Dead Mans Grip by Peter James (Roy Grace #7)

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My Rating: 3/5

Now the first thing I want to point out is that I am a huge Peter James fan and in particular of this series. Roy Grace is a fantastic character who I have studiously followed in each book. Peter James has always done a fantastic job of creating stories that capture you and the recurring characters that I have slowly fallen in love with. However, this book failed to leave me with the same satisfaction as others in the past.

The story itself starts off with quite a dramatic car accident. We have a short introduction of the main characters and then the accident itself is described in all its horrific detail. The beginning set the pace and as usual with a Peter James book the pace stays that way usually to the very end. This new book is as usual over 500 pages long and I felt that around the halfway mark my interest was becoming far less that it usually is.

The main storyline is centred on Carly Chase who was involved in the traffic accident that involved the death of a young man. It now seems that Carly’s life is in danger by a killer that has already murdered the other two people involved in the accident. I think the main let down for me was the killer themselves; there was a certain air of disbelief that Peter James had taken this route and I found it lessened my enjoyment of the book.

His writing style is as ever fantastic which makes a book ten times easier to read and as usual his characters are all very strong and make a lasting impression. The appearance of the much loved characters is again a sign of how good a writer he is, so from that perspective he cannot be faulted. Roy Grace along with Glenn Branson and some other recurring characters are as ever brilliantly written and people I want to continue seeing.

Roy’s relationship with Cleo is visited throughout the story and we see the glimpses of potential problems for both of them in the future. It is hard to explain why without containing plot spoilers but trust me; this element of the book is brilliant because Peter James has you so hooked on finding out what will happen you just HAVE to buy the next book he publishes.

The last part of these books is the element of Roy’s past concerning his wife Sandy. At the end of his last book I was convinced we would see a conclusion to it in this book. I was wrong! In a way I was irritated by the fact as a reader I didn’t get the answers I wanted, but boy does Peter James throw in a shocker at the end of this book! It was enough of a shocker to nearly make me forgive him the weak killer element of this story.

Overall I really enjoyed the writing style and elements of the story, but the weak element of the killer really made it feel a bit of a let down for me. Finding it hard to rate but will probably say middle of the road. Not his best book in this series, but a crucial element in the ongoing saga of Roy’s past! My advice is to start at the beginning of the series and work your way through.

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