Peter James

Want You Dead

" expertly plotted police thriller which can only serve to enhance the author’s already stellar reputation."


When Red Westwood meets handsome, charming and rich Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, there is an instant attraction. But as their love blossoms the truth about his past, and his dark side, begins to emerge. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.

Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But Red's nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed with her, and he intends to destroy everything and everyone she has ever known and loved – and then her too.

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I have been reading Peter James for many years – including the days prior to joining – and it is with great interest that I have watched as both author and lead character have evolved into one of the best pairings in contemporary fiction. James’ detailed research shines through on every page and unfamiliar readers would suspect he has a background in law enforcement. He doesn’t! ‘Want You Dead’ has so many different elements to it I could write this entire review as a list. There’s pathos, humour, tension, empathy and more suspense than you could shake a stick at. I was more nervous during Roy Grace’s long awaited wedding ceremony than I was during my own. I’ve read crime fiction for thirty-five years, but have never before found myself wanting to skip forward to check everything was okay. James has a way of using the deftest of touches to encapsulate whichever scene he is writing and without giving away any spoilers, one particular sequence of events was deeply moving and may have repercussions throughout future novels. Roy Grace is his usual upright self, juggling work and family commitments, while Red is a good foil for the evil Bryce Laurent. It was Laurent who drew my eye the most after Grace, as James has once again created a marvellously odious villain. All in all, ‘Want You Dead’ is an expertly plotted police thriller which can only serve to enhance the author’s already stellar reputation.

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