Thursday, 28 October 2010
'DEAD LIKE YOU' - Peter James
On Monday 1st November a new online book-group is starting - no, not just focussing on one book and 'doing' it to death - this group aims to give contributors the chance to 'promote' some of their favourites reads and authors, encourage others to try them out.
To kick off this new venture, here’s my first review. Feel free to comment here and/or visit the site, and check out the other ‘reads!
DEAD LIKE YOU by Peter James
This is the sixth title in a series by Peter James, following the central character of Detective Superintendant Roy Grace. Located in and around Brighton, the earlier books set the scene with a regular ‘supporting cast’ of fellow officers, of both lower and senior ranks – some of which Grace relies on; others he tolerates!
Along with the rest of Peter James’ books, Dead Like You has a kernel of truth being based on a real life occurrence. Here, the villain, known as the Shoe Man, attacked women and stole their shoes as trophies. The book covers two time frames – a ‘cold case’ several years previously, in 1997 when the Shoe Man was at the height of his campaign, and the present day when it appears he may have returned – or is it a copycat? The storyline covers two possible suspects and I oscillated between the two as being the guilty party right up until the final scenes where I was convinced I knew which one was the perpetrator – but there’s a twist at the end!
Counterpoint to this, runs the story of Grace’s missing wife, Sandy. In the first book of the series, Dead Simple, we are told that Sandy has been declared ‘missing’ some time earlier, leaving Grace in a sort of ‘limbo’ situation. By book six, he has developed a relationship with Cleo, a Home Office pathologist. With the imminent arrival of parenthood Grace is ready to settle down and re-marry, having started the process to have Sandy declared legally dead. Dead Like You fills in some of the relationship story of Grace and Sandy, as the flashbacks to the 'cold case' of the Shoe Man return to a time when they were happy together, even if she was not always supportive of his career!
If you like police procedural novels, you will love this book! Peter James has built up a strong relationship with former and currently serving police officers, coroners and pathologists, thus helping to give authenticity to his work. Yet he writes with an added vulnerability to Grace’s character as the Detective Superintendant bends the rules, or at least blurs the lines he’s prepared to overstep, in order to solve the case.
The paperback edition of Dead Like You was released in the UK on 14th October this year and is currently at No.1 on the Sunday Times book list for the second week running.