Synopsis: Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most complex case yet in Dead If You Don’t.
Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. He’s beginning to lose, big style. However, taking his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match should have given him a welcome respite, if only for a few hours. But it’s at the stadium where his nightmare begins.
Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client. He takes his eye off Mungo for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears. Then he gets the terrifying message that someone has his child, and to get him back alive, Kipp will have to pay.
Defying instruction not to contact the police, Kipp reluctantly does just that, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems .
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: Well I must admit although I really enjoyed this latest Roy Grace outing I was kind of expecting a little more. If like me you were glad to see the back of the Sandy story line, I also wonder if (like me) you were also expecting a little more from the thread regarding Roy’s son? That little niggle aside this was a pretty decent read. You notice I say decent, and not great or good. I don’t know whether that’s because I just consistently expect more from Mr J or whether he just isn’t up to scratch.
This story is set around a bomb threat at the local Football stadium as well as the kidnapping of the son of local businessman Kipp Brown who was briefly featured in the last book. The story lines were okay and certainly engaging enough but I still felt like there was something missing and I still cannot put my finger on exactly what that was. I love seeing the return of characters I love such as Roy’s sidekick Glenn Branson as well as people like the always inappropriate Norman Potting.These consistently good characters and now the addition of Roy’s son are certainly what keep me going back to this series.
One of the most exciting threads for me is Roy’s son who frankly is one of the best things recently introduced. I think this gives Peter James the scope to take this series in a new direction and I sincerely hope that he will. I don’t know if it’s just me as the reviews for this book are mostly amazing so it seems I am in the minority. I just feel like there was a little something slightly off and although I cannot work out what that is this latest release just didn’t feel like it was as good as it could have been.