NEED YOU DEAD (Roy Grace #13) by Peter James
18th May 2017, Pan Macmillan
Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.
Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.
When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.
I always struggle with long series as I think what can the author possibly do to make this book any better or different to the past books he has written? I was also a little apprehensive going into this one as I had been reading reviews that stated it wasn’t as good as the previous ones 😦
However personally for me I found it just as enjoyable as the previous 12! It starts off with Lorna Belling being killed by a lover who we have discovered is not who he claims to be. As Lorna threatens him with his whole life, the lover trying to stop her, kills her and then tries to cover his tracks. Peter manages to give just enough away about the killer to spike the reader’s interest but not enough way that it takes anything away from the “whodunnit” of the story, although I have to admit I did have some suspicions about who the killer could be I didn’t predict the actual outcome.
Roy Grace is obviously, as with all the books, still dealing with the aftermath of discovering his wife Sandy, who he had presumed to be dead for the last 10 years, was actually alive and had had a son by him. Although in book 12 Sandy dies for real, Roy and Cleo now have to adapt to having Roy’s son, Bruno around. Sandy mentions in her suicide not that she worries about Bruno, and with a couple of little hints throughout Need you Dead I feel that Peter is leading this somewhere and I am sure we will discover a lot more about Bruno as the books progress.
Glenn Branson isn’t such a big part of this book. I am hoping that is not an indication of future books as I enjoy the banter between Glenn and Roy and it really adds the humour element to what can otherwise be quite a hard read. Other side characters also make appearances in this book as well as some new faces who I am sure we will learn more about in future books.
As with all of my previous reviews I feel I need to mention how much I enjoy that the books are only set just a few months apart. There are mentions of past cases and how they are progressing in terms of court appearances etc, I enjoy knowing that the case hasn’t just ended because the book did. It also helps me to feel like I haven’t missed huge chunks of Roy’s life. Noah is still a baby, not at school already and Cleo is still trying to juggle being a working mother.
As with the previous 12 books, NEED YOU DEAD is full of twists and turns that make you want to keep turning the pages. I love how they completely blind side the reader with what happens and are so unpredictable. So much happens within one book that by the time you reach the end you feel like you have been on one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
I am looking forward to book 14 and where Peter decides to take Roy next. I know that book 15 is in the process of being released and who knows how many more he will write. Personally if they are all as good as NEED YOU DEAD I hope he never stops!
You can buy NEED YOU DEAD (Roy Grace #13) from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)