Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Dead Man's Grip - Peter James
Carly Chase is still traumatised after being in a fatal traffic accident which kills a teenage student from Brighton University. Then she receives news that turns her entire world into a living nightmare.
The drivers of the other two vehicles involved have been found tortured and murdered. Now Detective Superintendant Roy Grace of the Sussex Police force issues a stark and urgent warning to Carly: She could be next.
The student had deadly connections. Connections that stretch across the Atlantic. Someone has sworn revenge and won't rest until the final person involved in that fateful accident is dead.
The police advise Carly her only option is to go into hiding and change her identity. The terrified woman disagrees - she knows these people have ways of hunting you down anywhere. If the police are unable to stop them, she has to find a way to do it herself. But already the killer is one step ahead of her, watching, waiting, and ready ...
As an avid fan of Peter James, I was thrilled to see that he would be at the London Book Fair in April this year. I’ve emailed Peter a few times and over the months always found him encouraging, no matter how busy he was. So, me being me, I sent him a message via twitter to see what days he would be at Earl’s Court. When Peter suggested we could meet for coffee, I practically frightened the life out of shoppers at my local Tesco with my joyful cries as I read his reply (yes, I am a crackberry…)
True to his word, Peter met me and my friend, author Maria Duffy, for coffee at the book fair. The following day I happened across his PR manager. The day after that, I had a proof copy of Dead Man’s Grip in my hands.
I dived into it, finished it in two days and sent Peter an email telling him how much I’d enjoyed it (as a book reviewer, I often email authors to let them know some of the things that I liked as I don’t do spoilers in my reviews). All that was left to do was write my review and put it up on my blog. And that was where my troubles started…
I have had Dead Man’s Grip on my to-do list to review for weeks now. Why can’t I do it? Do you know when you want to do something so perfect that you can’t get started on it? Well, just that. I can’t put into words how inspired I am by Peter and his books so it throws me into a complete panic. I’m tempted to say it was AMAZING and leave it at that. But, anyway, here goes.
Dead Man’s Grip, as you will no doubt guess, blew me away. I love attention to detail in crime novels and I enjoy learning as I read. The story starts off with an accident – an innocent person is killed in a hit and run. The plot is built up slowly as we learn what happens at the scene. But then what transpires afterwards made me keep turning the pages and by the end of the book, Peter had me in his grip. In fact I would go so far as to say he had a strangle hold on me. In places, the plot seemed as far fetched as it was simple in its structure yet the pace became faster and faster – at one point I could feel my legs running as one of the characters raced to…stop me right there!
There is an ongoing sub plot throughout the Roy Grace series – it’s not a secret that he went to work one day and on his return his wife was missing. As well as enjoying reading about Roy and his serious crime cases, I find this a great enticer to read on to the next book. Dead Man’s Grip, book seven in the series, brought that sub plot out into the open a bit more, and an even tinier bit more with another twist right at the last hurdle. It’s one that I can’t imagine anything but pain from the outcome and looks, if I’m right, to be set up for the next book – just as Roy seems to be getting his life sorted.
If you want to learn how to write about great characters, fantastic plots and extraordinary sub plots as well as police procedures galore then, personally, I think you can’t do much better than pick up a Roy Grace novel. If you just want a really good read, then you can do exactly the same.
Dead Man’s Grip – it had me gripped.