Customer Review

174 of 182 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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Sep 2008 17:48:40 BDT
This too was my first Peter James book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A definite page turner and a few 'Oh my God' moments as well. I'm now reading "Looking Good Dead" and already it has gripped me. I recommend anyone to read this author's books and not fail to find them utterly absorbing.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2012 11:40:04 BDT
PJ Sturdee says:
Saw this in Tesco the other day while the kids were looking at magazines, I'm going to get it on the strength of that review (despite seeing the author once on The Book Show and not liking him at all!).

Thanks

Posted on 30 Sep 2013 12:19:21 BDT
Pev says:
I enjoyed this review because it reminded me of the very clever plot without giving anything away.
The intricacies of the plot keep the reader guessing. This is the book that first hooked me onto the Roy Grace series. I have loved them all apart from one which dealt with east European gangsters and girls being brought over for the prostitution and drugs type of plot. Good but not as thrilling as others.
I am looking forward to the latest in the series which comes out on October 24th as paperback.
Hoping against hope that Cleo won, and not Sandy.
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