Dead Simple (Roy Grace) Paperback – Unabridged, 20 Jan 2006
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From one of the great masters of British crime writing comes the stunning first novel in a new mystery series introducing Detective Superintendent Roy Grace
It was meant to be a harmless stag night prank. A few hours later, four of his best friends are dead and Michael Harrison has disappeared. With only three days to the wedding, Detective Superintendent Grace - a man haunted by the shadow of his own missing wife - is contacted by Michael's beautiful, distraught fiancee, Ashley Harper. Grace discovers that the one man who ought to know Michael Harrison's whereabouts is saying nothing. But then he has a lot to gain - more than anyone realizes. For one man's disaster is another man's fortune..."James has got the gift for turning mind-stretching subjects into novels that are irresistibly readable as well as utterly believable" - Robert Goddard. "A brilliant idea, superbly crafted. A terrific page-turner" - James Herbert. "A page-turner of a book with some terrifying twists...a very satisfying read" - George Baker, Inspector Wexford.See all Product description
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The plot was a very intriguing one as I was constantly asking myself would Michael escape from the coffin alive? Furthermore, there were twists and turns of every kind. Just when I thought I had understood exactly what was occurring and what would happen, Peter James would surprise me by proving me totally wrong which I loved. I additionally liked the fact that there was another case mentioned here and there that Grace had to testify for in court. To top off the tense storyline, the penultimate chapter included an absolute corker of a car chase, just the kind of scene that you would expect in a James Bond film.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Roy Grace book and I will most definitely be continuing with this series. I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy tense crime thrillers.
When I began to read Dead Simple I thought the story was familiar and I suspected that I would be disappointed but then came the first twist, then another and another. I liked the detailed descriptions of the police buildings, procedures and even the banter, but then I like Steven Donaldson! As I live in Worthing, only 12 miles from Brighton where the action is set (mainly), I also enjoyed visualising the locations as the story developed. The ending was convenient, so slightly disappointing, and I was left wondering whether the money was recovered or whether that would be in the next book - I intend to find out.
A stag night prank goes wrong. Michael is a known practical joker and his friends decide to turn the tables on Michael and play a practical joke on him. His friends decide to bury him in a coffin underground for a matter of hours. Then something happens which changes things and Michael’s fate appears to be sealed. Roy Grace has to investigate the case and try to locate the groom. Michael’s best man is keeping schtum but it is clear that he has something to hide. Roy has his own demons to contend with as his wife Sandy has walked out on him and disappeared apparently without a trace.
Normally I find that that the first book in a series can be slow initially as they are making introductions etcetera but this book hit the ground at speed and kept up the pace throughout. I liken it to the snowball effect in that the story starts off slow but as it goes down the slope it gathers pace and increases in size.
Peter James is one heck of a writer. Certain chapters are written from the point of view of Michael, the groom and Peter James is able to accurately convey the sense of claustrophobia from being in the coffin. At times I felt that I was buried in the coffin with Michael.
I loved how all the characters were well conceived & portrayed. There were a mixture of different personalities and I took to some more than others. I loved Roy Grace & his team, although I did have to cringe at Norman, who seems to be a relic from the era of DCI Gene Hunt and he does seem to be stuck in a time warp.
I likened reading this story as being the equivalent of being on a rollercoaster ride in that there are plenty of twists, turns and stomach churning moments. At times I literally had to hold my breath as I feared what was coming next.
Peter James is a popular writer and on the strength of this book, it is easy to see why. I really did enjoy reading this book and would definitely recommend it to others. I look forward to reading further books in this series.
I stuck with it to the end. This was only possible by flicking past pages and it also seemed like chapters, of absolute 100% woffle. When people order their food in a restaurant, I don't need to know the name of the person who grew it bred it etc, and every other detail that went before it's journey to the plate. If you erased the totally irrelevant passages, the book would have half as many pages, as the printed version. Which I for one, would have much preferred, and actually enjoyed.
The story opens with a stag night which does not go to plan, a missing groom, a car crash, an absent best man and a frantic bride. As the horrible realities of the situation become clear, with no witnesses and no clues, the police struggle to find the missing groom before the wedding on Saturday. But a few things do not ring true and that, coupled with Detective Superintendent Roy Grace’s controversial use of a medium, bring fresh, if confusing, clues.
Peter James has created an authentic police community which feels real from page one, this is not the first in a series where the first novel is about setting the scene and the context. James hits the ground running with a believable detective. Roy Grace is a maverick, and I like him. James spends a day a week with the Sussex Police Force and this experience is evident on every page without shouting ‘research’.
I’ve found a new favourite crime writer.
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