Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Love You Dead – Peter James

Crime Fiction 5*s
Crime Fiction
5*s

Well Peter James would have to do something pretty dire to get less than five stars from me; I love this series featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace which is now up to book number twelve, and I have been a faithful follower ever since 2005 when Dead Simple was published! So did he thrill me? Yes he did! Although that’s not too say that I didn’t have some moments of concern as it took quite a while for my favourite policeman to take centre stage!

The first section of the book follows the exploits of Jodie Bentley, this isn’t a spoiler she tells us herself, more or less straightaway, that she is following the scent of money and the way she has chosen, involves extracting it from wealthy men. I’m not sure whether I was supposed to admire her or pity her, but pretty early on I took against her despite her back story. I honestly couldn’t really get into her psyche so had to take her at face value, and that face may have been pretty but it disguised a far from pretty nature. Peter James has created a character we can love to hate, one which injects a fair amount of fun as I tried to predict what schemes she would come up with next to get the money she wants! I think this is the first contemporary crime fiction I’ve read that features a ‘black widow’ and I have to say it was a refreshing change to have a female villain.

Anyway our Jodie predictably gets herself tangled up in some heavy nastiness which involves a character from the previous book, one who our Roy Grace would very much to have a bit of a chat with, wink, wink!! Peter James has a fantastic knack of layering these novels with different strands but never neglecting the central one, a device that makes for a very satisfying read, particularly when they diverge into one story, as in this case. This is a solid read that has a bit of everything for everyone; a realistic look at the modern police force (good and bad), sentimental parts, thrilling scenes and reflective sections, all centred around a great plot which is paced to perfection. Even when the book was over and I wonder what comes next I was able to wind down with the glossary which gives details of ranks, badges, slang and suchlike for the real nerdy readers, like me. Where this one differs from the more traditional police procedural is that the reader knows what’s going on and we take on the role of the observer as Roy Grace and his team try to figure it all out.

Roy Grace is happy, so happy he’s worried that everything is going to go wrong for him so it isn’t a great surprise that something does, or several things, not least his Chief Inspector and that shadow from the past, his missing wife Sandy! The knowledge needed for Roy Grace to keep ahead of the criminals in this book is exceptionally specialist and had me cringing in a different way to normal.

Although as in the rest of the series home is Brighton, in this book there is a bit of travel thrown in with skiing in Europe, hotels in the US and even a cruise there is plenty of variety. We also get a guided tour of how Brighton used to look before it became the ‘cool’ place to be it is now! See Peter James really does deliver something for everyone so it really doesn’t surprise me that these books have sold over seventeen million copies worldwide. After all they have a great mix of characters, one of my favourites gets a central role in this book, and the ever dependable and fundamentally decent Roy Grace leads the way as a great balance to the nastier villains. They also all share the assured writing which is strongly underpinned by complex plotting which reaches a satisfying conclusion. For readers who even when reading a series want to feel they understand everything, this book will not disappoint you.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Midas PR who managed to get this book to me in time for me to read and review it for publication day of today, 19 May 2016, this review is my unbiased thanks to them. Love You Dead is published by Macmillan and the back of the book jacket has a handy reminder of all Peter James’s books in case you are missing any from your collection!

Back of Love you dead

Roy Grace Series in order
Dead Simple
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man’s Footsteps
Dead Tomorrow
Dead Like You
Dead Man’s Grip
Not Dead Yet
Dead Man’s Time
Want You Dead
You Are Dead
Love You Dead

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

20 thoughts on “Love You Dead – Peter James

  1. Your enthusiasm for Peter James’ novel shines through in this review and I’m definitely going to add this series to my wish list now. I’m almost at the end of the Sue Grafton alphabet series and then will be waiting for the next book so I’m in need of a brilliant new series to get hooked on! 🙂

    1. My daughter loves the Grafton series but I couldn’t get along with it. I love this series and it is one that needs to be read in order as the story arc is more important than in some series. I do hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a go. 🙂

      1. I had a look through my Kindle yesterday and discovered that I’d already bought the first three books in this series a while ago when they were on offer so now I just need to find time to read them. I’m really looking forward to them now after reading your review of the latest. 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Cleo, as I know what fan you are of the series. And I can see why. Roy Grace really is a decent character, but he’s also flawed enough that he ‘feels’ human, if that makes sense. And I like the other police characters James has created, too.

    1. Haha yes I am a fan! There is something appealing about knowing what you are going to get in the way of tone in a book, if that’s even what it is? As much as I love complex crime that concentrates on the psychological style, a police procedural with a good plot and characters I’ve got to know and love holds a special place in my book-reading heart.

  3. I really must start from the beginning in this series, I think; thanks for listing these books in order. There are so many, however, and I have other series books that I’m barely starting as well. But what fun it will be to read them all….

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I am quite bad at either not finishing series or reading out of order. The story arc for Roy Grace really does mean that these do need to be read from the beginning and the journey has been such fun!

  4. You have really made me want to read this but I feel I need to start at the beginning so it might be a while before I get there!

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