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by Peter James
Pan Macmillan, June 2017
400 pages
ISBN: 1509816313

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Since 2005 Peter James has been entertaining readers with his Roy Grace series of detective thrillers, in the process creating one of the most extensive and beguiling crime sagas in recent memory. Set in Sussex, Detective Superintendent Grace battles some of the most devious and cold-blooded adversaries imaginable, all the while struggling with family matters that would defeat a lesser man. His first wife, Sandy, disappeared over a decade earlier, and had been presumed and declared dead, only to surface in Germany in a hospital, in a coma, the result of a traffic accident. Grace learns he has a son, Bruno, whom he has never seen. Meanwhile Grace remarried and he and his wife Cleo now have an infant son of their own.

All this, of course, would make for a riveting tale of its own; but as a CID officer Grace has a professional life every bit as dramatic. He had recently encountered a pathological killer from America nicknamed Tooth, who, after narrowly failing to kill Grace, lies in a coma in a hospital in Brighton. Meanwhile, Grace lands a new case involving the death of a woman who was leading a complex personal life that gave several men a motive to want her dead.

Roy Grace must wrestle with his own senior officer, Assistant Chief Constable Cassian Pewe, who is always looking over Grace's shoulder and who would delight in being able to bring him down, while leading a team of CID officers who are not without problems of their own. It all makes for an engrossing saga that puts such enduring dramas as Coronation Street and Eastenders to shame.

With 18 million copies of the thirteen novels in the series sold to date, James has earned the mantle of perhaps the most successful contemporary thriller writer alive. James is known for his meticulous research into police procedures and forensic investigations, and his debut novel in the series, DEAD SIMPLE, is as good as anything penned by the creator of the crime thriller, Edgar Allan Poe. Millions of fans around the world await the next Roy Grace novel, eager to discover the latest turn in the embattled detective's complex life. Readers in search of believable characters caught up in life-changing events not of their own making cannot do better.

Since 2005 Jim Napier's reviews and interviews have appeared in several Canadian newspapers and on various crime fiction and literary websites, including his own award-winning site, Deadly Diversions. His own crime novel, Legacy, was published in May 2017. He can be reached at jnapier@deadlydiversions.com

Reviewed by Jim Napier, June 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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