Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The most boring detective in the UK?, 13 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Not Dead Yet (Ds Roy Grace 8) (Paperback)
I've been an avid reader of the Roy Grace series, but I'm afraid this latest instalment was perhaps the weakest yet. It felt shoddy, as if Peter James couldn't be bothered putting his usual effort into it. There are a couple of plot holes so large you could fall into them, one of which has a major bearing on the outcome of the investigation.

But a nagging feeling which has been building up for a while came to a head in this book - namely the conviction that Roy Grace is the least interesting and least likeable lead character in any current British crime fiction series. It's not just that he doesn't have any interesting or quirky character traits, but I'm getting a bit fed up of hearing what an all-round excellent person he is - generally respected by his superiors, liked by all his colleagues. Despite the wearisome 'back-story' about his "missing" wife, it also starts to get rather grating after a while to hear about his "wonderful" "beautiful" girlfriend Cleo, the lovely house they live in, their great sex, their smugly comfortable lifestyle.

Compare Grace to Rebus, or Mo Hayder's Jack Cafferty, or Dalziel, Jack Frost, or even the smooth and urbane Adam Dalgleish, and he appears a 2-dimensional wooden character who could equally be a photocopier salesman living in Swindon. We keep being told that he runs the police rugby team, but even that avenue is never explored - there's not one scene in any book set at the rugby club, training session or game.

It may well be that this is a deliberate strategy on the part of James - that by making Roy Grace a bit of a 'blank slate', quite nice, a bit boring, ordinary, pleasant life, that he intends readers to identify with his character. Ironically he HAS created a genuinely interesting, likeable, "real" character in Glenn Branson, while Norman Potter may not be a very sympathetic character, but he does feel 100 times more like a real person than Grace.

I'll certainly give the next Roy Grace book a go, but I think it's high time that Peter James made Grace a character you WANT to read about, not just a peg to hang another cunning plot on.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jan 2014 02:35:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2014 02:40:34 GMT
bigt says:
I agree,it seems this format is getting a bit tired.Cleo is horrible,and frankly peter should return to what he is best at.Very snobby at times too.Honestly,tom thorne is better.albeit it peter is the better author.More spooky thrillers please peter.
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