Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

You Are Dead – Peter James

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction

For those of you that are fans of this series featuring Roy Grace you’ll be pleased to hear that if anything, this eleventh outing is even better than the previous ten with the writing engaging from the start, the quality of the research impeccable and the story arcs holding their own without overshadowing the exciting new plot.

On a December evening Logan Summerville is returning home after a bad day, looking forward to a glass of wine, she drives down the ramp into the underground car park where she spots a lurking figure. The last her fiancé Nick Walton heard from her was a panicked phone call which ended with a blood curdling scream. He calls the police who find no trace of Logan, her car is parked with her phone inside but there don’t seem to be any clues to where she has gone.

The story is told over the consecutive days of the investigation into what has happened to Logan but soon incorporates a murder as on the same afternoon a pathway that has been in place for twenty years is dug up by workmen who find a body. So Roy Grace has one murder investigation to add to the possible abduction already underway and there is the upcoming funeral of a much-loved fellow officer who died at the end of the last book. With the team mourning the loss of their friend Grace has to find a way to keep them motivated. All this in the week that he is supposed to be moving into his new home with Cleo and baby Noah. Will this be the investigation that causes their relationship to crack under the strain?

It doesn’t take to many pages to be turned before another body is found along with another missing woman who looks very much like Logan and Grace has to consider that Brighton may have its first serial killer for eighty years. Now I thought I’d had my fill of serial killers but Peter James has really researched his subject matter and references some of the true instances which are familiar to us all when deciding how to flush the perpetrator out which keeps the focus very much on the detection rather than glorifying the crime itself.

One of the reasons I get so excited about reading the latest in this series, and this is one that is a must-have, is because I love meeting the characters which have flourished over the previous series. I know I often say I don’t feel the need to like the characters in the books I read but the ones in this series do feel like friends. With a variety of characters who are anything but one-dimensional,particularly when you have seen their characters develop, like Norman Potts who has had layers of depth added as the series progressed. It is also nice to have a story where those investigating get on; I love the way the team interact and there are the odd little quips that lighten the mood at well-timed moments. Of course no Roy Grace novel would be complete without a mention of Marlon the goldfish and Sandy the missing wife, this one is no different!

If you haven’t read any of this series, you are in for a real treat, start at the beginning and get to see Brighton bought to life with some of the best crime writing around.

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

I’d like to say an enormous thank you to Midas PR who probably heard the screams of delight when they contacted me to see if I’d like to review this novel in return for a review. You Are Dead is published next week on 21 May 2015 and I recommend that you go and buy yourself a copy.

Part of the material Midas PR provided with the book included details of how Peter James created his serial killer for this book:

In Peter’s research to create his central villain for this novel, he eventually singled out four names. They came from a catalogue of murderers who had taken three or more lives at different times – the actual definition of a serial killer. Those four were Ted Bundy, Dennis Rader, Harold Shipman and Dennis Nilsen. What fascinated him about them was how outwardly each appeared to be such very respectable men. Shipman, for example, was a well-loved family doctor. Nilsen was in the army, then a police officer, then Executive Officer for a Jobcentre. Rader was a family man, a church warden, scout leader and local government compliance officer. Because of their intelligence, their lack of emotion, and their veneers of respectability, all four of these men got away with their killings over many years. Each of them very nearly got away with it completely.

Go on, you must be tempted by now!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (May 12)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My current read is book eleven in the Roy Grace series; You Are Dead by Peter James. I am a huge fan of this series and was absolutely delighted to receive a copy of this one for review prior to publication on 21 May 2015.

