Dead If You Don’t – Peter James (Roy Grace 14)


Dead If You Don’t is published on 17 May 2018 by Macmillan and is available to purchase here


Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most complex case yet in Dead If You Don’t.

Kipp Brown, successful businessman and compulsive gambler, is having the worst run of luck of his life. He’s beginning to lose, big style. However, taking his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match should have given him a welcome respite, if only for a few hours. But it’s at the stadium where his nightmare begins.

Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client. He takes his eye off Mungo for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears. Then he gets the terrifying message that someone has his child, and to get him back alive, Kipp will have to pay.

Defying instruction not to contact the police, Kipp reluctantly does just that, and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is brought in to investigate. At first it seems a straightforward case of kidnap. But rapidly Grace finds himself entering a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where the rules are different and nothing is what it seems . . .

***Previously in the series***

Love You Dead – Book 12

Need You Dead – Book 13

My thoughts

Every year, I get so excited. ROY GRACE IS BACK. As a lifetime paid up member of the Roy Grace fan club, I wait to see what delights the wonderful and talented Peter James has in store for us. Dead If You Don’t is the fourteenth book in the series.

The story takes us to the Amex stadium, up in Falmer for a football match. Brighton and Hove Albion are playing Manchester City. This is their first match in the Premier League. Everybody is there. Chief Superintendent Roy Grace is watching the match with his ten year old son, Bruno. His side kick, Detective Inspector Glenn Branson, is following the crowds on CCTV, in the Control Room. Kip Brown (‘Trust Kip’) is attending the match with his teenage son, Mungo, in style. Events take a dark turn. Mungo disappears. He cannot be found. Kip receives an ominous text. His son is in danger. Someone is there at the match. Behaving suspiciously. There is a bomb threat. A threat of an explosion.

A missing teenager. A bomb at the stadium. Lives threatened. It is all escalating, with no quick resolution. Roy Grace is at the heart of the action. The criminal element in the city is there, casting a shadow. The body count will rise. This is going to be one hell of a weekend. YES! This is Peter James on top form, creating chaos in Brighton. We feel the tension. We feel the fear. We wait for the explosion. We worry for poor Mungo.

What a pleasure to be back in the company of Roy Grace, Glenn Branson, the obnoxious Pewe and Norman Potting. Strong characters, that we all know and love. The phenomenal attention to detail, from the master of research. The gorgeous twists. The moments of dark humour. I smiled at the return of Kip aka ‘Trust Kip’ from Need You Dead. The interconnectedness of the stories is one of the highlights. Peter James doesn’t miss a trick, bringing back our favourites. Good to see Roy Grace’s son is still exhibiting signs of being a junior psychopath.

Marvellous. Brilliant. Impossible to put down. Peter James shows his support for Brighton and Hove Albion. He waves the Seagulls flag. He gives us another exceptional Roy Grace drama. Dead If You Don’t delivers in style. Quality crime. Recommended.








About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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