I am a big Peter James fan with each one of his Roy Grace series being on my list of must purchase on publication date books. I’m not however a big fan of short stories although I admire those that are well-written but I don’t feel I get the same sense of satisfaction as reading a full-length novel.
Within this book there are thirty stories which is quite a collection including two Roy Grace stories, including one from his early days as a Detective Constable and a more recent Christmas outing when he helps out policing big entrance on Brighton Pier by parachuting in to deliver presents to children from a local hospice. There is also a short story which was the basis of the very first Roy Grace book Dead Simple.
There is also a collection which showcases the supernatural themes that grace other Peter James novels including a couple of true stories told to him by a local clergyman. I didn’t know that the Anglican Church officially employed a Minister of Deliverance who visits haunted houses, these stories even had this sceptic nearly convinced. Other themes include plenty of comeuppance for those entering into extra marital affairs, a fairly bleak look at the loss of shine in long-term marriages and a few that I’m convinced were moral boosters when the author turned forty (highlighted by the similar sentiments in two adjacent stories.) There are very short stories, less than a page and longer more in depth ones, and only one which I didn’t take to at all.
This is a great book to dip in and out of as a quick read and some of the twists quite unexpected, the last story in particular was quite gruesome but in most any harm done is off-stage so not too upsetting for gentler souls to read before going to sleep.
Many of these stories appeared in Short Shockers One and Short Shockers Two although I’m reliably informed that there are some new stories included. I’d like to thank the publishers Pan Macmillan ahead of publication date of 6 November 2014.