You Are Dead


They were marked for death.
The last words Jamie Ball hears from his fiancée, Logan Somerville, are in a terrified mobile phone call. She has just driven into the underground car park beneath the block of flats where they live in Brighton. Then she screams and the phone goes dead. The police are on the scene within minutes, but Logan has vanished, leaving behind her neatly parked car and mobile phone.
That same afternoon, workmen digging up a park in another part of the city, unearth the remains of a woman in her early twenties, who has been dead for thirty years.
At first, to Roy Grace and his team, these two events seem totally unconnected. But then another young woman in Brighton goes missing – and yet another body from the past surfaces.
Meanwhile, an eminent London psychiatrist meets with a man who claims to know information about Logan. And Roy Grace has the chilling realization that this information holds the key to both the past and present crimes . . . Does Brighton have its first serial killer in over eighty years? Amazon

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Thursday 11 December

Logan was driving fast in the pelting rain, hurrying home, glad that her shitty day which had gone from bad to worse, and then progressively worse still, was nearly at an end. She was looking forward to a large glass of chilled white wine and a sneaky cigarette out of the window before Jamie got home. The familiar Radio Sussex jingle played, then the female presenter announced it was 5.30pm and time for the news headlines. As Logan listened, with half an ear, she was blissfully unaware that by this time tomorrow evening she would be the lead item on the local news, and the subject of one of the biggest manhunts ever launched by the Sussex Police.

What do you think? Do you want to know more? Would you keep reading?
Please leave your thoughts and links in the comment box below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (March 28)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

A bumper week for me with the long awaited Peter James book landing on my doorstep; You Are Dead, featuring Roy Grace for his eleventh outing which will be published on 21 May 2015.

You Are Dead


The last time that Jamie Ball heard from his fiancée, Logan Somerville, was a terrified call from her mobile. She was convinced that somebody was watching her in the dank underground car park beneath their block of flats in Brighton. He heard her scream, then the phone went dead. The police arrive at the scene immediately but Logan has already vanished. In another part of Brighton workmen digging up a park uncover the remains of a woman in her early twenties who has been dead for 30 years. The two events seem unconnected until yet another beautiful young woman with long brown hair goes missing and yet another body surfaces from the past. It seems that a serial killer is at large.
Meanwhile Logan’s uncle, an eminent London psychiatrist, has a visit from a strange new patient claiming to know where Logan is. Grace has the chilling realisation this man might hold the key to both the past and present crimes…. but is he telling the truth or is he just playing a sinister and sadistic game? Macmillan

From NetGalley I have a copy of The Ladies of the House by Molly McGrann picked because I read this fantastic review by A Life In Books.

The Ladies of the house


On a hot July day, three elderly people are found dead in a dilapidated house in Primrose Hill. Reading the story in a newspaper as she prepares to leave the country, Marie Gillies has an unshakable feeling that she is somehow to blame. How did these three people come to live together, and how did they all die at once? The truth lies in a very different England, and in the secret world of the ladies of the house… NetGalley

I was also swayed by the tweets for new crime thriller novel published by Bookouture, the publishers that bought us the fantastic Silent Scream by Angela Marsons, so I have a copy of Don’t Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell I can honestly say I barely noticed publisher details before I started blogging and now I’m choosing books based on the publisher! How did that happen?

Don't Turn Around


You don’t know him. But he knows you.
Soon he would be able to touch her, to feel the warmth of her blood. And when the time came, nothing would stop him.
As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked What what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave.
When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked.
What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict.
Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play …
With her mother’s terrifying legacy spiralling out of control, Jennifer must look into her own dark past in a fight not only to stop a killer – but to save herself and those she loves. NetGalley

And after thoroughly enjoying (if that is the right words) The Magnificent Spilsbury and the case of the Brides in the Bath by Jane Robbins, Margot Kinberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist pointed me in the direction of Dancing for the Hangman by Martin Edwards which is a fictionalised autobiographical account of the case of Dr Crippen who featured early on in Jane Robbins look at Bernard Spilsbury.

Dancing for the Hangman


Martin Edwards dissects not only the facts but also the gaps and uncertainties in he historical record. This novel may bring us as close to the truth about Crippen as we are ever likely to get. Back Cover

So this weeks sees me adding more death and destruction to my shelves… What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below