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James, Peter - 'Want You Dead'
Hardback: 400 pages (June 2014) Publisher: Macmillan ISBN: 0230760589

Red Westwood is a beautiful woman in her late twenties. She's recently, with the help of the police, extricated herself from an abusive relationship with a man called Bryce Laurent. He had seemed to be everything she was looking for in a man. However her mother had never trusted him and a private investigator revealed that most of what he'd told Red were lies.

She is now dating a gentle man - Dr Karl Murphy. She is waiting for him to pick her up so they can go to one of her favourite Brighton restaurants. Unbeknown to her, Bryce Laurent is planning a terrible revenge on Karl Murphy, and then intends to torture and kill Red and her family.

This is the tenth Detective Superintendent Roy Grace book. He is about to get married to Cleo and they have a four-month old boy called Noah. His wife Sandy has been officially declared dead; ten years have elapsed since her unexpected and unexplained disappearance.

Roy's team hasn't changed much: Glen Branson is his number two, but recently promoted to detective inspector - his ex-wife has been killed in a car crash and Glen now has custody of their two children; Detective Sergeant Bella Moy has surprisingly entered in a relationship with the chauvinistic Norman Potting and Rob Spofford is a constable who had been dealing with the Westwood/Bryce problem and ensured Bryce was evicted from Red's flat and the locks changed.

Bryce Laurent was an expert at so many things! He could pick locks, secrete listening devices into mobile phones, set up surveillance cameras in his ex-lover's flat, he could interfere with security equipment, was an ex-fireman and an accomplished magician. Yet he couldn't hold down a job and was a fantasist! Obviously his people skills were lacking, but could he still be that clever?

You do have to suspend credibility on occasions, but if you've followed the series, you will have to read the author's latest. The Sandy situation is still ongoing, but could be resolved in an alarming way, and Roy has to welcome a new boss and he's far from happy! Will his wedding go to plan?

Geoff Jones, England
June 2014

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 8/06/2014 10:01