Peter James

Looking Good Dead

"…the writing takes on the urgency of an action movie."


Tom Bryce is stuck on a train from London to Brighton. Next to him is a man shouting into his mobile. Thankfully the man gets off the train but leaves behind a disc on his seat. Tom retrieves it and as the disc has no labels on it to direct him to its owner, he looks at the contents of the disc. There he sees the murder of a young woman. Then Tom receives a message telling him NOT to try and enter the site again and NOT to go to the police. Afterwards, Tom reads in the newspapers about the headless corpse of a young woman and he knows it is the woman who was murdered in the film. Does he put his life, and the lives of his family, on the line by telling the police what he saw - or should he just stay quiet?

DS Roy Grace is in deep trouble. He has got a lot of bad press lately and his superior, Alison Vosper, is very unhappy with him and threatens to send him to Newcastle if he doesn't buck up his ideas. Now he is dealing with a headless woman with no reason for her murder. Then there is a lucky break in the case. Even so, Roy Grace could still be too late to save more innocent lives…

Purchase the book from Amazon.


This is the second novel in the DS Roy Grace series. I loved Dead Simple as it really grabbed you by the collar and whizzed you through the whole novel. Although this book is also exciting, it doesn't quite have the same velocity as the first. The breakdown of the Bryce family's life is well drawn but it takes up half of the 400 pages and I felt it slightly impeded the rest of the story. The investigation appears to play a secondary role in this book and some of the breaks in the case are discovered by mere co-incidence which can sometimes happen in real life, but comes across as sloppy and slightly unbelievable in a novel. However, Peter James is a long standing scriptwriter and the way this book reads you can see DS Grace and his team transferring very easily onto the T.V. Screen. By the end of the book, the writing takes on the urgency of an action movie. Speeding your way to the finish, you are always interested to know what happens to all the characters in the end.

Reviewed By: