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Saturday, 19 August 2017

‘Need You Dead’ by Peter James

Published (HB)UK/CA by Pan McMillan,
18 May 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-5098-1631-6.
(HB)US, 6 June 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-2500-3020-7.
(PB) US.
ISBN 978-105098-1633-0.
(PB)  UK , 19 October 2017.
ISBN: 978-10508-1633-0.
(PB) CA, 1 Dec. 2017.
ISBN: 97-1-5098-4828-7.

Roy Grace, Detective Superintendent and head of the high crime unit, faces a dilemma in the latest in this wonderful police procedural series, now numbering thirteen: evidence that one of his own squad may be a murderer.  Such a possibility goes against everything Grace believes in.  Such a possibility betrays the trust implicit in the job in which each policeman relies on all the others to watch his back.

The possible culprit is faced with an overwhelming accumulation of evidence in a murder case, one involving Lorna Belling, a beautiful woman hairdresser in an abusive marriage, making her husband a suspect in her murder, along with the accused cop.  Another suspect is a respected member of the community who was in an extra-marital relationship with her.  And a potential fourth suspect was an unknown lover.  Lastly, there was always the possibility that she committed suicide.

 The subsequent investigation is strewn with a variety of red herrings to keep the reader guessing.  Meanwhile, Grace is faced with bringing back home the body of his dead first wife for burial, along with his previously unknown 10-year-old son he is now charged with rearing.  Peter James has long demonstrated how a police procedural can not only be intriguing but well written.  This latest novel is no exception. And just as important is his ability to show how very human Roy Grace is as a character.

Reviewer: Theodore Feit

Peter James was educated at Charterhouse and then at film school. He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screen writer and film producer, before returning to England. His multiple award-winning, Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling novels have been translated into thirty-three languages. His writings reflect his deep interest in medicine, science and the world of the police. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created the hit Channel 4 series Bedsitcom, which was nominated for a Rose d'Or. Peter James won the Krimi-Blitz 2005 Crime Writer of the Year Award in Germany, and Dead Simple won both the 2006 Prix Polar International award and the 2007 Prix Cœur Noir award in France. Looking Good Dead was shortlisted for the 2007 Richard and Judy Crime Thriller of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for both France's SNCF award and Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policère. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and Sussex.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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