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review 2017-11-15 14:14
.Dead Simple Book Review.
Dead Simple - Peter James

This review can also be found at LostBetweenThePages & Goodreads.

 

"The four friends walked to the edge and peered down. All of them were suddenly aware that nothing in life is ever quite as it seems when you are planning it. This hole right now looked deeper, darker, more like - well- a grave, actually."

 

If any of you know me and follow my Instagram you'll know that this is completely the opposite of what I would normally read. It's quite strange really, I love watching a good murder mystery or thriller on TV or film but not to read. My assistant manage at work was reading this and told me about it, she absolutely loved it and told me the premise: a groom is buried in the woods as a prank on his stag do and the only people who know where he is are involved in a car wreck...except for Mark. Mark is the one person who should know where the stag is but remains adamant he knows nothing.

 

It was quite surreal reading this book as it was set in Brighton and the surrounding West Sussex area, which is where I live. It was so weird reading a book with a location I'm so familiar with. This book was race against time than finding a murder, which made it feel more fast paced. A real sense of urgency.

 

The narrative switches from several characters so the pace of this book ticks over nicely, it never really slows. I was expecting this book to be from Detective Grace's point of view the whole time, so it was welcome surprise that it jumped around. This book constantly feeds you different bits of information from different people with so many twists and turns. It was brilliant. Serval times whilst reading this it had me literally shouting on my lunch break, although I did guess a lot of the story. But for me it didn't make any difference, it was such a great book.

 

There is so much I want to say about this book, but spoilers. In summary, it's a lot like a Dan Brown book. In the sense that it's fast paced, full of twists and turns and switches from character to character. For those of you who are uncomfortable about reading a character buried alive not much time is spent with him, and when it is he tends to pass out or falls asleep.

 

 

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review 2016-05-09 10:53
Dead Simple - Peter James

The first in the Roy Grace series of books and for me it won't be the last. Aside from the fact that everyone in this book was good looking and as soon as anyone was introduced we immediately got a list of their physical attributes, which I found irritating and interrupted the flow if several people turned up for the first time all together, I enjoyed the book a lot.

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review 2015-01-20 11:57
Review: Dead Simple by Shirley Wells
Dead Simple (A Dylan Scott Mystery) - Shirley Wells

Dead Simple is the last Dylan Scott Mystery, which saddens me greatly. So it is appropriate that for his final tale, Dylan heads back to Dawson’s Clough, where the series and his career as a private investigator began. He’s decided to find out who killed Stevie Greenwood, a simple-minded local who helped Dylan solve his first case. He’s doing this one out of personal motivation, driven to fill the huge void in his life left by the sudden death of his beloved wife, Bev.

 

Dylan is a different man than he was those few years ago. He’s aged, matured, and grown a bit wiser. This is reflected in how he views Dawson’s Clough; seeing changes in the town or noticing bits and pieces he hasn’t before. Ever the astute investigator, Dylan finds a way to get the information he needs to solve his case. And this time around, he’s even willing to break a few laws to give Stevie’s memory some justice (and work out his own demons). 

 

As always, Ms. Wells creates a complex, fact-driven, detail-filled world that captivates me from the get go. Building the case from the first words on the page, she never shares extraneous information, but certainly can lead readers astray. And while it is Dylan’s tale, the story is told from multiple perspectives, which not only gives the reader a better sense of the grand picture, but creates more than one suspect and motive for the crimes.

 

While searching for the truth about poor Stevie’s demise, Dylan stumbles onto a couple other crimes in progress - ones that even the police don’t know about. I enjoyed the multiple storylines, especially how the author ties them together rather than forces each one to stand alone. And I love reading Dylan’s train of thought - how he puts together pieces of the puzzle so logically. It’s both thrilling and nerve-wracking to see where his ideas take him.

