‘WHAT MAKES A KILLER?’
Need You Dead is the latest release from International bestselling author Peter James. Published on 18th May by MacMillan, this is the landmark 13th novel in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series.
I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but it’s my first time reading a book from Peter James, so I would like to thank Alice Geary of Midas PR for my review copy.
Dedicated to authenticity, Peter James bases his books upon real life experiences he has witnessed through shadowing the Sussex Police.
Please do read on for my voluntary & unbiased review…
Lorna Belling, desperate to escape her marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, even those you consider closest to you may not be who they say they are, and a chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything.
When the body of a woman is found in the bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first, it looks like an open and shut case but Grace is hesitant as ever to make assumptions and as the investigation lengthens so does the list of men with motives for killing Lorna.
As well as dealing with one of his most mysterious cases yet, Grace must cope with an unexpected new addition to the family. His existence may have only just been discovered following the death of Grace’s ex-wife, but ten-year-old Bruno is moving to Brighton to live with his Dad.
As the case unfolds, with each possible conclusion as tantalisingly plausible as the next, a sudden turn of events reveals the case to be more sinister than Grace could ever imagine.
‘Sometimes the hunt for a killer will lead you close to home’
Well, well, well…….what can I say!! Need you Dead is a straight-up, no nonsense police procedural with all that is expected from this genre.
DS Roy Grace is facing a hard road ahead. After hearing that his ex-wife has committed suicide in Germany, he discovers that he has a ten-year old son, Bruno, that he knew nothing of. With the support of his wife Cleo, Grace has to come to terms with this huge life changing event. His devotion to his work in the police department takes up a major chunk of his time. With his new baby son Noah and the expectant arrival of Bruno, Grace has his hands full, but violence and crime continues to plague the streets and Grace soon finds himself engrossed in a very complex case.
Lorna Belling was a work-from-home hairdresser, with a passionate hobby for dog breeding. She had aspirations and desires for a better life. But Lorna was also a victim of domestic violence. Her husband, Corin, was a very brutal individual with a vicious temper that Lorna invariably felt the impact of.
Lorna in attempt to salvage something good for herself, embarks on an affair. This new relationship offers hope for Lorna and she truly believes she has a better future ahead of her.
But life doesn’t always work out as planned….
Grace is called to a flat in Brighton where the body of a woman is found in a bath. Is it murder or is there a possibility of suicide?
Initially the case seems relatively straightforward but as the layers are peeled away, Grace soon discovers that this is a very complicated crime. Like a game of chess, Grace is forever moving from square to square seemingly one space behind all the time.
The motivation for this possible crime raises many complications for Grace and his team, with the constant shifting of the sands.
Roy Grace is a difficult personality to pin down. Perhaps as I haven’t read any of the previous novels, I am not familiar with his history. There appears to be some animosity between himself and one of his superior officers, which I’m sure has an interesting backstory, but the one feature that does stand out in this book is his absolute concern for his co-workers. He is a father figure to many, as he portrays the image of a confidante and yet also of a strong and trusted colleague. I like in the book that he is very aware of the mental state of his workforce and his concern for their general well being is paramount to him.
Need You Dead is a book that has everything in it.
There is the very human story of Roy Grace being united for the first time with his son, while at the same time there is the horrific discovery of a woman’s body. There is the aftermath of the suicide of Grace’s first wife and all the complications of expatriating the body from Germany to the UK and the funeral arrangements to be organised.
Relationships play a very strong role in the book. Grace and his new wife Cleo have a fledgling relationship, with Grace conscious that his work does not come between them both. His rapport with all his work colleagues features very strongly throughout, as we get a peek into the personal issues of their daily lives.
But…..Need You Dead is primarily a police procedural so you can expect plenty of technical terminology within the chapters. I have no preconceptions of a Peter James novel, so for me I was very intrigued by the technology utilised by the police. The sheer scale of techniques availed of is quite fascinating and I think it’s obvious to the reader the research that was undertaken by Peter James to ensure accuracy and facts.
Need You Dead is a fast-paced, accomplished novel that will keep the reader turning the pages at speed. It’s a highly enjoyable read and one that I heartily recommend!!
Purchase Link ~ Need You Dead
Meet Peter James:
Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-six languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him nine consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement, awarded for sustained excellence.
Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include his ghost story The House On Cold Hilland The Perfect Murder, which has been turned into a smash hit stage play. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex. (Courtesy of Pan MacMillan)
Website ~ https://www.peterjames.com/
YouTube ~ https://www.youtube.com/c/peterjamespjtv
Twitter ~ @peterjamesuk
Instagram ~ https://www.instagram.com/peterjamesuk/