Title: A Twist of the Knife
Author: Peter James
Page Count/Review Word Count: 438
This book is pretty interesting, and I’m glad that I picked it up. I’d always heard good things about Peter James, but I’d never read any of his work until his publicist sent me a couple of books. That got me hooked, and so ever since then I’ve been looking through charity shops to complete my collection. This is the first of those new purchases.
I was expecting A Twist of the Knife to be one of James’ Roy Grace books, but it turned out to be a collection of short stories, and I was happy with that. It’s interesting, because some of them are just a couple of sentences long, while others are a couple of pages and still others are the length of a couple of chapters. But they all work well together, and they’re complimented nicely by the introductions to the stories, which explain a little bit more about the history of the pieces that you’re about to read.
It was also interesting to read these because some of them have since been turned into full-length books. One of them became Dead Simple, which was the first of the Roy Grace novels, and the collection also contains a Roy Grace short story, which introduces you to the character for the first time.
The way that the book was formatted and presented made for an engaging read which kept me turning pages, and it only took me a couple of days to get through it, despite the length of the book. James has a knack for that – he’s no Hemingway, but his writing style is evocative without being over the top, easy to read and almost like a superhighway for stories to barrel along at 70 miles per hour.
In fact, if you’ve never read any of James’ work before then this is a pretty good place to start, because the stories are so diverse and so there’s plenty of different things for you to enjoy. James is at his finest when he’s either writing police procedurals – like his Roy Grace series – or when he’s writing supernatural thriller style horror. There’s a bit of both in this book, which makes it a lot of fun for the reader.
Overall, then, I’d recommend this one, and it’s definitely worth picking up a copy for a couple of quid if you can find one in a charity shop or in a second-hand book store. So why wait? Get some Peter James in your life.