26th June 2019 5 stars.
This is one of the best, most enjoyable and original of the Roy Grace series so far. Faultless and accomplished, this is an author at the peak of his abilities, thoroughly enjoying the story he’s written. The joy shines through every chapter, every page and paragraph as Jodie Bentley works her way through rich husbands with consummate skill and conviction.
Then there’s the return of Tooth, one of my favourite hitmen with deadpan humour, a no nonsense approach to business and a complete lack of empathy. Tooth doesn’t do pity. Neither does Jodie, who’s more than a match for him.
At times, it seems like Roy Grace is on the sideline, still trying to resolve his last case with a serial killer still on the run and pressure from management. But Jodie’s no ordinary killer and seems quite capable of eluding Tooth and Grace, helping to crank up the tension for a fantastic finale with some heart-stopping moments.
And finally there’s the master stroke – the sign of a great author, showing his mastery of characterisation and story. I won’t spoil it by revealing what it is, but it’s inspired. To fully appreciate it, you need to have read the series from the beginning, though this book still works as a standalone.
This is a brilliant series, strong on police procedure, authenticity and original plots. The characters are beautifully drawn, whether friend or foe, and there’s always so much more going on than the murders.
Love You Dead is my favourite so far and highly recommended.
An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.
Love You Dead is the gripping twelfth book in Peter James’ Roy Grace series.