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Review: Dead Simple by Peter James

Book Summary

If there is one place Michael Harrison never expected to die, it’s in his own grave.
When Michael Harrison’s four best friends leave him buried alive on the night of his bachelor party, it seems like the perfect payback for his own bachelor party pranks. But moments later the four are killed in a car crash, and suddenly their harmless joke is no laughing matter. With only three days to the wedding, Detective Superintendent Grace—a man haunted by the shadow of his own missing wife—is contacted by Michael's beautiful, distraught fiancée, Ashley Harper. Grace discovers that the one man who ought to know Michael Harrison's whereabouts is saying nothing. But then he has a lot to gain—more than anyone realizes. For one man's disaster is another man's fortune. Dead simple.

Review

Trust me when I say, if you love suspense thrillers, this is an absolute must read. I’m extremely selective when it comes to what books I read in this genre, so with that said, I’m so grateful the opportunity came along to be introduced this author and this series. This is not going to be one of those, I’ll read it now and later, it’s definitely a page turner that will have your mind spinning with all the plot twists and turns, constantly keeping you guessing, not wanting to put the book down.

The novel begins with a group of friends coming together a few days before the groom, Michael Harrison, is to be married. Michael, whose childhood was affected by the death of his father, made a good life for himself that seems to the ideal admiration by anyone. He has a successful company with a childhood friend, a beautiful wife to be and life was everything that he could’ve wanted. Always the prankster, his friends decided to play the ultimate prank on him to get him back for all the times he got them but everything completely goes wrong. When Michael turns up missing, and they all end up dead, his fiancée frantically contacts Detective Roy Grace for help to find her missing boyfriend.

Not even his case, Detective Roy Grace, haunted by the disappearance of his wife years ago, finds himself trying to put the pieces together. One of those pieces, Mark Warren, best man to Michael, who if it wasn’t for a trip would’ve been dead also, is acting very peculiar and considering him not knowing anything about the prank makes it hard to believe that someone so close doesn’t know anything. Upon working deeper in the case, things are just not adding up. Was it a accident or foul play, this one prank set in motion a series of events that leads the reader down a gripping, suspenseful narrative that is unpredictable and satisfies the thirst of a great suspense plot.

I haven’t in a while read a thriller that held my interest where I read the entire book in one sitting. Dead Simple, the first in the acclaimed Roy Grace series definitely showed why Peter James is an international bestselling author. This novel definitely screamed blockbuster to me, attributing his screenwriting and film background which added that element of being thoroughly entertained not wanting to put the book down. The book featured strong characters with great interpersonal dialogue along with just the perfect pace that holds your interest.

The plot was amazing. Well written, unpredictable with a plot that kept you guessing on a ride that you didn’t want to get off. You can tell the level of detail and precision in the crime aspect of the book being well researched give it an authenticity that felt real. I’m not going to compare this book to any other because this novel deserves its own praise however I will say that this author just earned in a spot on my top ten suspense author list. This book absolutely gets my recommendation. 

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles

Series: Detective Superintendent Roy Grace (Book 1)
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 7, 2014)

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