Synopsis: An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realisation that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.
Kat’s Rating: 5/5
**Note: If you plan on reading the series in order, please do not continue to read my review as it will inevitably contain spoilers**
Kat’s Review: I remain a Peter James fan, however the last few books seem to have brought a bit of discontent to readers, myself included. The whole ‘Sandy’ story line has made me become a little disinterested and at times bored I’m afraid to say. However, his latest book was a great read and I was hoping that this issue of Sandy would finally be put to bed with this latest in the series. What surprised me the most about this book was that Roy Grace barely features in the first 50% of the book. However, Peter James has produced a great story line featuring Jodie Bentley, a woman whose aim is to get rich and do it quick.
The story line featuring Jodie was awash with deadly creatures which frankly made my skin crawl! This element of the story certainly added a new flavour and I was enthralled. I did however wonder what part Roy and his team would be playing. However, once the Grace side of the story started there seemed to be so many threads that he and the team were involved with. There is the return of Dr Crisp, the return of a killer to the streets of Brighton and the long standing ‘Sandy’ story line.
The plot was thick, the pace steady and frankly I was absorbed in all elements of this book. There were however parts where I felt that Roy didn’t feature enough, nor Glenn Branson. We do see the return of the very politically incorrect colleague Norman Potting who I adore which was an added bonus though as well as Roy’s wife Cleo. The one major thing Peter James does is finalise the element featuring Roy’s ex-wife Sandy. I must admit that although I think it could have been done sooner we (as readers) at least have some form of closure on this part of the story line which I am glad of.
I was wondering whether I could rate this the full 5 but overall it was a fantastic read, and although I thing the Sandy plot was drawn out too long this is a nice conclusion and frankly a thoroughly enjoyable book. It certainly cements Peter James as one of the best and most long standing writers our there and with good reason. Immensely looking forward to the new book ‘Need You Dead’, due out May 2017.