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4.6 out of 5 stars592
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VINE VOICEon 23 June 2008
This is a crime novel which is hard to put down. There are several strands, as described by other reviewers, which are expertly paced in short chapters and which fuse together as the plot unfolds.

As ever with James' work there is just the right balance of policing detail with the information being integral to the plot rather than being heavy or detracting from it.

Roy Grace is an ordinary character but I feel this reveals clever writing because he is a character you can relate to as he is not a "Supercop" and he has emotions, that are well drawn and easily related to by readers.

I did guess some of the twists (not all!) from the "clues" given. I think most avid crime readers would but this takes nothing away from the novel. The very last sentence is a powerful ending - it will be interesting to see where this leads in the next Roy Grace novel.
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The ending had my eyes popping out of my head! I cannot believe I left years between reading Roy Grace #2 and #3, I then went straight onto #4.

James is a fantastic writer, I loved the way this book kept alternating between various characters, leaving the reader wondering when they would (inevitably) all come together and the mystery would be solved. The book is set around 9/11, a time everybody can remember. I was in school at the time, and was 11 years of age. I can remember the day as if it was yesterday and the images are still vivid in my mind. Ronnie Wilson however was in New York on 9/11, minutes away from being in the South Tower. He then sees an opportunity to fake his death and the story carries on from there.

Side stories this time involve Cassian Pewe (what is with that name?!) having some sort of vendetta against Grace, going as far as to insinuating to Sandy's family that Grace may have played a part in her disappearance. I think we all know this isn't the case! Pewe was a horrible character but good for the story I feel.

Grace ends up going to New York and the fantastic Potting (so politically incorrect, reminds me of someone from the world of Logan McRae [Stuart MacBride]) and colleague travel to Australia. It was nice for the characters to get out of Brighton and I enjoyed the scene with Potting on the plane especially. It is even more funny because there probably is characters like him on the force.

Some people might find the book a bit slow at first, but stick with it as near the end you will be unable to put it down. For Roy Grace fans this book is a treat, for crime fiction fans yet to be introduced to this fantastic character, you are also in for a treat. Cleo didn't feature much in this book, I'm still unsure how I feel about her so she wasn't missed either way by me.

An absolutely fantastic read with one of the best and most frustrating cliffhangers I have ever read! I don't know how the people that read this book on release waited a year for the next one!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 September 2011
The fourth book in James' Roy Grace series is another absolutely cracking read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Brighton based detective series just keeps on getting better and better (though admittedly I thought the last book was a little bit predictable) and they have me hooked- I'm genuinely sad that I'm getting through these as quickly as I am- when I get to the last book and have to wait for his next one to be published I'll feel bereft I think!

These thrillers are fast-paced and smart and more to the point, believable with realistic characters and settings. They have an overarching back story as well, relating to police detective Roy Graces' background and personal life, so I would personally recommend reading them in their intended order, though this isn't essential. This one in particular I liked for its little twists and turns relating to Graces' missing wife, Sandy- and the bombshell of an ending- wow! I read it and then immediately picked up book five and I'm sure everyone else would want to do the same.

This book is a bit different in comparisson to earlier books in the series in that there are some jumps forward and back in time depicted, though they are effortlessly written and tie in perfectly to the storyline, so aren't at all confusing. The novel combines the tragic events of September 11th in New York and a Brighton based wideboy who is caught up in them, then moves to current day Sussex and rather gruesome murder scenes in sewers and whatnot. There are also scenes set in London and Australia. This is a story of conmen (and women), money, deceit and murder and was really gripping. Like I've already said, the ending was also a bit of a bombshell, but was superbly done. Peter James certainly doesn't hold back when writing about crime scenes and corpses, as well as autopsies- so these books aren't really for the faint hearted.

If you enjoy well written British thrillers then I really can't recommend the Roy Grace series highly enough. Please read them.
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on 25 July 2008
It was a long wait for this book to come out after becoming a fan of Peter James and, more specifically, Roy Grace. Each book has it's own brilliant storyline which have all made me not want to put the book down and just read 'one more chapter'.
This latest book doesn't disappoint, and keeps the story of Roy Grace and his own life going on in the background. I'd recommend that you buy all 4 in the Roy Grace series, read them in order and prepare to be sucked in.
And what was the best bit of the entire book? It was the last word. One little word that made my mouth fall open and take a sharp intake of breath. It was a definite -O-H- -M-Y- -G-O-D- moment. What a cliffhanger!!

