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Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A perfect disappointment - is this really written by the great Peter James?, 10 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Perfect People (Hardcover)
I've always enjoyed Peter James series of police procedural novels set in Brighton. Peter has a close relationship with the Sussex Police, even to the extent of sponsoring a police car. His latest book, Perfect People, departs from his usual genre to focus on the topic of genetic engineering and designer babies. The book has apparently been ten years in the making, suggesting that Peter James has a deep interest in this topic. I regret to say that I found no evidence that the author's ten years of investment in this project has paid off. Perfect People turns out to be not at all the intelligent exploration of genetic engineering that I would have expected from such a good writer, but a sort of low-grade science-fiction which shows Peter James' inability to move from one fictional genre to another.

The story opens with John and Naomi, a couple who lost their first child to a congenital disease cause by an unfortunate combination of genes from both of them, planning to visit Dr Leo Dettore in his off shore clinic to seek help in conceiving their next child without this unfortunate genetic make-up. Dettore's clinic is located on a huge yacht in the Atlantic Ocean - his work is so cutting-edge that it lies outside the boundaries of what is permissible in any Western country.

Having mortgaged themselves up to the hilt and borrowed money from friends and family to pay for the treatment, John and Naomi arrive on the luxurious yacht to find that the yacht is governed by a code of such secrecy that they are not allowed to meet any other patients and apart from seeing the lowly crew who service their rooms, they live in isolation until the time comes for their appointment with Detorre. Unfortunately, their attempt to protect their next child from inherited disease rapdily becomes a full-scale designer-baby programme with every possible problem arising as a result.

Its difficult to say more without spoiling the book for other people - just let me say that the book introduces a bizarre religious cult, children who make the The Midwich Cuckoos seem relatively normal, an unbelievable secret utopian kingdom and every other possible departure from reality its possible to make in aa novel on this topic.

It seems incredible that such a good writer of crime novels should turn his hand to this sort of pulp-fiction. It makes no new points about genetic engineering or designer babies, but merely uses these as concepts for a flight of fancy which suggests to me that Peter James should stick to creating more murder scenarios in Brighton. This book is so unbelievable that I found it very difficult to believe that it was written by the creator of my favourite fictional detective: Inspector Roy Grace of Sussex Police!
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jun 2013 19:55:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Jun 2013 19:56:28 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
I loved Peter James's first book, found the next two okay, but I found myself so disenchanted with further books in the Roy Grace series that I've stopped reading him.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2014 16:17:08 GMT
Kindlelover says:
So?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2014 10:39:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Mar 2014 10:41:02 GMT
Eileen Shaw says:
What? I suppose. Just giving my opinion. Who cares what I think anyway? Except this is a forum for opinions. Duh!

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2014 15:25:59 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Mar 2014 15:27:14 GMT
Kindlelover says:
I simply didn't see what your comment had to do with the review written by " a common reader..." who discussed his opinions at some length thus giving other people the opportunity to discuss the book Perfect People intelligently.

Your words were not so much an opinion but a statement!! Give an opinion by all means via the "opinions forum" forum. But a general statement about the Peter James Roy Grace books just hangs in mid air and does nothing towards the discussions about the book Perfect People that others were talking about. That is all I was trying to say.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2014 20:15:04 GMT
Eileen Shaw says:
My criticism seems to me to fit in perfectly with general nature of a 'comment'. It is just a comment, however, and fair enough, if you think it warrants criticism. My comment simply agreed with the critical nature of the review, regarding Peter James's work. I didn't think I had to make that explicit. I'm sorry if my level of intelligence comes below your expectations. But, you know, it takes all sorts.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2014 22:04:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Mar 2014 22:06:22 GMT
Kindlelover says:
As I pointed out, I felt reviewers were giving their opinions of the book "perfect people" which hopefully will be helpful to others who are considering reading this book. The reviewer called "a common reader" did this well. I could not see that your statement was furthering the conversations that people were already having. I wasn't criticising, I was just trying to understand what your decision to stop reading P.J. had to do with reviews of Perfect People.

I don't know about your level of intellegence, I never thought I was qualified to make that judgement. Just thought "a common reader" wrote a review worthy of discussion regarding the actual subject
"Perfect People" so that others who were considering THAT book
would have something helpful to consider on that subject. The fact that you were disappointed with the Roy Grace series and because of that decided to stop reading P.J. implies that you haven't even read the book being discussed. Therefore I couldn't see how your statement would be helpful to those considering reading " Perfect People".

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2014 13:01:49 GMT
Eileen Shaw says:
Then you'll just have to accept that my comment, in your view, was inappropriate or unhelpful or irrelevant won't you? It's okay, I'm not going to slit my wrists or anything. Just ignore me, why don't you?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2014 16:59:33 GMT
Kindlelover says:
That is the point I was trying to make all along! Good luck to you.
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Thomas Cunliffe
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Sussex, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 134