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

Dead If You Don’t – Peter James

Crime Fiction
5*s

Well Roy Grace is back for the fourteenth time in Dead If You Don’t which in short is an action packed police procedural that shouldn’t be missed.

I am a huge fan of this series and always look forward to the next book more or less from the time I close the last page and so it may surprise you to hear I had a moment of disquiet when I realised the opening scenes featured a Kip Brown and his teenaged son, Mungo, going to a big game at the Amex Stadium. OK I got that it was an important match with the locals Brighton and Hove Albion against Manchester City no less but I’m no fan of football and out of all crime fiction storylines, bombs rank bottom of the pile. The Head of Security had been warned that a bomb was going to be left in the Amex stadium unless a payment in bitcoin was made before kick-off. Oh dear, was this going to be the one novel in this series I didn’t enjoy because of my dislike of the combination of football and bombs? No, of course it wasn’t because Dead If You Don’t isn’t just about bombs and football, that was just setting the scene for something far more complex.

We have big businessmen, near bankruptcy a bunch of criminals to keep everything spicy and Roy Grace at the match with his son Bruno. Glenn Branson is with security at the stadium keeping an eye out for the promised bomb and then it all kicks off aside from the football!

As always Peter James keeps things real with his thorough research with the police giving this series a real air of authenticity whilst still ensuring that the storytelling isn’t overwhelmed with procedures and policies. I love the team, Norman Potting is still his un-PC self although more subdued than he was at his most annoying. Glenn has also overcome many of his personal problems and is reaching for the next rung on the career ladder but there is little time for the personalities to go wild in this book because Roy Grace is busy co-ordinating a missing boy, a bomb scare, a dead drugs mule and a dismembered body. Quite a lot to take on in a weekend! Dead If You Don’t is almost wall-to-wall action so although we get snippets about Roy’s wife Cleo and his sons Bruno and Noah they are very much in the background, unlike some of the previous books.

This is a scary ride of a book indeed, nearly as scary as Norman Potting’s erratic driving as they race to a potential scene of a crime. It’s a measure of the skill of the writing that I felt I was alongside poor Roy Grace as he urged Norman to go faster than a snail’s pace only to nearly be swung into the path of a van when he complied.

I’m not going to say any more – this was just as good as all the previous books in the series, if anything it felt more action packed with the switch of focus from the police and their families to the criminals and their nastiness and seeming complete lack of morality. And the ending is fantastic – a little bit of a moral to round the whole shebang off!

I’d like to say thank you to Pan Macmillan for allowing me to read a copy of Dead If You Don’t before publication today. This unbiased review is my thanks to them and the talented author Peter James. Roll on episode 15!

First Published UK: 17 May 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
No of Pages: 400
Genre: Crime Fiction – Crime Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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
Need You Dead

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (May 16)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes which is one of the books I have chosen for The Classics Club challenge.

Blurb

The Buntings are an elderly London couple who have fallen on hard times. They take in a lodger with the strange name of Mr. Sleuth, who pays handsomely for their shabby rooms. He seems to be a perfect gentleman but none the less they begin to suspect that he may be the Jack-the-Ripper-like serial killer known in the press as ‘The Avenger’.

As the number of murders in the city begins to mount, and Mr. Bunting’s teenage daughter from an earlier marriage comes to stay, the couple must decide what to do about the man in their upstairs rooms. An early example of a psychological suspense story and a brilliant evocation of the fog-bound and gaslit streets of late Victorian London, The Lodger is still a wonderfully compelling thriller. Amazon

The last book I have read is one of my highly anticipated books of the year – Dead If you Don’t, the fourteenth book in the Roy Grace series written by Peter James.

Blurb

Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. He’s beginning to lose, big style. However, taking his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match should have given him a welcome respite, if only for a few hours. But it’s at the stadium where his nightmare begins.

Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client. He takes his eye off Mungo for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears. Then he gets the terrifying message that someone has his child, and to get him back alive, Kipp will have to pay.

Defying instruction not to contact the police, Kipp reluctantly does just that, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems . . . Amazon

Up next I plan to read one from my own bookshelf, The Arsenic Labyrinth my Martin Edwards which is the third in the Lake District Murders.

