Title: Want You Dead
Author: Peter James
Page Count/Review Word Count: 504
What we have here is another of the books in Peter James’ Roy Grace series, although I couldn’t tell you which one because I lost track. I’ve read all of them out of order, but what I will say is that a fairly major character dies here and I already knew about it. I’m not going to say any more than that because I don’t want to spoil it.
Still, there’s plenty here for you to enjoy if you like crime and detective novels, and there are elements of a good old-fashioned thriller here, too. James also does his typical thing where he shows us the bad guy’s perspective, as well as the perspectives of the people who are trying to stop him. I feel like that’s been kind of overdone by now, but James does a decent enough job of it here. And based on the way that his books are structured, it’s kind of necessary.
Unfortunately, I’ve read enough of James’ books now that the initial wow factor has started to wear off, and while I did think this book was pretty good, it’s not the best in the series. It is, however, an important one, with a lot happening to the characters we know and love throughout. As well as the death that I mentioned, there’s a wedding – although life gets in the way of the honeymoon.
There was plenty that I liked here, but there was also a fair amount that I didn’t. This isn’t necessarily constructive criticism but more of personal preference, though. One example of this is the use of the name ‘Red‘ for someone with red hair, which I’ve seen before and which bugged me then, too. It doesn’t feel natural, for some reason, but maybe I’m just complaining because I didn’t really like her as a character. She was okay, but she was bland – and that’s unusual for Peter James.
Still, it’s definitely still worth reading, which is why I gave it a 4/5. And, while you don’t really need to read the Grace books in order, you kind of do because of this one. A lot changes and if pick this one up too early or too late then the series as a whole will be slightly less enjoyable. At least, that’s what I found.
But if you want a decent crime novel and you happen to spot this in a charity shop, it’s got to be worth the investment. Peter James is always a lot of fun and this particular book is no different, even if it doesn’t shine quite as much as some of his others. Plus there are fires and who doesn’t like reading about fires? Turns out that the killer is something of an arsonist – as well as a semi-professional magician. That’s why he has so many different tricks up his sleeve, as you’ll find out when you grab a copy.