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Wednesday 25 August 2021

‘Left You Dead’ by Peter James

Published by Macmillan,
13 May 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-52900424-3 (HB)

Anyone who reads crime will know that James is an author at the top of the tree. All his books shoot to the number one spot, I have read every one, and speak from experience when I say so well-deserved.

This man is more than a gifted plot knitter, he is also an unusual one who has intricately studied, and now knows everything about police procedural and forensics, and uses this knowledge to enrich his books.

This latest book, Left You Dead, has a touch of a psychological thriller about it, although it is a police procedural. We sort of get the best of both worlds. It is a crime without a body, so we aren’t quite sure whether we can all it a murder. The book opens as Niall and Eden are having an argument over needing cat litter. Eden wants to stop at Tesco to get some, but Niall wants to get home for his sports programme. Eden doesn’t return after her visit to Tesco, and nowhere in store CCTV is she seen. Niall is arrested but nothing is straightforward. There are twists and scarlet red herrings all written so well they kept me guessing and unable to go anywhere without snatching every minute in the day to read yet another page (not that easy, when you are holding a nearly six hundred page hard- back book in a supermarket or bus queue, but I persisted and went nowhere until I had read to the end). That’s just how page-turning this book is. Also, James has a very poignant and personal to his detective, Roy Grace story, threaded in this book, for which I defy you not to need tissues as well as your book in your handbag.  So apart from wanting to know how the crime happened, we are also put tender-hooks as to know how DCI Grace’s personal life works out. I certainly didn’t see the outcome of this very clever twist happening.

Peter James, I salute you.

Reviewer: Linda Regan

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.

Linda Regan
is the author of seven police procedural crime novels. She is also an actress. She holds a Masters degree in critical writing and journalism, and writes a regular column, including book reviews, for three magazines. She also presents the book-club spot on BBC Radio Kent. She is an avid reader and welcomes the chance to read new writers. 

  To read a review of Linda's most recent book
The Terror Within
click on the title.

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