Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not Dead Yet

by Peter James, Minotaur Books, November 2012

True fans of the series will read and like this offering although far from the best of this series

The latest in the Inspector Roy Grace series from Peter James deals with attempts on the life of international superstar Gaia.    Gaia (read Madonna a/o Lady Gaga) has come to the UK, specifically Brighton, to film a movie.  Her assistant has been brutally murdered in LA before her departure.  Inspector Grace has been tasked with protecting her and her young son while in Brighton.  Grave works with the police team familiar to readers of this series and also present is his wife Cleo who is in the final trimester of pregnancy.
 There are two side by side plots – the threats on Gaia’s life and a mutilated torso that is found on a local chicken farm (no end of bad jokes there).  Eventually these stories are brought together.  Much of the action occurs in and around the iconic Royal Pavilion at Brighton.  The author does a good job of describing this scene.  Grace is challenged with no end of suspects who appear in this story.  There is the disgruntled script writer, the unhappy fan, the recently released criminal with a grudge, and at least a couple of others.  The plot unfolds in short 2-3 page chapters.  There are lots of police procedural facts, UK style, for readers who enjoy that detail.  I was slightly befuddled by the author’s propensity for naming each and every person even slightly involved in the investigation.  I could not begin to count the names in this book but it must be at least a hundred if not more.  The tone of this story is typically British and quirky if not upbeat which I find unusual and entertaining in a crime story.  Grace likes his job and his life and this comes through in the telling.  There is an ongoing subplot in the series about Grace’s missing first wife that is carried through in this book.  I found this subplot strange and not well integrated with the rest of the story. 

This is far from the best book in this series and doesn’t come near the last one I read – Dead Like You.  True fans of the series will read and like this offering.  First time readers I believe would not be enthusiastic to read other books in the series based on this one.

I read a copy of this novel provided by the publisher.


Zibilee said...

I am not sure I would like this one, as there are so many characters and names to keep up with. I think that you are right. If you are a follower of this series, it will be a no-brainer to read this one, but if not, then this one is probably better off passed over. Very nice review today, Kathy!

mamabunny13 said...

This definitely sounds like a page turner! Stopping by from Cym's
connie's corner shelf