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Dead Simple by PETER JAMES

Dead Simple (original 2005; edition 2005)


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912459,640 (3.7)46
Title:Dead Simple
Info:PAN (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Lit and Phil
Tags:Crime, UK, series, stag night, buried alive, marriage for money

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Dead Simple by Peter James (2005)



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English (34)  Danish (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
A plot that twists and turns, a dramatic beginning, a likeable detective in Roy Grace and a cleverly-drawn setting. Brighton is full of potential for a crime writer looking for a setting and it is clear Peter James knows and loves the Sussex seaside city. This is a page-turner with clever ideas and a couple of twists I didn’t see coming.
The story opens with a stag night which does not go to plan, a missing groom, a car crash, an absent best man and a frantic bride. As the horrible realities of the situation become clear, with no witnesses and no clues, the police struggle to find the missing groom before the wedding on Saturday. But a few things do not ring true and that, coupled with Detective Superintendent Roy Grace’s controversial use of a medium, bring fresh, if confusing, clues.
Peter James has created an authentic police community which feels real from page one, this is not the first in a series where the first novel is about setting the scene and the context. James hits the ground running with a believable detective. Roy Grace is a maverick, and I like him. James spends a day a week with the Sussex Police Force and this experience is evident on every page without shouting ‘research’.
I’ve found a new favourite crime writer.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Apr 13, 2016 |
Another British crime novel; this one featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace who is called in to assist on a case of a missing groom -- missing after a possible prank-gone-wrong. Good storytelling, with a few twists and turns, but also one of those books where the reader begins to wonder how/when it will end. Enjoyable, with a few bits over the top. ( )
  Randall.Hansen | Apr 10, 2016 |
Dead Simple is the first Peter James novel I have ever read and I found it very entertaining and enjoyable. His central character is the very determined and strong willed police officer, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, whom I found to be quite unorthodox and a very likeable character. The book starts out with a bachelor party gone wrong. Michael Harrison, who is about to get married, is on his way to the bachelor party hosted by his five best friends. They have designed something unusual and potentially highly dangerous. Because they suffered Michael's often tasteless pranks they have decided to pay him back by burying him alive in a coffin for a few hours. But when the deed is done the four of them (one friend has been delayed and is supposed to join them later) will lose their lives in a car crash, leaving Michael in a very dangerous position.

This is the just the first of many twists in this story. Mark, the one who missed the fun and knows exactly where his friend is, has an agenda of his own and prefers not to say anything to the police. All this raises your anticipation of what will be coming next. It's all the things a good thriller should be. It locks you in right from the start with lots of twists and turns and is written in short, electrifying chapters.

I think the crucial ingredient you have to have to make a good detective novel is a main character that you can empathize with. The author has done an excellent job with his creation of the fallible Roy Grace. He comes with a load of baggage but he gets things done (not necessarily in the right fashion every time).

The one part of the story I'm not sure I loved was where Roy, who is a believer in the supernatural, often visits mediums to help him with the case. I would be interested in how that story line progresses in the future books.

I just couldn’t put it down and can't wait to pick up the next one (Looking Good Dead). ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
This book makes me think of the serialisations I used to read as a child in my great aunt's copies of Women's Weekly and People's Friend. It's not bad writing, but it's not good literature. I imagine it's how Richard Hammond would write a novel - a bit cheeky, a bit blokey, a bit misogynist. The repeated references to big tits, the surprise of the main character when a woman is good at her job followed swiftly by him reducing her to how fuckable she is, the separation of women into fuckable nymphs and ball breaking bunny boilers, gets in the way of what is a fast running story. It's detective mystery by numbers - the world weary detective with relationship problems, the cliff hanger at the end of each chapter, the scheming girlfriend, the betraying best friend and business partner, the oddballs who hold the secret to cracking the crime. It would get you through waiting for a plane, or lounging by a pool, or taking a long train journey. ( )
  missizicks | Mar 15, 2015 |
It's Michael Harrison's stag night. He and four of his friends are on a pub crawl. Although Michael has promised his fiancée not to get too drunk, he's having a good time and feeling virtually no pain. The only thing missing is his best friend, Mark, but Mark was out of town on business and his plane back home to Brighton has been grounded by fog. Just when things are really starting to heat up, Michael's friends take their revenge on him for all of his stag night pranks against him and put him in a coffin in a grave. Their intention is to make him sweat a little and come back in a few hours and dig him up. As they're driving off they are in a horrible car accident. Three die on impact and the fourth has suffered severe injuries and is comatose. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Grace has been asked by a friend and co-worker to help out on Michael’s disappearance. Can they find Michael before his upcoming nuptials or before he dies of lack of oxygen or worse?

Dead Simple is the first in the Roy Grace series by Peter James. Grace is not your average police officer. He is relatively young to be a detective superintendent and was on a fast track until a defense attorney mocks him for his belief in the paranormal, specifically the use of psychics on his cases. Grace is thirty-nine years old and has been grieving the disappearance of his wife Sandy for nine years. He refuses to have her legally declared dead because he still holds out hope that she'll be found. Grace's abilities as an outstanding police officer are admired by most and it is precisely due to this admiration that his friend and co-worker Glenn Branson that he is called in on Michael Harrison's disappearance. Roy doesn't quite believe Michael's best-friend and best man Mark Warren when he says he had no idea what his friends were up to on that night, he had only planned a pub crawl. Although Michael's fiancée Ashley appears to be distraught over his disappearance, there's something about her manner that has Roy wondering about her as well.

Dead Simple is part thriller, part suspense, part police procedural, and a great read. Roy Grace is a quirky but likeable character and wholly believable as a police officer. His interaction with friends and coworkers adds to his likeability quotient and adds to the reader's understanding of Grace the man and Grace the police officer. This seemingly simple case of a missing man becomes anything but simple as the story evolves. Just when you think you know who is doing what and why, Mr. James throws in a nice plot twist and you're off in a completely new direction. There are bad guys and even worse guys in this story and they provide the perfect foil for Grace and his abilities. All of the action in the story takes place over a span of five days, a fast-paced, suspense-filled five days. Does Grace find the bad guy(s) in the end? Is Michael still alive? What was the motive behind Michael's "abduction?” You know I'm not going to reveal those types of details; you have to read this delightfully twisted story for yourself to find out. One thing I can tell you is that I'll be reading more of the Roy Grace series by Mr. James because I'm totally hooked. ( )
  BookDivasReads | Oct 5, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330434195, Paperback)

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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:29 -0400)

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After a stag night, the groom-to-be goes missing and four of his friends are dead. Detective Superintendent Grace is contacted by the missing man's fiancee, and discovers that the one man who ought to know his whereabouts is saying nothing - but he has more to gain out of the tragedy than anyone realizes.… (more)

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