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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Peter James - Dead Mans Time

Book reviewed live on bookshow by Brian Lowen 12th Dec 2013

The latest book in the Roy Grace series.  Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Brighton and Hove Police Force this time is involved in catching a bunch of antiques thieves.

The story starts in 1922 in New York when a young lad’s parents are brutally murdered and he is left alone with his sister. An elderly Aunt brings them back to the UK and as young Gavin Daly watches the Statue of Liberty fade into the distance from the stern of the trans- atlantic liner he makes a vow to return one day to avenge the death of his parents. He has in his pocket an old watch given to him as he stood waiting on the quay to board the ship with a mysterious message from his Father.

The story then moves on to the present day when Gavin is now 95 years old and although his is very rich and is a respected dealer in expensive antiques his one regret is that he has never fulfilled the vow he made in 1922.

Then his sister, 98 year old Aileen, who lives alone, is robbed of all her valuable antiques and tortured to death to get the key to her safe. His Father’s old watch is one of the items stolen which enrages Gavin so much that he sets out to track down the crooks himself. His son, Lucas, also gets involved but for all the wrong reasons as he is a drunken, wife – beating slob, a small time

crook, whose gambling debts are continually being settled by his grudging Father.

Amis Smallbone is also involved in the story. He is a small time crook, put in jail by Roy Grace, but now released after serving ten years and seeking revenge. He rents the flat next to where Roy is living with his fiancee Cleo, and their new baby and starts plotting his revenge.

We also get an insight into the continuing saga of Roy’s ex wife Sandy, who suddenly left him many years ago for no given reason. She is now living in Germany with her son, who we now learn is Roys, and wants to come back to England and is interested in buying Roy’s old house which is up for sale since he moved in with Cleo. I have no idea how this saga is going to end , but it certainly ensures you keep buying the books.

Another great thriller from PJ – the action keeps going as Roy and Gavin are on the same track after the killers until it reaches a dramatic conclusion back in New York. You feel part of the action as PJ spins his detailed plot – each story is as good as the last.
Thoroughly recommended.

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