Book Review - Love You Dead

by Peter James (Macmillan) ISBN 9781447255819

Peter James was inspired to write this story by a metropolitan policeman who has unusual pets: poison dart frogs.

James thoroughly researches police operations and even provides a glossary on police terminology. He also researches technical, medical and scientific information, which undoubtedly adds to the story's authenticity. The book is part of the Roy Grace series. 

Jodie is the ugly duckling in her family and made to feel an outsider. Her beautiful sister is the favourite. Jodie decided from an early age that she needed to change this. She would be beautiful, rich and powerful. Her philosophy is: If you can't earn it, marry it. The only problem with this is how to discard the husband when necessary. Jodie acquires these skills in a venomous way. She is a dangerous manipulator - a typical black widow - yet, even she can make mistakes. 

Detective Roy Grace is still working on a previous case. Another escaped criminal is also on his radar. To top it all, he suspects a black widow is in town. All three are cunning, elusive and lethal. Roy is feeling pressure from his superior whom he dislikes anyway. His personal life has become complicated: His wife who disappeared has been located. 

There are some horrific moments, but the story is also sprinkled with humorous moments. The police work is interesting and informative rather than tedious. Altogether, it is a splendid read. 

Dawn Blankfield


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Book Review - The House On Cold Hill

by Peter James (Macmillan) ISBN 9781447290674 

They said the dead can’t hurt you...they were wrong. I was fascinated with this story from the beginning, where a ghostly old lady dressed in blue with a hideous smile, walks through walls. 

Ollie and Caro and daughter Jade are thrilled with their new castle like home.  There is a drip from an old ceiling in the main bedroom which forces Caro and Ollie to move into the four poster iron bedstead in the attic. They wake up to find the bed has been turned around completely, in spite of the smallness of the room. Caro is beginning to realise that the house is haunted. Ollie doesn’t want to acknowledge this because he loves the place. A night of the wallpaper becoming so damp that they have to leave the room is a puzzle because in the morning the sopping wet wallpaper is bone dry. 

The wonderful way that the author brings in a horde of workmen makes everything in the house seem so normal. Then there are messages on Ollie’s phone which disappear. Threatening messages. Caro and Jade decide to leave. Ollie runs after them. Read on. 

The ending is as ghostly as the beginning. I couldn’t put this novel down. 

Dee Andrew

“They said the dead can’t hurt you … they were wrong”. The by-line on the cover of Peter James’ latest book should send chills down your spine. 

Ollie decides that he needs to take risks so he uproots his wife, Caro, and 13-year-old daughter, Jade, from their comfortable city life to live in their dream house in the country. The house is big and old and it soon becomes clear that Ollie does not have enough money to repair and renovate. One flaw after another is revealed by the builders who declare that without repairing, the house could fall down. And to add to Ollie’s worries, the ghosts reveal themselves. As the ghosts become belligerent, Caro is warned via a medium that their lives are in danger. Ollie refuses to be intimidated. Besides, repairing the house has exhausted their life-savings so the family cannot afford to leave. 

Jade seems to accept the presence of the ghosts as ‘cool’. Although she is an interesting character, I did find this acceptance from a young teen difficult to understand. The first chapter sets the tone but is confusing. It is only towards the end of the story that the chapter starts to make sense. James also tends to add in irrelevant detail that does not add to the suspense and can be irritating. 

There are a few storylines that are left unanswered and the ending is too predictable. An easy book to read for ghost lovers but not worth it if you like a plot that will keep you scared out of your wits. 

Ulrike Hill


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Not Dead Yet

by Peter James (Macmillan) ISBN 978-0-230-74727-2


Gia, a world famous Hollywood star, is filming in Brighton. She plays the Queen to the King and they are shooting the movie under an enormous chandelier that hangs over a banqueting table. Everyone is jealous of the actress and her life is at stake. Even with guards on the movie set old flames are out to destroy her.


Detective Superintendent Roy Grace has his work cut out keeping the murderers at bay. There is a story within a story as Grace’s old wife hasn’t been seen for years. He and his new wife are ecstatic at the thought of a new baby on the way. He is selling his house and a mysterious buyer says hello to Grace’s fish, which is very strange.


Gia is kidnapped and the police pursue her through a labyrinth of tunnels until Grace becomes fade to face with the killer.   You cannot put this book down and even when you reach the end you find you are holding onto the book for all its worth, the suspense is so well described.


There are unexpected thrills all through the novel and everything seems very real. A fabulous read.


Dee Andrew


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Dead Simple

by Peter James (Pan) ISBN 978-0-330-43419a-5


Michael's friends giggled as they screwed down the lid of his coffin and threw dirt over the grave. This was the idea of the best man who was organising the stag party before the wedding. 


Inside the coffin, Michael has his cell phone with him. He soon calls his friends up and says he wants to get out, now. A few hours later his friends are involved in a horrendous motor accident and they are all dead.


No-one else knows where the bridegroom is. Michael's love of his life, Ashley, turns out to be a person who would prefer Michael to stay where he is.The police have their work cut out, looking for Michael. They have no idea that he is buried alive in a forest.


This was a hard story to swallow as I hated the author's choice of a buried coffin with a live person in it being used as a joke.  I raced through the pages hoping that Michael would be found alive. The police try desperately to locate Michael. When the coffin is opened, they discover…   


Peter James certainly had me reading furiously to the very end.


Dee Andrew


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