The Roy Grace series, by author Peter James, has an impressive tribal following. The 10 books in the series are reputed to have total sales in excess of 15 million copies. A quick calculation, allowing each reader one copy of each title, says we are talking a tribe of at least 1.5 million readers – more if we allow for those who have only sampled a couple of the books in the series.
The first book in the series, Dead Simple, was published in 2005, however, I only ‘discovered’ Peter James a couple of months ago, when Kobo suggested I might like to read one of his books, as they do when you buy books by other authors in the same genre. Since then, I’ve enjoyed reading Not Dead Enough and Dead Like You to see what has attracted so many readers to the series.
What did I find?
The stories hold your attention with their serial crimes, multiple potential perpetrators and the uncertainty of the police investigation. The crimes keep happening, despite the best efforts of the police, until that final piece drops into place. Then there are the personal relationship issues of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson that threaten to derail their investigation and their careers, along with tensions in Grace’s relationships with his superiors and the local press.
In Not Dead Enough the fear invades Grace’s personal space. In Dead Like You, you’re guessing right up to the end, and then there’s a surprise you’re not expecting.
If you’re into police procedures, James has done his research, and he does not hold back the gruesome details when describing post-mortem autopsies.
One of the techniques James uses to keep you intrigued is opening a window into the life of the victims. While I was reading Dead Like You I found myself wanting to know if each woman was going to escape or was she going to become the next victim. And, I like the way he developed the story of the gutsy girl that did get away, leaving the detail about her martial arts training right up to just before she encountered the villain. Then, of course, I wanted to know how she’d use that skill to escape. He certainly knows how to write a ‘page turner’.
He also lets you into the lives of the perpetrator and the other suspects, without giving away the identity of the bad guy until Roy Grace has worked out who it is, which is about the same time you realise your initial choice was wrong.
I enjoy reading Peter James and suggest you check him out. You never know, you might enjoy reading about Roy Grace too.
You can find out more about Peter James and his books at Peter James.