21 December 2009

Mini-review: LOOKING GOOD DEAD, Peter James

My selection this week in the Crime Fiction Alphabet is the second in the D.S. Roy Grace series, published in 2006.

Tom Bryce picks up a CD left behind on the train by a fellow passenger. Later at home he investigates the CD on his laptop and finds himself on the internet viewing a snuff murder. Meanwhile Roy Grace is called to the discovery of a decapitated female corpse near the seaside resort of Brighton which he lives near.

In viewing the snuff movie Tom Bryce has put himself and his family in danger. And Roy Grace is in hot water too - already in trouble for taking a piece of evidence to a medium, he needs "a result" quickly.

There are plenty of threads that connect LOOKING GOOD DEAD to the earlier book in the series, but readers should not find it difficult to start with this novel if they haven't read the earlier one. Excellently crafted.

There are now 5 in this terrific series ( and one more promised for 2010)
1. Dead Simple (2005)
2. Looking Good Dead (2006)
3. Not Dead Enough (2007)
4. Dead Man's Footsteps (2008)
5. Dead Tomorrow (2009)
6. Dead Like You (2010)

DEAD SIMPLE (2005). My rating 4.8
Four bodies, one suspect, no trace. The first case for Detective superintendent Roy Grace. It was meant to be a harmless stag night prank. A few hours later four of his best friends are dead and Michael Harrison has disappeared. With only three days to the wedding, Detective Superintendent Grace - a man haunted by the shadow of his own missing wife - is contacted by Michael's beautiful, distraught fiancée, Ashley Harper. Grace discovers that the one man who ought to know Michael Harrison's whereabouts is saying nothing. But then he has a lot to gain - more than anyone realizes. For one man's disaster is another man's fortune...Dead simple...

My review of NOT DEAD ENOUGH (2007) which I also gave 4.8 to.

Peter James' own website is at http://www.peterjames.com/ and contains many of the interviews he has given, articles he has written, his blog, a newsletters, blurbs about all of his books, and extracts from Roy Grace novels.

If you check Fantastic Fiction for Peter James you will notice that in the period 1981-2000 he wrote 17 novels and then came a period without publications until the first of the DEAD novels was published in 2005. In this article Peter talks about what made him return to writing.


Bernadette in Australia said...

Peter James is one of those authors I keep meaning to try but never have yet. I really should but I am always daunted by authors with a huge back catalogue

gautami tripathy said...

I too am yet to read this author!

Here is my Crime Fiction Alphabet: L post!

Kerrie said...

I think you'd enjoy these Bernadette, and after all, 5 is not so many..

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - I admit, like Gautami and Bernadette, that I haven't read Peter James. This novel's premise really interests me, though! I enjoy books with interesting twists on how a murder is discovered, and this one seems really intriguing.


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