Author : Peter James
Title : Dead Simple
Series : Roy Grace #1
Pages : 457
Publisher : Pan MacMillan
Publication date : 2005
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 . . .
Author Peter James had his thirteenth book in the Roy Grace series published earlier this year. Since I’d never read a book by him before, I apparently felt like that was the right time to start and naturally, I began with book number one because I just can’t help myself. Still, the odds that I will have caught up on this series by the time book fourteen comes around are pretty slim and there’s something quite satisfying in knowing you don’t need to anxiously await a publication date.
Dead Simple, the first book in the Roy Grace series, is anything but. It’s complicated, gripping and a fabulous page-turner. Yet it all starts so innocently. Five friends are out on a stag party and the groom-to-be has no idea what’s in store for him. It’s meant to be a harmless prank but then the groom-to-be, Michael, goes missing and his friends turn up dead. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace who is sadly all too familiar with missing persons cases as his own wife disappeared without a trace years ago.
The story starts off brilliantly and is well-paced throughout. Although it was clear quite early on what was going on, there were still a few twists and turns to keep me absolutely hooked. I found it to be quite an intense ride and a true page-turner as the race against time unfolds to save Michael. This is one of those books where I get incredibly annoyed that my eyes stop cooperating and I have to stop reading because it’s just made to be read in one sitting. This is such a brilliantly executed and completely engrossing plot.
I warmed to Roy Grace from the beginning. He’s incredibly perceptive and determined, willing to do whatever it takes to find out the truth. I love his backstory and am curious to find out if this will be addressed in future.
Right off the bat, it’s obvious that Peter James is a fantastic storyteller and it’s easy to see why he’s a bestselling author. I already feel like this may turn out to be one of my favourite series. It seems rather disgraceful that I’ve left it so long in reading one of his books but now I can’t wait to get caught up! Highly recommend this one!
Dead Simple was published in 2015.