 15 August 2013
I mostly enjoyed this book - although, like many other readers,I am finding the Sandy angle a bit boring now - but was very disappointed by the last couple of chapters. The ending was VERY predictable (most of it anyway) but, most of all, it seemed to me that the last few chapters were written in haste and as if Peter James was trying to meet a publishing deadline in a hurry....such a shame, as James had created a massive build-up to it....and then it just kind of ended in a massive hurry, leaving me feeling a bit disappointed and cheated. I have now read six of the 9 Roy Grace novels (1, 2, 3, 4, 7 & 8) and am taking the remaining three on holiday with me. However, I am beginning to find them a bit repetitive and same-ish....especially the Sandy storyline. Most of James' other Grace novels I would give 4-5 stars....but this one I am giving 3 (would give 3.5 if I could) as I disliked the way the ending was written. I also found certain elements of the book really irritated me (Chad Skeggs seemed such a ridiculous name - reminded me of Boz Skaggs of Lido Shuffle fame - and I really found Cassian Pewe a bit of a cartoon character). I suspect those who have not read any other Peter James novels might like this book more than I did - I think I am becoming a little tired of the formula.
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