In the tenth outing for Roy Grace we meet Karl Murphy, ‘a decent and kind man, a family doctor with two small children whom he was bringing up on his own.’ Karl was not someone who expected that anyone could possible hate him enough to want him dead. After all when we meet him he is preparing for a date with Red Westwood, an estate agent he’d met through a mutual friend.
It isn’t very long until the bodies start piling up for Roy Grace, slightly inconveniently, as he is preparing for his wedding to Cleo complete with a short honeymoon without baby Noah. For me half of the pleasure in this series is meeting the characters who seem like old friends. Roy Grace is a solid Police Officer, heading up a team of distinct but likable characters in the now familiar Brighton and Hove. All my favourites are there, not unchanged, because that would be implausible, but still instantly recognisable such as the socially inept Norman Potting, Grace’s second in command, Glenn Branson, and the dedicated and tenacious Bella Moy. However this book’s focus isn’t merely about solving a crime, it about the crime, the perpetrator and the victim. The reader is one step ahead of Grace and his team via the narration by a man on a mission, a man with an obsession and a man who has a plan! We also have insight into the woman being hunted, the effects on her life and her family. And then we have Grace and his team trying to work out why, how and when the next devastating attack is going to be.
I always clear my schedule for the release of the latest in this series, which is a rare honour, because is that they are all immensely readable, ingenious plots, current and believable, in this case a little too believable for comfort. With reliable characterisation to back up this list of accolades it is one book of the year that I KNOW I am going to enjoy, this one was no different. Now, I’m looking forward to discovering what the wispy ends that have been left hanging, will tie up to next time.
This series stands head and shoulders among most of Peter James competitors something clearly illustrated in this novel. It is a confident and accomplished writer that can produce a book that with plenty of surprises along the way that made me gasp, wince and stifle a sob, despite knowing more than Grace and his team and is one not to be missed for fans of this series. You haven’t read one? Why ever not? Start at the beginning with Dead Simple.
I would like to thank the publishers Pan Macmillan for providing me with a review copy ahead of the publication date of 2 June 2014 in return for this honest review.
Roy Grace Series by Peter James books in order:
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man’s Footsteps
Dead Like You
Dead Man’s Grip
Not Dead Yet
Dead Man’s Time
Want You Dead
Other books I’d recommend that feature stalkers