DEAD MAN'S GRIP

Written by Peter James

Review written by Adrian Magson

Adrian Magson is the author of 16 works of fiction and Write On! - The Writer’s Help Book. His series include the Harry Tate spy thrillers and the Lucas Rocco French police novels. His latest thriller is ‘The Watchman’, the first in a new series featuring protection specialist Marc Portman. The sequel – ‘Close Quarters’ – is out in April 2015.


DEAD MAN'S GRIP
Macmillan
RRP: £18.99
Released: 26th May 2011
Hbk
Four people find a connection they each wish they hadn’t in Peter James’ latest DS Roy Grace thriller, and it’s the start of a truly tense outing for the Brighton-based cop – and brings a startling revelation that his fans will definitely not want to miss.

When Carly Chase sets off for work one morning, she cannot begin to imagine what is about to happen. The same with lorry driver Stuart Ferguson, American student Tony Revere… and the driver of a tailgating white van who pushes just a little too hard.

But the results of their presence in the coastal town one morning will spill far beyond the shore, and bring these unsuspecting individuals under the sinister and unforgiving eyes of the American Mafia.
 
It would be too easy to give away too much in this book, and I’m not about to do that. Suffice to say, each of these characters is woven together in a frightening scenario involving a professional hit man… and Roy Grace, who at first thinks he is dealing with a straightforward hit-and-run, finds himself having to prevent something he knows is not entirely within his control, while using all the resources and personnel he can muster.

As if that wasn’t enough, it’s life as usual for poor old Roy… with the spectre of Sandy, his missing wife, still hovering on his shoulder; his new love, Cleo, about to give birth; and all the ructions and problems of being part of a busy police force with targets and pressure from on high.

‘Dead Man’s Grip’ brings a whole new dimension to this series, and in my view lifts it way above its peers. There is still the personal pressure for Grace, along with the professional (and this book sets up the personal ones to become way, way more interesting, believe me), but that just acts as a contrast to what he has to face when a whole new threat comes to town. And as an example of how street cameras can be used to track down a suspect (or not, in some cases), this is a brilliant one – and very cinematic, as one might expect from this writer.

I really couldn’t wait to finish, to see how it would be resolved. And just when I thought it had been, in the last couple of pages there was a belter of a surprise which made me wonder, ‘when’s the next book out?'

But you’ll have to read it find out what that surprise is.

Excellent.
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