Shortly after Kipp Brown and his teenage son, Mungo, arrive at the stadium for their team’s biggest-ever football game, Mungo disappears. A short while later Kipp receives a text with a ransom demand and a warning not to go to the police if he and his wife want to see their son alive again. But as a massive, covert manhunt for the boy and his kidnappers begins, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace starts to realize that not all is what it seems.
I so love picking up a Roy Grace book. The characters are always so familiar and it feels like putting on a comfy pair of slippers.
Although Roy Grace was most definitely not putting on slippers when he becomes involved in a bomb scare at the football stadium and risks life and limb to get rid of it before it explodes killing several hundred people. Now this happens at the start and you imagine that this book will mostly be about that but actually a kidnapper happens on the same day at the same venue and that becomes the main story of the book.
Kipp Brown is on the verge of losing it all with a huge gambling addiction that keeps on growing and his family life falling apart. After losing one child, their son, Mungo has become the thing that keeps Kipp and Stacey together and when he is kidnapped Kipp feels like the world is falling apart around him. As he has to decide just how much he will pay and risk to get his son back, Roy Grace is on a mission to find him and the people responsible for taking him.
As always there are lots of twists and turns along the way. The one thing that I love about the Roy Grace series is nothing is ever as simple as you first believe when you start the book. Peter manages to keep you guessing the whole way through, which also keeps the pages turning.
I found that the side characters that we know and love don’t seem to be as prominent in this book, which is a shame as I love how familiar and neccessary they become throughout the series. I also feel that Roy Grace’s own personal life is less talked about in this edition and as much as I loved the story it did take away from the book slightly.
We see yet again that not all seems to be right with Roy’s long lost son Bruno and I feel that this character and story line will definitely progress in later books in the series.
The entire Roy Grace series is always a completely different storyline, no crime ever seems to be the same, and that adds to the series as you never know what to expect. I also think as I begin a new one in the series that eventually they are going to start getting repetitive and not as enjoyed but that is never the case. I again, enjoyed how this book seems to be set just a few months after the 13th book so you don’t feel like you have missed huge chunks of Roy’s life. His baby, Noah, who was born a few books ago is still just a baby. I hope that this continues throughout the rest of the series.
I always wonder how Peter will end the series and how many more books will be written but for now, whilst he can continue to keep them fresh yet so familiar at the same time, I will continue to read them year after year.
You can buy Dead If You Don’t (Roy Grace #14) from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)
*L*’s reviews for previous books in the Roy Grace series: