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Category: Peter James

  1. Kat's Review of Dead If You Don't by Peter James (Roy Grace #14)

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    Peter James Dead If You Dont Synopsis: Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most complex case yet in Dead If You Don't.

    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 .

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: Well I must admit although I really enjoyed this latest Roy Grace outing I was kind of expecting a little more. If like me you were glad to see the back of the Sandy storyline, I also wonder if (like me) you were also expecting a little more from the thread regarding Roy's son? That little niggle aside this was a pretty decent read. You notice I say decent, and not great or good. I don't know whether that's because I just consistently expect more from Mr J or whether he just isn't up to scratch.

    This story is set around a bomb threat at the local Football stadium as well as the kidnapping of the son of local businessman Kipp Brown who was briefly featured in the last book. The storylines were okay and certainly engaging enough but I still felt like there was something missing and I still cannot put my finger on exactly what that was. I love seeing the return of characters I love such as Roy's sidekick Glenn Branson as well as people like the always inappropriate Norman Potting.These consistently good characters and now the additin of Roy's son are certainly what keep me going back to this series. 

    One of the most exciting threads for me is Roy's son who frankly is one of the best things recently introduced. I think this gives Peter James the scope to take this series in a new direction and I sincerely hope that he will. I don't know if it's just me as the reviews for this book are mostly amazing so it seems I am in the minority. I just feel like there was a little something slightly off and although I cannot qork out what that is this latest release just didn't feel like it was as good as it could have been.

  2. Kat's Review of Need You Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #13)

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    Peter James Need You Dead  Synopsis: Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

    When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    *If you plan to read this series in order, please do not continue to read this review as this is book 13 in the series and will inevitably contain spoilers*

    Kat's Review: I realised quite suddenly that with the newest Peter James nearly upon us I was actually a book behind. Then it dawned on me that the saga that was Sandy was no longer an issue so decided to dive right into the last book. We are introduced to Lorna Belling, a woman that is in an incredibly abusive relationship, but who is being offered another chance with another man to start over. Unfortunately she doesn't get that chance and is found murdered...enter Roy Grace. From the off Roy seems a little unbalanced, however it totally makes sense as he is just getting closure after the death of Sandy his wife who disappeared many years before. However, he still has to face the shocking realisation (that came from the conclusion of the last book) in the form of his ten year old son Bruno who he has only just learnt about. 

    With all of these issues at hand, and loads of staff not being around (Glen Branson his trusty sidekick being one of them) he has a lot on his plate. Add to that his wife Cleo and son Noah, his personal life seems to be one big jumble of activity. Thankfully he has the help in the form of his colleague Guy Batchelor so he becomes the help rather than the main lead. However, it becomes clear pretty early on this will not be straightforward and the book itself leans heavily on the police procedural. 

    The storylines most interesting thread for me was Roy's son Bruno. I think that the next book will hopefully explore this element of Roy's life in greater detail as I feel like this is potentially a great contribution to revving up the series. That opinion to one side, this book was very much a whodunnit and with Glen Branson not at Roy's beck and call it lost a little bit of magic for me. In addition, I thought that Roy and Cleo weren't right, it seemed to have lost some of the character strengths in replacement for the police heavy duties. The ending was somewhat of a mystery as there were a few questions that didn't get answered and I thought were a bit odd, I can only hope these will be addressed in the next book. Overall it was a decent read and I really did enjoy it, but maybe at the cost of areas that were normally more enjoyable. A solid read, but I hope things get back on more of an even keel for the next book.

     

  3. Kat's Review of Love You Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #12)

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    Synopsis: An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life - to be beautiful and rich. She's achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she's working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it's getting rid of the husband afterwards that's harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .

    Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realisation that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

    **Note: If you plan on reading the series in order, please do not continue to read my review as it will inevitably contain spoilers**

  4. Kat’s Review of The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

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    Synopsis: The House on Cold Hill is a chilling and suspenseful ghost story from the multi-million copy bestselling author of Dead Simple, Peter James.

    Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House - a huge, dilapidated Georgian mansion - Ollie is filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being separated from her friends.

    Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren't the only residents of the house. A friend of Jade's is the first to see the spectral woman, standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime. Then there are more sightings, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. As the haunting becomes more malevolent and the house itself begins to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover Cold Hill House's dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for them . . .

    KAT’S RATING: 3/5

    KAT’S REVIEW: I am most definitely what I would call a Peter James fan, however after reading this I was left feeling not so enamoured. Peter James has written a brilliant series featuring Roy Grace, and in my opinion his stand alone book Perfect People was GENIUS! However, this latest effort didn’t really make an impression on me. I admit I am not the biggest fan of ‘ghost stories’ but am open minded enough to try them.

    This story centres on Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade and their move to Cold Hill House. The opening of the book sets the scene pretty well and there is a heavy sense of foreboding (which of course is justified). The family are in for a nasty turn of events and these seem to spiral quite rapidly.

