Title: Perfect People
Author: Peter James
Page Count: 600
Peter James is at his best when he’s writing his Roy Grace crime novels, and I think that his second best works are his horror stories. This one is another of his standalones, but it struggles to hold its own against the rest of his back catalogue just because there’s so much there for you to enjoy. But at least it’s one of his more recent books and so his writing is better here than it was in say Twilight, which was pretty terrible.
Here, the story basically follows what happens after a couple loses a child to a rare genetic disease and decides to go with a new scientific approach in which the genes of their baby will be manipulated. It’s basically the concept of designer babies but with a science fiction twist, except it’s set in our modern world. Because of that, it didn’t really work too well for me, mainly because I struggled to suspend my disbelief enough to properly enjoy it.
Still, James is pretty good at what he does, and even though this was a bit of a chunker, it was also interesting enough to keep me reading. That’s actually saying quite a lot for a thriller, because I’m not always the biggest fan of the genre in general. I think James just has a decent writing style for thrillers, in part because he keeps things quite simple. You’re definitely not going to get high literature here, but you will get something that’s easy to read.
He’s quite an efficient writer, too. That means that he’s able to pack quite a lot in here, which is good news because despite this being 600 pages long, it has reasonably large print and reasonably short chapters, as well as a whole chunk of spacing at the bottom of each of the pages. It took me maybe 72 hours to get through it, which isn’t far off my average for just any random book.
So there’s a decent amount to like here, especially if you’re either a Peter James fan or you’re super into thrillers, but otherwise I’m not sure if I’d go out of my way to recommend it. I just think that you need a little more if you’re going to commit to reading a 600 page novel. Luckily for me, I’m pretty fascinated by the idea of designer babies and so that theme alone was enough to keep me reading here, although I’ll admit that the same might not be true of everyone.
There’s also the fact that I’m not much of a fan of children and so I wasn’t too interested in all of the finer little details about pregnancy and stuff. But then that was made up for by all of the crazy stuff, including a pretty terrifying little scene when the twins look up Grey’s Anatomy online and decide to kill their gerbils and to carry out autopsies on their bodies.
So all in all, I am glad that I read this one, especially because it’s way better than the last Peter James book that I picked up, but I don’t think I’d be in any rush to recommend it considering there are much better Peter James books by the same author out there. I mean, it’s just hard to recommend it, especially because it does kind of feel a bit like James doing his bit to tap into the Dan Brown hype that was around ten years or so ago. So yeah, that’s about it.