is for … Peter James
Peter James is an author I’ve been aware of for a while and although I’ve owned a couple of his books until recently I hadn’t read them. Now I’ve read Dead Simple I realise I should have read it years ago – I didn’t know what I was missing. It’s really good.
Peter James is currently the Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association. As well as being a crime fiction writer he is also a film producer and script writer. He has sold more than a million books internationally and has been translated into 35 languages. His most recent books, set in Brighton, feature Detective Superintendent Roy Grace – there are 8 in the series, the first being Dead Simple.There is full list of all his books with summaries on his website.
Dead Simple is anything but simple. There are plenty of twists and turns in this story of a race against time to find Michael Harrison who disappeared after what was supposed to be a harmless stag night prank three days before his wedding. Michael’s fiancée, Ashley and his mother are frantic with worry, but surely Mark, his best man and business partner must have some idea where he is, even though he missed the stag night himself.
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is in charge of the investigation, which has added impetus for him as his wife disappeared eight years earlier and has never been found. When all the usual sources had failed to find her he had turned to psychics and mediums for help and he eventually resorts to consulting them again in this case.
It’s told from a number of viewpoints which gives a rounded view of the events and yet the full picture is never quite in view. There are hints that led me to suspect the outcome, but not completely. Some of it does seem rather far-fetched but it’s totally gripping, building to a tremendous climax.
I shall certainly be seeking out the other 7 books in his Grace series, and his earlier books too, which according to the author information in Dead Simple, all reflect his ‘deep interest in medicine, science and the paranormal.’
For more blog posts featuring the letter J in The Crime Fiction Alphabet go to Mysteries in Paradise.