Author: Peter James

ISBN:  10: 0230747248

ISBN: 13: 9780230747241

What if your wife or husband inexplicably disappeared years ago and you are haunted by the uncertainty, even as you proceed in orderly fashion to solve other people’s problems? This is the premise connecting all of Peter James’ Roy Grace novels. There is good that has come of his personal tragedy; he has been introduced to nontraditional methods of looking at mysteries – through a medium.

Inspector Grace is an attractive addition to the list of contemporary British detectives, and coastal Brighton is a welcome change from Yorkshire and London as a home base. As we are about to receive another case in the series, it would do well to look back at his most recent release. Dead Man's Grip, the seventh in Peter James’ carefully laid out investigations, is just out in paperback. James demonstrates his ability to grab us by the shoulders and make us watch with horror as three distracted individuals make their way to one location; a rushed truck driver, a student on a bicycle, and a texting mother of a young boy are on a collision course. Carly Chase, an attorney, is most at fault when the inevitable happens. She still has alcohol in her blood from the night before. Her fear of losing everything deepens when the others involved are found brutally murdered, and then more serious threats come from the United States and mafia figures.

In applying his unconventional methods to solving crimes, Grace knows his own mind, but when he begins to wonder if he can trust any of his colleagues, he leans on Glenn Branson, a more stylish and younger policeman whose wife does not appreciate the risks he takes in his chosen career. Branson respectfully goads Grace into a more balanced life, notably with Cleo, the coroner Grace has fallen in love with and who is expecting his child. Happiness seems almost within his grasp. But there always is the shadow of the case and the shadow of his past.

That state of “almost” being happy is the hallmark of this series. In Dead Simple a bachelor party prank turns into a nightmare for the groom, who remains buried when his friends are killed in a car wreck. His radio communication with a mentally disabled man is his only hope of rescue. Grace is called by the fiancée to find her man. In LOOKING GOOD DEAD, a man brings terror to his family by doing a good deed. Grace discovers the family corpses displayed on the Internet. Dead Like You begins with a New Year’s Eve attack on a woman for her shoes, which prompts Roy Grace to look again at a cold case. The soon-to-be-released Not Dead Yet brings a Hollywood star to Brighton, followed by a dangerous fan.

Trivia: This author, Peter James, had a special interest in seeing Queen Elizabeth wave from her carriage during the Jubilee this year. His parents were glove-makers to Her Majesty. His sister and brother-in-law now own the firm that supplies the royals.

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