I don’t think I have EVER been so excited about a blog tour.
Peter James is my favourite author.
Roy Grace is favourite detective.
I have bought and read every DS Roy Grace book on the day of publication since the first one I read back in 2006, when my little brother, Daniel, told me about it; Dead Simple, that he’d just finished it, I borrowed it, read it, loved it and then had a torturous three week wait for Looking Good Dead to come out!
Gosh, if I thought that wait was hard, imagine how it feels now having to wait a whole flipping year!
And now, here I am, one of the very few, exceptionally lucky, advanced readers and taking part in the official blog tour and about to welcome DS Roy Grace himself on to my blog to discuss all things Brighton …
To say I’m giddy is an understatement … A MASSIVE understatement!
OK, normal service shall now resume and I shall go back to being the ultimate professional …
So, it’s over to Roy now while he tells us all about his favourite and the most significant locations, for him, in Brighton …
Formerly known as the Palace Pier, this and the Royal Pavilion, below, are the two iconic buildings of the city. It is a beautiful pier to look at, and the views back towards the city as you walk along it are spectacular in any weather
The Royal Pavilion.
This is a truly stunning and extraordinary building. A farmhouse, given the world’s greatest ever makeover by King George IV, to impress his mistress, Maria Fitzherbert, and built with a “double skin” so that servants could move around unseen, it’s banqueting hall contains what was, at one time, the world’s largest chandelier, suspended above the dining table. Several members of the Royal family used to be too nervous to sit beneath! It comes crashing down in one of my cases…
This port has played such a part in Brighton’s history, going right back to its earliest roots as Brighthelmstone, a renowned smuggling village.
The Undercliff walk.
There are actually two, one which begins at the Volks Railway terminus at Black Rock, the other which begins at Rottingdean.
These curious, spaces, half cave, half tunnel, occupied by fishermen, sailing cubs, cafes, restaurants, gift shops and art galleries along the seafront are a quintessential part of Brighton seafront. On a fine summer’s day, nowhere is the city more alive than down here, underneath the arches…
Claimed to have been created by the Devil himself, in order to flood Brighton, the Devil’s Dyke – along with Firle Beacon a few miles to the East, and Seven Sisters further along – is one of the most beautiful places anywhere in the world. Period.
You cannot mention the word Brighton, without its many criminal associations springing to mind. Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock captured brilliantly the pre-War darkness of the place, and no where do you feel it more than wandering the labyrinth of narrow streets lined with shops. In former days, The Lanes was the first place the police and homeowners alike would head to the morning after a burglary – and often as not recover goods.
A city is always in flux. Old favourites wither and occasional new places thrive and suddenly feel part of the city you have always known. Bohemia is like that – it is a great array of spaces, inside and outside, fun food, great cocktails and a nice attitude.
She truly is the grand old duchess of Brighton. IRA blew it up, but it came back even more majestic than ever. And you get a ringside view of one of Brighton’s most iconic sights – the rotting remains of the West Pier.
For sheer character, none can match the timeless institution that is English’s. The whole place gives the impression that it is steadily falling down, and has been falling down for a hundred years, and will still be falling down in a hundred years time, by when the owners might have decided to give it a lick of paint and renew the carpet, but I hope not. It is perfect as it is.
Having read all of Peter’s books, I feel like I know Brighton as well as, if not better, than my own hometown and these images just bring it to life, thank you Roy!
So, book thirteen … I’m just dying to tell you what I thought … Please note, this review does contain spoilers pertaining to the whole series so DO NOT read on if you have yet to read them … You have be warned!!!!!!
Although, if you haven’t read this series yet and you don’t want to read all the others, I’d suggest this is a great starting point.
Thirteen … I’m ashamed to admit that I worried where this one was going to go. Roy is now happily married to Cleo. His young son, Noah, is happy and healthy. We know exactly what happened to his first wife, Sandy. So what now?
A hell of a lot to be honest!
Need You Dead feels to me like a bridging book. It’s finished one chapter of DI Grace’s life and opened the door to a new one, concluding some of the long-standing plot lines, whilst paving the way for new ones to come to the fore.
