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Dead Simple by PETER JAMES
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Dead Simple (original 2005; edition 2005)

by PETER JAMES

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7884111,673 (3.75)34
Member:Jennie_103
Title:Dead Simple
Authors:PETER JAMES
Info:PAN (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Lit and Phil
Rating:****
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 (30)  Danish (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Dead Simple is Peter James's first novel about the cases of Brighton's best cop, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. While the tale, with the amount and types of twists and turns, may be implausible - it is also a lot of fun! From the crazy start (stag night - guys playing prank on groom by burying him in a coffin - then they all die in a car crash!) it just gets worse for the victim - again, if you just allow yourself to go for the ride and forget about likelihoods and some such, you'll enjoy this book immensely.

The real strength of the book is, however, not the case, but the character. Roy Grace is an excellent cop who's wife has simply vanished nine years ago. Vanished without a trace. Grace has tried everything, including supernatural avenues, to find out about his wife. Nothing, absolutely nothing. Now, years later, he's a bit of a recluse but a great cop, a good friend to his partner and resolved to finding every missing person by whatever means necessary. Finding a man buried alive won't be easy! Another great plus is the setting - Peter James is at home and deeply rooted in Brighton - you feel it on every page - streets, places, procedures - all is clearly researched extensively and packed with loving care into this brilliant novel. ( )
  Hanneri | Jun 14, 2014 |
Interesting start to a series. ( )
  gregandlarry | Mar 29, 2014 |
I purchased this book after watching the performance of Peter James's stage play – Marriage Is Murder. Though this review isn't about the play, I'll touch on it briefly because it's relevant to Dead Simple, the first of the Roy Grace detective novels. In Marriage Is Murder, Roy Grace is a fledgeling detective investigating his first murder. In Dead Simple he’s a seasoned copper, yet similar themes run throughout, particularly whether such a thing as a perfect murder exists. To paraphrase Mr James himself – of the many who disappear without trace every year, how many have been murdered without anyone knowing, the body disposed of, the perpetrator (s) never caught?
In Dead Simple, Roy Grace investigates the disappearance of Michael Harrison. We, the reader, know what has happened to poor Michael. The question that keeps us turning the pages is what is going to happen next?
Life hasn't been kind to Roy Grace. His beloved Sandy has disappeared. The psychics can't find her. Does this mean she's still alive? Roy Grace is gritty, he carries on searching – for missing Sandy, and for missing Michael Harrison. The events which unfold do so through the eyes of the story’s participants. It's a bit like unwrapping pass the parcel – the reader doesn't know what they're going to find in the next layer. In this way, the identity of the puppetmaster is slowly revealed.
Many reviewers found the ending slightly hurried. On balance, they may be right, but it doesn't detract from this novel as a page turning psychological thriller.
Nina Jon is the author of the Jane Hetherington’s Adventures in Detection crime and mystery series. ( )
  nina.jon | Feb 23, 2014 |
What a fun book to read! The outcome of the prank itself is bad enough, and most writers would take that one idea, run with it, and have a good book. Peter James does a Churchill with this same idea. One simple prank-- a riddle-- which he then wraps up in a larger mystery and finally tosses into an enigma with even greater implications. The fun for readers is to savor each page, to tease out the clues, to deduce what's going on... and to hope that Detective Superintendent Roy Grace can put it all together in time to save Michael Harrison's life.

Peter James has also created a fascinating main character in Roy Grace. As a young boy "Grace had been addicted to cop shows on television, to books about detectives and cops of every kind-- from Sherlock Holmes to Ed McBain. He had a memory that bordered on photographic, he loved puzzles, and he was physically strong." Now that he's been on the force for a few years, Grace realizes that "in this modern, politically correct world, you could be a law enforcement officer at the peak of your career one moment and a political pawn the next." It's that realization that can make showing up at work in the morning a bit grim.

The juxtaposition of a thriller-type plot and a nuanced character study is what makes Dead Simple so much fun to read. The adrenaline junkie portion of my reader's brain could gorge on all the twists and turns while the more introspective and thoughtful portion of my brain could savor James's characterizations. This book had been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for a long, long time. Now I know why it kept catching my eye each time I walked past. I can't wait to continue with this series! ( )
  cathyskye | Nov 2, 2013 |
The beginning of this book is the creepiest I have ever run across. Anxious to play a prank on their soon-to-be-married friend Michael Harrison, known for his pranks, four of his friends get him drunk and passed out, then bury him in a coffin with only a tube for air, a porn magazine and a walkie-talkie. Then they drive off and are T-boned by a concrete truck. All are killed. The tow truck driver's retarded son (or should I say mentally challenged), finds the walkie-talkie in the grass where it had been thrown by the accident, talks to Michael, but then drops it and thinks he has broken the unit. Now he's afraid to tell anyone about what he found. Michael's realization that he is buried and that no one is answering his increasing frantic calls on the walkie-talkie will give you nightmares, or at least it would, if you're susceptible to that sort of thing. Forget supernatural/horror crap, realism is far more frightening.

Superintendent Roy Grace is charged with finding the missing man who disappeared just three days before he was to be married. Michael's friend and business partner we soon learn has it in for Michael and Ashley's Michael's intended is startled to learn that the business had considerable funds in a Cayman Islands account. Or is she? (Spoiler police, please note:These really aren't spoilers as we learn the details from several points of view early in the book.) The scenes of Michael growing increasingly frantic in his coffin are really frightening. Some interesting twists kept things moving along nicely. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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Een macabere grap loopt gruwelijk uit de hand...
Op zijn vrijgezellenavond wordt Michael door zijn vrienden voor de grap levend begraven...
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Op een paar probleempjes na was plan A tot dusver vlot verlopen.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330434195, Paperback)

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(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:53 -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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