 

One of the best aspects in each Dylan Scott mystery is the intermixing of Dylan’s personal life with the overall story. Over the course of eight books, I’ve come to know Dylan and his family, his hopes and dreams, his fears and vices. In the previous book, Ms. Wells tossed a major curveball into Dylan’s life with the death of his wife. Left to raise his children and move on through his grief, Dylan realizes what is truly important in life. Ms. Wells handles this period with touching grace, giving life to Bev’s memories. I loved how little things would happen, reminding Dylan of Bev, and it’s all so real for someone who is grieving.

 

Overall, Dead Simple is a gripping mystery coupled with a heart-warming story of a man dealing with life. The excellent tale is full of twists and turns, with all the pieces fitting together without feeling contrived or rushed. The story is packed with tense moments and rugged emotions, creating an ideal mix. Ms. Wells’ superb storytelling is evident in each of the Dylan Scott stories, and I strongly encourage you to pick one up. Dylan has been a wonderful companion over these past few years, and I am grateful to Ms. Wells for sharing him with me.

 

My Rating:  A, Loved It

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

Review copy provided by publisher

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review 2014-10-18 00:00
Dead Simple
Dead Simple - Peter James Gute Idee, mangelhafte Umsetzung. Drum Abbruch nach etwas mehr als dem ersten Viertel, ich möchte ja nicht vor Wut den Reader an die Wand schmeißen. War teuer, das Teil.
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review 2014-10-04 00:00
Dead Simple
Dead Simple - Peter James 3.5 star read

It's Michael Harrison's stag night. He and four of his friends are on a pub crawl. Although Michael has promised his fiancée not to get too drunk, he's having a good time and feeling virtually no pain. The only thing missing is his best friend, Mark, but Mark was out of town on business and his plane back home to Brighton has been grounded by fog. Just when things are really starting to heat up, Michael's friends take their revenge on him for all of his stag night pranks against him and put him in a coffin in a grave. Their intention is to make him sweat a little and come back in a few hours and dig him up. As they're driving off they are in a horrible car accident. Three die on impact and the fourth has suffered severe injuries and is comatose. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Grace has been asked by a friend and co-worker to help out on Michael’s disappearance. Can they find Michael before his upcoming nuptials or before he dies of lack of oxygen or worse?

Dead Simple is the first in the Roy Grace series by Peter James. Grace is not your average police officer. He is relatively young to be a detective superintendent and was on a fast track until a defense attorney mocks him for his belief in the paranormal, specifically the use of psychics on his cases. Grace is thirty-nine years old and has been grieving the disappearance of his wife Sandy for nine years. He refuses to have her legally declared dead because he still holds out hope that she'll be found. Grace's abilities as an outstanding police officer are admired by most and it is precisely due to this admiration that his friend and co-worker Glenn Branson that he is called in on Michael Harrison's disappearance. Roy doesn't quite believe Michael's best-friend and best man Mark Warren when he says he had no idea what his friends were up to on that night, he had only planned a pub crawl. Although Michael's fiancée Ashley appears to be distraught over his disappearance, there's something about her manner that has Roy wondering about her as well.

Dead Simple is part thriller, part suspense, part police procedural, and a great read. Roy Grace is a quirky but likeable character and wholly believable as a police officer. His interaction with friends and coworkers adds to his likeability quotient and adds to the reader's understanding of Grace the man and Grace the police officer. This seemingly simple case of a missing man becomes anything but simple as the story evolves. Just when you think you know who is doing what and why, Mr. James throws in a nice plot twist and you're off in a completely new direction. There are bad guys and even worse guys in this story and they provide the perfect foil for Grace and his abilities. All of the action in the story takes place over a span of five days, a fast-paced, suspense-filled five days. Does Grace find the bad guy(s) in the end? Is Michael still alive? What was the motive behind Michael's "abduction?” You know I'm not going to reveal those types of details; you have to read this delightfully twisted story for yourself to find out. One thing I can tell you is that I'll be reading more of the Roy Grace series by Mr. James because I'm totally hooked.
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