Welcome back to the site that aims to bring the bookish fun every day of the week, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're throwing a pre-book birthday release party for a title that hits store shelves tomorrow. It comes to us via Minotaur Books and marks the tenth installment in the Roy Grace series from an author whose known for his Mystery writing skills. Was I impressed with my first venture? We shall see. Ladies and gents, grab your favorite reading seat in a nice, bright spot (trust me, there's enough dark within), it's time to greet today's book of choice...
About the book...
Single girl, 33, redhead and smouldering, love life that’s crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and—who knows—more maybe?
In Peter James' Want You Dead, thirty-year old Red Cameron meets handsome, charming and rich thirty-five year old Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, and is instantly attracted to him. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past begins to emerge, and with it his dark side. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.
Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But far from being over, her nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed and besotted with her. He intends to destroy, by fire, everything and everyone she has ever known and loved—and then her, too. It's up to Detective Superintendent Roy Grace to stop him before it's too late...
Okay, here it is.
I'll give the author mad props for several things...
...first, getting us inside the head of a real loon. Bryce Laurent is never represented as anything other than what he truly is and for that I appreciate the candor. You get to read chapters straight from his crazy-8's mind as he stalks and tortures, plots and plans, and eventually meets the final pages of the book. Are those his final pages? Umm, I can't confirm or deny but I am definitely a fan of the ending, for more reasons than one.
...second, he really knows how to make sure the reader sees every angle of every moment. No, I'm serious! There are about 5-7 chapters (maybe more) all titled the same date and the same evening that simply change voices between the characters. You learn just what Red was doing as Bryce was eyeballing her through her window like a creepo. You understand just how much the doctor was concerned not with simply his life but what those he loved would come to even as his final moments approached. You find out where the good detective is while the events that will affect him are unfolding. Each piece of the puzzle is visited in order to create the larger, red slashed and splashed picture.
...third, he writes well rounded characters. By books end, you really feel like you know each person the spotlight fell on. You feel for their losses and celebrate their wins. You enjoy the false hope initially found when it seems like everything is going to be all right and then the bottom falls out. You even cringe as that bottom is falling out because you're not quite sure where it will land.
Now, in the overall sense of the novel, it would seem I am in favor of things...and in fact I am, but I would remiss in stating that I am its number one fan. It could be me, perhaps I wasn't truly in the mood for this particular type of novel when it came time to start it, but I wasn't as entranced with the WHOLE picture as I would have liked to be. To me, the very things that worked for it and showed the author's talent, worked against it for me. The length and way the story spiraled in on itself left me feeling over informed. The intensity with which Bryce's obsession was explored seemed repetitive, almost overkill. I get it, he's crazy, head over heels for Red and nothing anyone can say or do will stop him from having her...and ONLY him. So much time was devoted to him, I can only think that if some things were cut here and there, it wouldn't have detracted from the story and yet you'd have lessened the page count (and no, I'm not afraid of big books, in fact I love them...just my impression).
So, in the end I did in fact enjoy the read and would recommend it highly to fans of detective stories, Crime Fiction (to some degree), and Fiction fans in general...just with those few words of caution. The true joy of reading is that every reader takes something different from the story and the experience. In this case, I invite you to be the judge and jury on your own....
About the author....
An established film producer and scriptwriter, James (@peterjamesuk) lived in the U.S. for a number of years and produced films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Joseph Fiennes. A TV adaptation of the Roy Grace series is currently in development, with James overseeing all aspects, including scriptwriting, In 2009, James was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community. He is Patron of Crimestoppers in Sussex alongside Vera Lynn and in 2012 was made Patron of The Whitehawk Inn. In 2011, James became Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association. He has won many literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize for Perfect People in 2012.
James’ novels have been translated into thirty-six languages and three have been turned into films. All of his novels reflect a deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in-depth research and has unprecedented access, as well as science, medicine, and the paranormal. James divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and near Brighton in Sussex.
ARC for review courtesy of Lauren at Wunderkind PR. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their future promotions, be sure to stop by their site. This title is set to release TOMORROW via Minotaur Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!