    There was certainly nothing specific that I disliked with the book, but I just didn’t feel like there was any real substance behind the tale. Maybe I am just too adjusted to expecting a ‘Roy Grace’ type of book this didn’t suit me. I read the book to the end but in all honesty I felt like it was a bit of a struggle. I would admit I prefer to stick to crime and thrillers, however just recently discovered Caroline Mitchell who writes Supernatural and I love that series.

    I guess I felt that this was missing something, but I just couldn’t put my finger on what. I’m aware that I am probably with the minority on the review of this book, but think in future I will stick to my Roy Grace or standalone crime novels by Mr James. 

  5. Kat's Review of Twist of the Knife by Peter James

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    Synopsis: With each twist of the knife, a chilling new journey begins . . . From a woman intent on bizarre revenge, to a restaurant critic with a morbid fear of the number thirteen; and from a man arranging a life-changing assignation, to a couple heading for a disaster-filled vacation . . .

    In multi-million-copy bestselling author Peter James' collection of short stories we first come to meet Brighton's finest detective, Roy Grace, and read the tale that went on to inspire James' hugely successful novel, Dead Simple. James exposes the Achilles heel of each of his characters, and makes us question how well we can trust ourselves, and one another. Each tale carries a twist that will haunt readers for days after they turn the final page . . .

     Combining every twisted tale from the ebook bestsellers Short Shockers One and Short Shockers Two, with a never-seen-before collection of new material, A Twist of the Knife shows Peter James as the undisputed grand master of storytellers with this sometimes funny, often haunting, but always shocking collection.

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5

    Kat’s Review: I’m certainly, like many others, a fan of Peter James and his infamous Roy Grace Series. I’m not however a fan of short stories. Thankfully this was a great collection and I was actually impressed by how much I enjoyed them. I just re-read that and don’t mean it to sound condescending, it’s just in terms of how much I dislike short stories…that’s what I meant!

    This series of stories totals thirty and there are 2 featuring Roy Grace. IN addition to the fictional short stories there are some which are factual accounts just told by Peter James. I wouldn’t want to go into the details of all the stories, there seems little point. What I would say is that this is a nice way to read many stories by the man himself and get a feel for his style of writing.

    Although I still am not a fan of short stories and collections, this was pretty good. It was an added bonus that a couple featured Roy Grace, but even those without show the skill and talent that have kept Peter James up there as a Bestselling British Author.

  6. Kat's Review of You Are Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #11)

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    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: 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 30 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?

  7. Kat's Review of Want You Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #10)

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    Peter James Want You DeadMy Rating: 4/5

    Synopsis: IF HE CAN'T HAVE HER, THEN NOBODY CAN...Virtual romance becomes a terrifying obsession in Want You Dead...Single girl, 29, smouldering redhead, love life that's crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and - who knows - maybe more? When Red Westwood meets handsome, charming and rich Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, there is an instant attraction. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past, and his dark side, begins to emerge. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror. Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But Red's nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed with her, and he intends to destroy everything and everyone she has ever known and loved - and then her too...

  8. Kat's Review of Dead Mans Time by Peter James (Roy Grace #9)

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    My Rating: 4/5

    <Big sigh>, Peter James and Roy Grace, where do I begin? I have read all of the books in this series and am normally gripped by each and every book I read. When I read the synopsis for this one I really wasn’t sure. I was (as usual) to be proved wrong. This latest Roy Grace novel starts out with a vicious robbery at a Brighton Mansion and millions of pounds worth of antiques taken. It also leaves an elderly woman, Aileen McWhirter, fighting for her life. Roy Grace and his team lead the enquiry when the woman dies from her injuries and her brother Gavin Daly gets involved. There is one item that is absolutely invaluable to Gavin, and although he is now well into his nineties he is still a force to be reckoned with. The invaluable item is a specific watch and the story, believe it or not, all revolves around the watch. I’m not one for major spoilers so will go no further with the storyline or plot.

    What I will say is that Peter James is an awesome writer, however, there is one thing that is driving me insane. If, like me, you follow the series there has been an element to each book regarding Roy’s first wife Sandy who has been missing for over 10 years. This is the thing that is the cause of my angst. I really think the storyline concerning her needs to be dealt with and then finished, or dropped altogether. I feel like it has gone on for far too long and to the point where it’s lessening my enjoyment of the book. This particular book tells the story of Roy Grace and his team now, and the past concerning Gavin Daly and his family which forms part of New York’s gangs in the 1920’s. This alone, was done with skill and the story had me gripped from start to finish. However, every time Sandy get’s mentioned I feel like hurling my book into a wall.

    Okay, I know some of you may think that’s extreme but when you have read a certain storyline for years (8 years in the case of the Roy Grace novels) certain elements are key. Sandy is now NOT key in my opinion, and the more I hear about it the more it grates on me. Do I want answers, yes! Do I want snippets each year, No! Deal with it and let’s move on?!?  Anyway, that aside this is actually a brilliant story and as usual Peter James shows off his skill with style. I think the majority of fans will love this book and newcomers should definitely read from the beginning of the series (although not an absolute necessity). Once again, we wait another year to see what is next on the agenda for Roy and his family and friends.