Blurb

‘You’d never believe it to look at me now, but once upon a time I killed a man’

Historian Daniel Kind is finding winter in the Lake District tough, especially as his relationship with Miranda seems to be on the rocks. Far from the bright lights of London, Miranda feels increasingly isolated, and Daniel fears that she will just up and leave. She wouldn’t be the first.

Years ago, Emma Bestwick left her cottage and never came back, her disappearance never resolved, much to the chagrin of DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of the local Cold Case Review Team. But recently there are been calls to the local newspaper dropping hints about Emma’s death. With the case reopened, Hannah and Daniel are thrown together again, and soon discover that someone is desperate to preserve the secrets of the past, whatever the cost. Amazon

So that’s my reading week, what does yours look like?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (April 8)

Well it’s been quite a week! If anyone can tell me why four day working weeks are so much worse than normal ones, please let me know.

But… There was good news on Thursday when I read this tweet, I was thrilled that my review was included for a book that is quite different to my normal type of reads, but one that I really enjoyed despite that.

And then yesterday when I discovered that I have been nominated for BEST BOOK REVIEW BLOG for THE ANNUAL BLOGGERS BASH – I’m honoured and thrilled to be included and of course there are a whole heap of other wonderful book bloggers to vote for too!

If you fancy casting a vote click on the logo

This Week on the Blog

I started the week with my Five of the Best – Five Star Reads for March 2014 to 2018 which included books by Tom Vowler, Jane Robins, Sarah Ward, Gillian McAllister and Claire McGowan.

My excerpt post came from my latest read for The Classics Club; The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin

This Week in Books featured books by Jane Davis, Alison Marsons and Rebecca Muddiman.

My first review of the week was for the psychological suspense novel Skin Deep by Liz Nugent which I awarded the full five stars.

This was followed by my review for Vicky Newham‘s debut novel Turn a Blind Eye which introduces Bangladeshi DI Maya Rahman and is set in Tower Hamlets, East London.

I rounded off the week with a cheeky book challenge – I Spy Book Challenge had me frantically searching my bookshelves for suitable titles – always fun!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton. This almost surreal piece of crime fiction featured a hot air balloon, a bunch of nuns and peacocks which has to go down as the most bizarre trio of important items for any crime novel.

The book starts with a fortieth birthday celebration and the aforementioned hot air balloon when one of the passengers witnesses an act of violence. The man committing violence eyes meet those of the witness, and then the balloon crashes. If you want to know any more you really should read this brilliant novel.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.



Blurb

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, thirteen passengers on a hot-air balloon flight witness a brutal murder. Within the next hour, all but one of them will be dead.

Alone, scared and trusting no-one, she flees for her life, running to the one place she feels safe. But she’s seen the killer’s face, and he’s seen hers – and he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the last witness to his crime . . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Just one book this week, yes you read that correctly! I have vowed not only to continue to follow the book token rule in purchasing new books but I’m also sworn off all new review books for the month of April and probably May too. This is mainly out of necessity as the months on the spreadsheet are already overflowing and I am determined to squeeze some of my own reads in too, so something had to give.

So how do I have one book? Well I accepted, not that I would ever say no to this author, before 1 April when this vow came into being.

Dead If You Don’t by Peter James is going to be published on 17 May 2018 and is the fourteenth in my favourite ever police procedural series featuring Roy James.

Blurb

Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. He’s beginning to lose, big style. However, taking his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match should have given him a welcome respite, if only for a few hours. But it’s at the stadium where his nightmare begins.

Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client. He takes his eye off Mungo for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears. Then he gets the terrifying message that someone has his child, and to get him back alive, Kipp will have to pay.

Defying instruction not to contact the police, Kipp reluctantly does just that, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems . . . Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 4 books and since I have gained 1 so my TBR has started its descent to 185
Physical Books – 111
Kindle Books – 52
NetGalley Books –22

 

I have banked absolutely no book tokens this week and also spent 0 so I’m just 1/3 books in credit!