Roll on the next one!!
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Peter James' detective is Roy Grace, of the Sussex police, and what makes his books popular in the area I live in (the Sussex coast) is that they are all set in Brighton. Peter James has a good relationship with the Sussex Police and has been allowed to accompany them on various sorties, and apparently his books are highly respected by those in the force. The police issue press releases when he writes a new novel and it is reported that Peter James gets emails from officers asking if they can be included in his next book.

The publishers of the Roy Grace novels have even sponsored a police car, which must be fairly unique for a crime novelist.

The novel is pretty good, being very pacy, but quite complex. Most chapters are only three or four pages long so its easy to pick up and put down - definitely light relief. Peter James puts lots of local detail in his books and if you know the area you can trace the story around from one place to another recognising roads and buildings referred to.

Definitely quality crime, pretty thrilling and absorbing. Just the book to take on holiday or to fill a wet weekend.
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I have thoroughly enjoyed all the Roy Grace novels so far and this is no exception. I thought this one was a little bit slower to get going but once it did it was typical Peter James: gripping and a real page turner. As ever, an excellent book and looking forward to the next one. I love the intriguing mystery that runs through them all,that is whatever happened to Grace's wife Sandy, I hope one day we find out. Nice touch too, with the very last sentence. Something to think about.
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on 30 June 2015
What a cracking story. I loved this tale of murder and intrigue from the pen of Peter James.

Here, of course, we are once again with troubled detective Roy Grace, his equally troubled partner Glen Benson, and the ‘you’ll love to hate’ detective Norman Potting….all are looking forward to a fun, relaxing weekend with wives and girl friends, when all of a sudden, long time dead bodies decide to make an appearance and spoil the party.

Unlike the previous Roy Grace novels, this one spans three continents, taking in New York and quite graphic descriptions of the 9/11 terror attacks on the Twin Towers; then on to Melbourne Australia, and of course Brighton UK.

The plot therefore is slightly more complicated, a least for the first half of the book, but comes together neatly in the second half.

A gripping and thrilling tale as our detectives work hard to uncover who the bodies are and what is the connection to a girl on the run in Brighton….a real page turner and, oh my, what a cracking line right at the end of the book.
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on 29 June 2008
I've read each of the Roy Grace novels in sequence. I wasn't disappointed - good plot, usual realistic characters and it keeps you hooked until the end. The link to 9/11 was cleverly done.
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I'd been waiting anxiously for this book for nigh on 11 months.
It starts as it means to go on fast paced. Like all Mr James's book's
he develops the characters, and you get to know each of them better
by the book.
I love Potting myself, and l can imagine him as a person, and that's
what it's all about (to me anyway).
We start off in the USA, home town..Brigton moving swiftly onto Australia.
The tier's start to wind their way together, so cleverly
It's very hard with my lack of Education in English not to give the review
l would like to, without giving any of the plot away. That
would be a sin..
We are greeted with a new Superintendent, and Alison Vosper is
still with us,and Mr Grace's hidden lust for her.
To say at points Mr Grace gets angry is an understatement,
but l personally felt a little softening in his character,
which suited the book fine.This is the 4th outing for Mr Grace,
you have no need to read all his prior books.
(To be honest with you, l wish l hadn't...then l could have the
treat of reading them all again.)
Is justice done at the end...as l said if l give an answer l feel
l will be giving the plot away.
Without doubt, hand on my heart, The best book Mr James has
written, and the best book for me this year. Your in for a treat.
The down side.....another year, best get the old books out again,
and also try his children's novel.... Fantastic..
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on 2 August 2008
This fourth Roy Grace novel finds Peter James at the top of his form. What I like about the book is the emphasis on police procedure, the believable cops and realistic dialogue, and the cross cutting cinematic style of writing which maintains the suspense throughout and keeps the reader turning the pages (and incidentally, will make dramatising the novel for the small or big screen very easy). I thought the earlier novels in the series could have done with some editing, but James is in control of his material here, moving easily across the years (2001 & 2007) and places (Australia, USA and Brighton, England) leading up to a barnstorming finish. The most impressive sections of the novel are those dealing with the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and its aftermath. James has caught the reality and horror of the situation better than any television news report could.
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