And boy is it exciting!
Eeeeekkkkkkk (oopppss that just slipped out!)
The team have finally completed their move to the new offices, Glenn Branson had a holiday (please don’t do that again, I missed him too much!), Grace and Cleo have completed their house move and Sandy is actually, really dead. So is Marlon. (Peter James you monster!!! #BringBackMarlon )
Sandy. Dead. Like really dead. And she’s left behind a son. Roy’s son. The one she kept secret from him.
What a bitch.
So with the running plot line of the last twelve books now concluded, what is going to happen? Where is Peter James going to take us?
All over! That’s where!
Well, there’s Bruno. Grace’s ten-year-old son. What the hell?! He’s a bit of a strange one isn’t he? Yes, I know his mum’s just died and he’s been moved to a new country to live with the dad he never knew he had but still … He’s managed to creep me out already with his mannerisms. Plus there’s the fact that Sandy told Grace in her suicide note that ‘he is special’. What on earth is that all about, Sandy? See, she’s a bitch!
ACC Pewe, I hate him. Always have. Remember when he accused Grace of murdering Sandy and burying her in the garden? Then decided to dig up his back garden to prove it? Nasty, nasty man! What is with him?
What a horrid man he is! I can’t wait for him to get his just deserts! But he’s back and giving Grace hell as usual, he’s as calculating and devious as ever but what secret is he hiding?!
Then there’s the crimes from previous books. International hitman Tooth is still in a coma. The Black Widow, Jodie Bentley, is locked up. The trial of Dr Edwin Crisp is looming on the horizon.
I love that James keeps these in our minds. It makes for a much more realistic read. I’ve said before, with other police procedurals, that I love it when the author adds authenticity in their writing by not having the criminals all taking it in turns to commit their crimes, its just not realistic to have a team of detectives only dealing with one crime at a time. James does that too but he also keeps the fact that once a crime is ‘solved’, the police involvement doesn’t just stop. And certainly not for someone at Grace’s level in the force. There’s the court reports, the witness statements, and the evidence all to sort out. Lots of ducks to get in a row ready for trial, and this isn’t forgotten. It’s great!
Then there’s the crimes committed in this book, which leave Grace wondering who he can trust within his own team. Something he really hasn’t had to deal with in the past, certainly not to this extreme!
As always, James writes brilliantly. I was instantly transported back onto the streets of Brighton. A place I have never been but feel like I know like the back of my hand. James pulls us back into the lives of the officers we have come to love and the world of Brighton’s criminal underworld.
When a woman is found dead in a run-down apartment building, the finger of blame points solidly at her abusive husband. But is that too easy? Too convenient? Or, should Grace and the team judge this particular book by its cover?
All in all, Need You Dead is a bloody brilliant read.
It closes the door on some of the older plot lines but has superbly paved the way for others to take their place.
We have so much to look forward to, will Pewe get his comeuppance? Is Bruno going to settle into life in Brighton? Will Tooth wake up and face trial? Will Cleo and Roy get a new fish? Will Branson marry his reporter lady friend? Will Potting ever learn to shut up in those briefings? Have sales of M&M’s already increased since they appear to have replaced Maltesers in the incident room?
So much for us to look forward to and I for one cannot wait to see the next instalment! So Mr James, whenever you’re ready please!!
My hugest thanks to the team at Pan MacMillian and Midas PR for asking me to be a part of this brilliant tour. It’s an amazing honour!
Be sure to follow the rest of the tour folks! It’s a belter!!!
About the author …
Peter James is an international bestselling thriller writer. He is a New York Times bestseller, as well as having 11 consecutive Sunday Times No 1s, and he is published in 37 languages. His DS Roy Grace crime novels have sold 18 million copies worldwide. Prior to becoming a full-time author, he was responsible for 25 movies. In 1994 Penguin published his novel, ‘Host’, on two floppy discs as the world’s first electronic novel. His novels have won numerous awards, most recently the coveted 2016 CWA Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence, and he was publicly voted by WH Smith – Britain’s biggest book selling chain – The Best Crime Author Of All Time. Visit Peter James on YouTube: http://www.peterjames.com/youtube