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Thursday, 10 July 2014

'Dead Letter Drop' by Peter James

Published by Pan Books in 2014,
originally published by W. H. Allen in 1981.
ISBN 978-1-4472-5595-6

 I came out of the first chapter quite breathless as the hero should have been!  This is a fast moving spy story beginning in New York with our hero pursued by men trying to kill him but he doesn't know why.  Luckily he is a resourceful agent and escapes his pursuers.  Max Flynn Is an MI5 operative who comes into possession of a mysterious computer stick.  In the light of present day computers, IPads and IPhones the computer searches used here are clumsy and long-winded!  This is a reissue of Peter James's first book, originally published in 1981, and it really has the atmosphere of that era.  One thinks of James Bond or Modesty Blaise as Max continually wriggles out of impossible situations with bullets falling like confetti around him.    The attempt to decode the significance of the numbers on the stick while evading various opponents is extremely interesting.  He eventually succeeds in deciding the information but he still doesn't really understand the significance of his discovery and why so many people are trying to kill him.  He has been used by his boss as a investigator for traitors within his organisation.  He realises that he must have found a mole whose supporters are endeavouring to kill him.

This is a fun reminder of the 1980s and our preoccupations then.  The story is really gripping as Max twists and turns to elude his pursuers while cogitating about the situation to decide who is the real mole.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Peter James has the best selling Detective Superintendant Roy Grace series of 10 novels and has written a number of other books.

 Peter James was educated at Charterhouse and then at film school. He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screen writer and film producer, before returning to England. His multiple award-winning, Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling novels have been translated into thirty-three languages. His writings reflect his deep interest in medicine, science and the world of the police. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created the hit Channel 4 series Bedsitcom, which was nominated for a Rose d'Or. Peter James won the Krimi-Blitz 2005 Crime Writer of the Year Award in Germany, and Dead Simple won both the 2006 Prix Polar International award and the 2007 Prix Cœur Noir award in France. Looking Good Dead was shortlisted for the 2007 Richard and Judy Crime Thriller of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for both France's SNCF award and Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policère. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and Sussex.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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